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LEGAL ACTS OF THE REPUBLIC OF LATVIA
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Text consolidated by Valsts valodas centrs (State Language Terminology Centre) with amending laws of:

1 September 1992;
8 June 1994;
27 October 1994;
24 November 1994;
2 November 1995;
23 May 1996;
5 December 1996;
20 March 1997;
23 October 1997;
13 May 1999;
4 November 1999;
15 June 2000;
4 October 2001;
6 December 2001;
24 January 2002;
20 June 2002;
24 October 2002;
19 December 2002;
20 March 2003;
29 May 2003;
27 May 2004;
16 December 2004;
14 April 2005;
13 October 2005;
15 June 2006;
14 September 2006;
12 June 2008;
4 December 2008.

If a whole or part of a section has been amended, the date of the amending law appears in square brackets at the end of the section.

The Supreme Council of the Republic of Latvia
has adopted the following Law:

On Police

This Law sets out the concept of the police, its tasks, principles of operation and place in the system of State administration and local government institutions, the duties, rights, structure and competence of the police and legal protection for police officers, operational guarantees, liability, financing and procedures for the provision of material and technical facilities, as well as the supervision and control of police operations. The provisions of this Law are not applicable to the activities of the State Revenue Service Financial Police.

[5 December 1996; 15 June 2006]

Chapter I
General Provisions

Section 1. The Police

The police are an armed, militarised State or local government authority, whose duty is to protect from criminal and other illegal threats life, health, rights and freedoms, property, and the interests of society and the State.

[8 June 1994]

Section 2. Police Officers

A police officer is a person, who holds a position in the State Police or the Security Police and who is granted a special service rank.

[15 June 2006]

Section 2.1 Local Government Police Officers

A local government police officer is a person, who holds a position in the police force founded by a local government and fulfils the duties specified in this Law in the administrative territory of the relevant local government.

The Labour Law shall regulate the employment legal relations of a local government police officer.

[15 June 2006]

Section 3. Tasks of the Police

The tasks of the police are:

- to guarantee the safety of persons and society;

- to prevent criminal offences and other violations of law;

- to disclose criminal offences and search for persons who have committed criminal offences;

- to provide assistance, in accordance with procedures prescribed by law, to institutions, private persons and unions of persons in the protection of their rights and the carrying out of tasks prescribed by law; and

- to implement, within the scope of its competence, administrative sanctions and criminal sentences.

It is prohibited to involve the police in the performance of such tasks as are not prescribed by the laws of the Republic of Latvia.

No one has the right to interfere with the actions of the police during the performance of its duties, except for institutions and officials expressly so authorised by law.

[15 June 2000; 13 October 2005]

Section 4. Legal Basis for Police Operations

The legal basis for the operations of the police is the Constitution of the Republic of Latvia, international agreements, this Law, other laws and regulatory enactments of the Republic of Latvia, and decisions of local governments, if they are not contrary to the laws of the Republic of Latvia.

[5 December 1996.]

Section 5. Organisation of Work and Principles of Police Operations

The operations of the police shall be organised observing lawfulness, humanism, human rights, social justice, transparency and an undivided authority, and relying on the assistance of the public.

The police shall protect the rights and lawful interests of persons irrespective of their citizenship, social, economic and other status, race and nationality, gender and age, education and language, attitude towards religion, political and other convictions.

For the purpose of non-discriminatory protection of the rights and freedoms of persons and State interests, police officers shall not participate in the activities of parties and other socio-political organisations and movements, and shall suspend their membership in such for the duration of service in the police.

The police, by its operations, shall ensure the observance of the rights and freedoms of persons. Restriction of such rights and freedoms shall be permitted only on the basis of law and in accordance with procedures prescribed by law. Each time that the police restrict the rights and freedoms of persons, the police officers shall offer them an explanation, which shall justify each specific restriction. In such cases, pursuant to the request of the person, the police officer shall give his or her surname, position, and service location, and shall show his or her service identification document.

The police shall provide arrested or detained persons the opportunity to exercise the right to have the assistance of counsel and, if these persons so wish, shall without delay notify their families and the administration of the place of work or educational institution regarding their location. The police shall ensure that the health of the arrested or detained persons is protected, and shall carry out emergency measures for the provision of medical assistance and the protection of property of such persons.

