Criminal Police nowadays

We generally hear about the criminal police when a brutal crime shakes the public or when large-scale perpetrators are arrested. About two thousand investigators in the country’s local police units do, as their daily routine, loads of invisible work putting efforts to prevent planned crime, and fight crime which is of crucial importance to the state and greatly valued by the public.

The Lithuanian criminal police system consists of the following:

  • Lithuanian Criminal Police Bureau – central criminal police agency which develops crime-reduction strategy, coordinates and controls activities of the country’s county criminal police headquarters, prevents and investigates serious and very serious criminal offences, crimes of international and interregional character, ones committed by high-level organised crime groups and other criminal offences which cause serious damage to the state and individuals;
  • Lithuanian Police Forensic Science Centre – carries out laboratory-based examinations of objects seized at crime scenes, investigates scenes of serious and very serious crimes and coordinates such investigations at the national level, stores and administers various forensic databases requisite for disclosing investigations and for conducting forensic analyses and examinations.
  • Criminal police units of county police headquarters - ensure prevention, disclosure and investigation of criminal offences throughout the territory of a county.

Lithuanian criminal police is one of the most modern and state-of-the-art branch of the Lithuanian police whose traditions have been created and fostered by a series of preceding generations of criminal officers. Positive feedback and recognition of foreign counterparts, joint operations and joint investigation teams as well as disclosure of resonant crimes all confirm high levels of professional competence of Lithuanian criminal police.

Both central and county criminal police forces go hand in hand since only focused and universal police with their joint efforts may overcome the challenges posed by modern crime.

Each year (starting with 1993), with the approach of the Criminal Police Day on 27 October, results of the work of criminal police are summed up and the best criminal investigator, symbolically called “Detective of the Year”, is selected who is awarded the legendary Sherlock Holmes Pipe.

The majority of investigations would surely not be successful if not for high-quality forensic examinations. This important function is carried out by a specialised police agency – Lithuanian Police Forensic Science Centre (“LPFSC”) which, on 2007, was accredited in accordance with the recognised international Standard ISO/IEC 17025:2005 General requirements for the competence of testing and calibration laboratories. Applying special knowledge and resorting to diverse forensic laboratory equipment, experts of LPFSC conduct laboratory-based examinations of the objects collected at crime scenes, investigate scenes of serious and very serious crimes and provide both expert and technical support in the pursuit of pre-trial investigations and prevention of criminal offences.

Moreover, the Lithuanian Police Forensic Science Centre manages Fingerprint and DNA databases and exchanges this data in fulfilling different international obligations of the Republic of Lithuania, such as cooperation in fighting terrorism and cross-border crime. LPFSC also administers the database of firearms, bullets and cartridge cases discovered at the scenes of unsolved crimes and fired using rifled firearms. LPFSC provides the services of testing weapons and issuing weapon deactivation certificates to institutions and individuals. Experts of the Centre also rely heavily on other forensic databases and data files for detecting crimes. Dog handlers, together with police dogs of the Dog Training Unit of LPFSC, not only ensure public order but are also a substantial help in solving crimes: the so-called detection dogs are used for carrying out odour-related examinations.

In addition, LPFSC has the duty to coordinate and control activities of forensic science units and dog handlers of the country’s ten territorial police agencies. It implements and helps local police agencies adopt new techniques for forensic examinations and organise procedures for acquiring specialist or expert competencies.

Ten county police headquarters are responsible for the prevention, disclosure and investigation of criminal offences within their counties. With the view of conducting professional and well-qualified criminal intelligence, investigating a greater number of serious crimes and simplifying investigative procedures for less serious crimes, the criminal police underwent a fundamental reorganisation in 2013-2015. The reorganisation saw the establishment of intelligence units and information analysis divisions as well as consolidation of specialised criminal intelligence units, which, pursuing criminal intelligence and pre-trial investigations, investigate crimes falling within their competences, i.e. organised crime, crimes against property and economics, cybercrime and other serious, very serious, high-profile and recurrent crime.

Active and targeted criminal intelligence together with the concentration of serious and very serious crime investigations in county police headquarters, with the deployment there of officers with high-level capabilities for this purpose, has brought positive results: crimes committed by organised crime groups and criminal associations are being uncovered, reports on seizures of large quantities of narcotic substances constantly emerging in media and news on other solved high-profile crimes are regularly broadcast. Clearly defined strategic and priority trends enable to achieve outstanding results without wasting resources and concentrating the main efforts on the weakest points of the society.

Last updated: 27-11-2017