Česky English Deutsch Francais
Police to form new riot squads to combat growing extremism
10-02-2010 - Jan Richter
The Czech police plan to establish new riot units in two of the country’s regional centres, Ústí nad Labem and Ostrava. They should help combat the growing threat of extremism which has seen a sharp rise over the last two years. At the same time, police units across the country face serious understaffing due to budget cuts.

Photo: CTK A prosecutor in the northern city of Ostrava filed charges this week against four men accused of racially motivated attempted murder. The men face charges for throwing firebombs into a Roma family’s home in north Moravia last April, critically wounding a two-year-old girl, Natálka. The incident was a shocking example of a steep rise in extremism in the Czech Republic. According to police statistics, the number of extremist-related incidents rose by an alarming 650 percent in the last two years. To counter the trend, the police are planning to establish two new special riot police squads in north Bohemia and north Moravia, in addition to the existing units based in Prague and Brno. Jaroslav Ibehej is a spokesman for the police command.

“The aim is to have two special riot police units in Bohemia, that is in Prague and in Ústí, and two in Moravia: in the South Moravian and Moravian-Silesian regions. We also want to reinforce the policing of areas with high levels of disturbances and relieve police officers from regular units.”

North Bohemia and north Moravia are among the regions with the highest extremism-related crime. Both have large Roma communities as well as the highest unemployment rates in the country. In November 2008 extremists fought running battles with police after trying to attack a Roma ghetto in the north Bohemian town of Litvínov.

The new riot police units should be created this year – or next year at the latest. But the police are seriously understaffed, with a current shortage of 4,000 officers, or nearly 7 percent. And due to state budget cuts, the police cannot afford to fill the vacancies. Mr Ibehej again.

“Staff shortages affect all branches of the Czech police force. But combating extremism is one of the priorities of the police command for 2010. Besides riot police, it involves other branches of the police as well, such as criminal investigation. However, the fact that the police faces understaffing, partially caused by budget cuts, does not mean we are not doing as much as we can to make people safe.”

To prevent a further rise in extremism in the Czech Republic, the police also want to improve training and education, and make better use of its anti-conflict squads. But with the government trying to trim spending, it remains unclear when sufficient funds will be allocated to increase the number of officers.

Related articles
07.11.2013Intelligence service report: corruption and economic problems are fuelling extremismNews
24.05.2012Roma attack on teen, that brought thousands into the streets, never happenedNews
14.02.2012Police crack down on women’s branch of Czech neo-Nazi movementNews
11.01.2012Extremist lawyer claims judicial expert biased because of Jewish backgroundNews
16.08.2011Hardbass – we will bring Heil Hitler to your homeNews
29.04.2011Brno braces itself for Sunday’s neo-Nazi marchNews
05.04.2011Uproar over appointment of ultra conservative as ministerial adviserNews
02.11.2010Intel shows decline in activity of far-right extremistsNews
21.10.2010Czech president surprised by long terms for neo-Nazis convicted over petrol-bomb attack on Romany homeNews
All related articles
Format for printing
Send as e-mail

Also in section "News"
31.10.19  Roma children’s choir Chavorenge and members of the Czech Philharmonic to perform in UK
13.09.19  Archaeologists discover graves of Roma persecuted during WWII in Lety camp
02.06.19  Ida Kelarová and her Romany children’s choir Chavorenge
29.05.19  Two Roma activists to receive Charter 77’s František Kriegel Award
07.04.19  Romany music from the Czech Republic
13.03.19  Czech singer Věra Bílá, dubbed the Ella Fitzgerald of Gypsy music, dies days before her comeback tour
21.11.18  Roma social worker from Ostrava listed on BBC 100 Women list
12.10.18  Why are there so few Roma politicians?
17.09.18  Virtuoso pianist Tomáš Kačo: When I tell somebody I’m a Gypsy in the US, they’re excited about it
06.06.18  Study indicates ethnic hate is contagious
Archive of the section

Most popular articles
3153053   26.02.00 Some Basic Information about the Roma Population in the Czech Republic
290319   27.01.05 The 'Devouring': A look at the Romani Holocaust
184516   26.02.00 The History and Origin of the Roma
141463   26.02.02 The Language of the Roma
107706   13.06.00 The History of the Roma Minority in the Czech Republic
105260   26.02.00 The Traditional Family Life of the Czech Roma
103929   02.06.03 The Roma Holocaust
88238    World famous Roma Personalities
88174   21.02.04 Extreme right activists demonstrate for skinhead in jail
74801    Photographs by Romani Children
Copyright © Český rozhlas / Czech Radio, 1997-2023
Vinohradská 12, 120 99 Praha 2, Czech Republic