Section 6. Transparency of Police Operations

The police, in the interests of the service, shall inform State and local government institutions as well as the public regarding police operations.

The police are prohibited from disclosing information that is an official secret or other secret specifically protected by law and which contains commercial secrets or patent secrets. It is prohibited to disclose data from a pre-trial investigation without the permission of the prosecutor or the investigator's direct superior officer, as well as materials that are contrary to the presumption of innocence.

The police are prohibited from disclosing information, which infringes on the privacy of persons or violates the honour and dignity of natural or legal persons, if such activity does not occur in the interests of securing lawful order or conducting an investigation.

The police shall retract information that it has disseminated with respect to institutions, private persons and unions of persons if it is not true. The retraction shall be disseminated within one month in the same manner that the false information was disseminated.

[15 June 2000; 13 October 2005]

Section 7. Co-operation of the Police

The police shall co-operate with institutions, private persons and unions of persons.

[13 October 2005]

Section 8. International Co-operation of the Police

The police shall co-operate with the police (militia) of other states, international organisations, unions or community, as well as participate in international missions and operations in accordance with international agreements, which are binding on the Republic of Latvia.

The Cabinet shall take a decision regarding the participation of police officers in international missions and operations.

The Cabinet shall determine the procedures by which police officers are assigned and sent to participate in international missions and operations, as well as the procedures for the financing thereof.

[20 March 2003]

Section 8.1 Police Liaison Officers [15 June 2006]

[27 May 2004; 15 June 2006]

Section 8.2 Assistants to Police Officers

Permanent residents of the Republic of Latvia between the ages of 20 and 65 years, who, taking into account their personal characteristics, are capable of voluntarily assisting police officers, may become assistants to police officers.

The Cabinet shall determine the organisation of the work of assistants to police officers and the procedures for the fulfilment of duties, and their rights and duties.

[15 June 2006]

Chapter II
Duties of Police Officers

Section 9. General Duties of Police Officers

The duty of any police officer throughout the entire territory of the Republic of Latvia, regardless of the position held by him or her, location or time, shall be, in cases when persons address the officer with an application or a report about an incident which endangers the security of persons or society, or if the officer determines such an incident himself or herself, to take all measures possible to prevent a violation of the law, rescue people and offer them assistance in the identification and arrest of persons who committed the violation of the law, determination of eye-witnesses, guarding the location of the incident, and notifying the nearest police institution regarding the incident

[15 June 2000]

Section 10. Basic Duties of Police Officers

In accordance with the tasks set for the police, the basic duties of a police officer, in conformity with the competence of the service, are:

1) to ensure order on roads and streets, in public squares, parks, public means of transport, airports, ports, stations and other public places in order to guarantee the safety of persons and society;

2) to record information regarding criminal offences and other violations of the law and regarding persons who have committed such, as well as incidents that endanger public safety, and to react without delay to such and report to officials having competence regarding the discovered incidents (accidents, fires, catastrophes, natural disasters and others) that endanger the safety of persons, society or the State;

3) to provide emergency assistance to persons who have been injured as a result of violations of the law or of accidents, or who are in a helpless situation, even if they, in a state of inebriation, have lost the ability to move independently or may cause harm to others nearby or themselves, as well as to provide assistance to minors who have been left without the supervision of their parents or their substitutes;

4) pursuant to the requirements of the law, to conduct investigations, in accordance with prescribed procedures ensure the participation of criminalistic experts in investigative activities, conduct the necessary operative searches and other measures prescribed by law in order to disclose, stop or prevent criminal offences, to determine and search for persons who have done such or who are hiding from investigation and the court, or are evading the serving of a criminal sentence or who are missing, as well as to determine the identity of persons and to identify corpses;

5) to execute court adjudications and the decisions and instructions of the prosecutor associated with conducting searches and investigatory operations;

6) to prevent and stop administrative violations, to determine the guilty persons, to prepare reports within the scope of his or her competence, to examine case files regarding such offences or to transfer them for examination according to jurisdiction;

7) within the scope of his or her authority, disclose the causes of criminal offences and administrative violations and contributing circumstances to such, and carry out measures to prevent such; participate in providing the legal education of persons;

8) to guard, convey and keep in custody arrested and detained persons, and within the scope of his or her competence to execute criminal sentences and administrative sanctions, as well as to convey and guard persons sentenced to deprivation of liberty in the performance of investigatory activities in relation to the adjudication of matters in a court and between places of imprisonment;

9) in conformity with contracts entered into, to guard facilities;

10) to carry out measures for the safe-keeping of property in abeyance or found concealed property until the transfer of such to the custody of a State institution or official having competence; to ensure the safe-keeping of documents, property, securities and other belongings, found and handed over to the police, until the return of such to the owner;

11) to regulate the movement of means of transport and pedestrians, monitor traffic and vehicles;

12) to control the observance of regulations in the field of circulation of weapons, security activities and detective work;

13) [14 April 2005]

14) [6 December 2001]

15) [15 June 2000]

16) to provide for the safety of witnesses, victims, other persons and members of their families, as well as the guarding of their property if the life, health or property of such persons is endangered in connection with assistance they have provided to law-enforcement institutions in the disclosure and prevention of criminal offences;

17) to execute the decisions of courts (judges) and prosecutors with respect to the forcible conveyance of persons who are evading presenting themselves after being summoned, and execute court decisions regarding detention;

18) to register and account for road traffic accidents, for which documents are drawn up by State Police officers;

19) to control compliance with the water traffic safety regulations in internal waters, as well as compliance with recreational vessel registration regulations; and

20) to register and account for water traffic accidents in internal waters, as well as persons who are considered to be victims and deceased in water traffic accidents.

The types of road traffic accidents, the circle of persons who are considered to be victims and deceased in road traffic accidents, as well as the procedures for the registration and accounting of road traffic accidents, the procedures and amount for the receipt and issue of information in respect of the persons to be registered shall be determined by the Cabinet. The Cabinet shall determine the registration and accounting of water traffic accidents, the procedures for the receipt and issuing of information to be registered and the amount thereof.

[20 March 1997; 23 October 1997; 15 June 2000; 20 June 2002; 27 May 2004; 14 April 2005; 13 October 2005; 15 June 2006; 14 September 2006; 12 June 2008]

Section 11. Supplementary Duties of Police Officers

Police officers, within the scope of their competence, have the duty to assist:

1) members of parliament, candidate members of parliament as well as officials of State institutions if their lawful activities are being interfered with;

2) health protection and veterinary supervision institutions - in the conduct of quarantine measures in cases of epidemics and epizootics;

3) medical institutions, medical personnel, public health service epidemiologists and State health inspectors - in the forcible conveyance for monitoring or treatment of persons suffering from alcohol, narcotic, psychotropic or toxic substances addiction or venereal diseases, persons who are mentally ill and a danger to the public, as well as the conveying and guarding in a medical institution of persons for which there is sufficient basis to conclude that they are infected with the immunodeficiency virus (HIV) or infectious diseases, the list of which is approved by the Cabinet, if they avoid coming to a medical institution;

4) places of imprisonment - in the prevention of violations of the law and disclosure of criminal offences in such institutions;

5) fire-fighting and rescue services - in the conduct of preventive measures, fire-fighting as well as rescue operations;

6) National Armed Forces - in the search for lost and stolen weapons, ammunition, explosives and other substances, articles and objects dangerous to the public.

7) control services of motor transport and electric transport - in ascertaining the identity of violators of traffic regulations;

8) environmental protection and customs authorities, the State Revenue Service and the Department of Citizenship and Migration Affairs - in their lawful activities; and

9) State Border Guard - in the control and prophylaxis of the observance of the regulations for the entry, residence, exit and transit of aliens and stateless persons.

[20 March 1997; 13 May 1999; 15 June 2000; 6 December 2001; 27 May 2004; 15 June 2006; 4 December 2008]

Part III
Rights of Police Officers

Section 12. General Rights of Police Officers

Police officers, in performing duties assigned to them in conformity with the competence of the service, have the right:

1) to request persons to cease violations of the law and other actions that interfere with the execution of police authority, as well as use against persons violating the law the prescribed compulsory means of constraint;

2) to check personal identification documents of persons suspected of having committed violations of the law, as well as other documents necessary in order to check the observance of such legal norms, the performance of the control and monitoring of which has been assigned to the police;

3) to carry out interrogation of persons, accept explanations, as well as to summon to a police institution any person in connection with matters and materials the examination of which is within the competence of the police, but, if such persons do not present themselves pursuant to the summons without justifiable reason, forcibly convey them in accordance with the procedures prescribed by law;

4) to prepare reports regarding administrative violations; in cases and in accordance with procedures prescribed by law, to convey persons violating the law to a police institution, to conduct an examination of such persons, to remove and check property and documents, to hold under administrative arrest persons violating the law and to carry out other measures prescribed by law to ensure record-keeping of administrative violations , as well as to apply administrative sanctions or in accordance with prescribed procedures to send the reports according to jurisdiction;

5) to arrest military persons who have violated the law and to hand them over to the National Armed Forces;

6) to arrest and, until transfer to institutions having competence, hold in custody in specially equipped premises persons who evade serving a criminal sentence, administrative custodial arrest, or detention;

7) in accordance with procedures prescribed by law, to arrest and to hold under guard persons suspected of committing criminal offences or administrative violations;

8) to arrest persons up to the age of 16 who have without permission left their residence or an institution for children and to hold them in custody in a police institution until handing them over to the parents or their substitutes, or to institutions for children;

81) to arrest until the handing over to competent institutions persons who have violated the requirements of alien and stateless persons entry, residence, exit and transit regulations;

9) to convey to a medical treatment institution or a dwelling persons who, as a result of the use of alcohol, narcotic, psychotropic or toxic substances, have lost the ability to move independently or orientate, or may do harm to others nearby or themselves, but, if such is not possible, to convey them to a police institution and to hold them in custody there in specially equipped premises until sober, but not longer than 12 hours;

10) to arrest, on the basis of a written application, persons in a dwelling who are under the influence of alcohol, narcotic, psychotropic or toxic substances and may cause harm to themselves or persons nearby, as well as in cases when people nearby are afraid to remain alone with such a person and if there is no other basis for their arrest , as well as to keep such persons in custody at a police institution until sober or until the determination of the circumstances, but for not longer than 12 hours;

11) to convey to a medical treatment institution persons with unmistakable mental dysfunction and who through their actions create obvious danger to themselves or to persons nearby;

12) to convey to a medical treatment institution persons who have attempted to commit suicide and, to clarify the circumstances of the incident;

13) to maintain records of persons who have committed criminal offences or administrative violations and of persons declared as wanted, and maintain records of such items and information as are necessary in order to carry out the tasks of the police;

14) to register, to take fingerprints, to obtain other data necessary for identification of persons, to obtain audio recordings, to photograph and to film persons who have been detained , accused of committing a criminal offence, are under administrative arrest, as well as persons who have committed other violations of the law, if such persons knowingly resist identification;

141) to watch public places and persons therein, including by use of technical means, in order to prevent and disclose in a timely manner the possible threat to public order, criminal offence, as well as to find persons or means of transport for which a search has been declared;

15) to temporarily restrict or suspend transport or pedestrian traffic on streets and roads, as well as the entry or exit of persons in specific places or facilities, if such is required in the interests of public safety, saving lives of persons, protection of health and property, as well as investigation;

16) to gain entry at any time of day or night to a residential unit without the permission of the residents therein (if necessary, by use of physical force) in cases when a person is to be arrested at the scene of the crime, or when the lives of other persons are endangered;

to gain entry at any time of day or night to non-residential premises and the territory of land parcels (if necessary, by use of physical force), except such non-residential premises and territory of land parcels that has extraterritorial or other special regimen status, in cases when a person is to be arrested at the scene of the crime, the lives of other persons are endangered, there are reasonable suspicions that a person who is suspected, accused or convicted for commitment of serious or specially serious crime and is escaping from investigation, court or serving his or her sentence, or a missing minor is located therein, as well as in cases of natural disasters and other emergencies when the safety of persons and society is endangered.

In each instance when police officers in cases provided for in this Section have gained entry into a residential unit against the will of the inhabitants or by the use of physical force, they must notify the prosecutor regarding such in writing without delay, but not later than within 24 hours.

In any other case, entry into residential premises and other premises is permitted only in cases prescribed by law on the basis of a decision by a judge, or in emergency cases with the consent of the prosecutor, to search a place;

17) for the purposes of determining whether persons have used alcohol, narcotic, psychotropic or toxic substances, in accordance with procedures specified by regulatory enactments, to test them with rapid diagnostic test for detection of influence of narcotic or psychotropic substances, portable alcohol concentration specification measurement devices or to convey such persons for the carrying out of testing at a medical treatment institution if an opinion is required in order to confirm or refute the fact of a violation of law or to review objectively a matter regarding the commission of a violation of the law;

18) pursuant to the instructions of the Chief of the State Police or of the territorial police office during the implementation of planned measures, to stop means of transport and inspect such (except means of transport of diplomatic and consular representatives) in order to arrest persons and means of transport for which a search has been declared or to disclose drivers of vehicles who are driving under intoxication of alcohol, influence of narcotic or other intoxicating substances or without driving licence;

19) to conduct an inspection of the carry-on baggage and other baggage of aeroplane passengers and, if necessary, also an examination of the passengers, with the exception of inspection and examination of the baggage and persons of diplomatic and consular representatives and members of the parliament of the Republic of Latvia;

20) to stop a means of transport and conduct an inspection of it if there is a basis to believe that the driver of the means of transport has violated the requirements of regulatory enactments regulating road traffic or the means of transport is being utilised for the committing of a violation of the law; to prohibit the use of a means of transport whose technical condition endangers the safety of transport movement; to suspend from driving a means of transport persons who are intoxicated with alcohol, under the influence of narcotics or other intoxicating substances, as well as persons who do not have documents for the use of the specific means of transport or a driver's licence for the relevant category of the means of transport; to convey a means of transport to a police institution for the performance of a necessary examination if a search for it has been declared or there are grounds to suspect that the registration documents, State registration number or the vehicle identification number of the means of transport have been unlawfully changed or forged, or there is not any means of transport registration or ownership rights verification documents and otherwise it is not possible to determine the legality of the use of the means of transport;

201) to remove and convey to a police institution a wrecked means of transport abandoned at the scene of a road traffic accident for a time until the circumstances of the matter are clarified;

21) to restrict or to prohibit repair and construction as well as performance of other work on streets and roads if the requirements regarding the guaranteeing of public safety and traffic safety are not being observed;

22) in order to prevent and disclose criminal offences in a timely manner, as well as for searching of persons, to conduct operative search measures in cases and in accordance with procedures prescribed by law, also by involving persons in undercover collaboration;

23) in order to prevent and disclose an economic criminal offence, if there is sufficient basis to believe that such a criminal offence is being prepared or has been carried out:

to check the legality of the acquisition of property of institutions, private law legal persons and unions of persons and the safety of storing such in production, transport and marketing facilities; for such purpose visit institutions, private law legal persons and unions of persons and together with the owner, his or her representatives or authorised persons, but, if they evade, together with representatives of the local government inspect the production facilities, warehouses, sales and other service premises and territories, as well as means of transport; check documents of officials, financially liable persons and freight carriers regarding financial and other valuable items and, if necessary, in the presence of such persons, compare the conformity of goods, raw materials, partially processed and finished products found in warehouses, production and other facilities and in transport vehicles, with their documentation, as well as to request from such persons explanations in cases if the law has been violated; to request the necessary documents, to make control purchases, to take samples of raw materials, partially processed and finished products; until the commencement of inventory taking, removal of documents or performance of an inspection, to seal the cash office facilities, as well as places where documents, money, goods and materially valuable items are kept, and to carry out other measures in order to ensure the preservation of such;

to conduct an inspection in order to determine how the consumer protection norms and regulations are being observed in the production, storage, transport and sale of consumer goods as well as in the provision of consumer services;

to require of the relevant officials an inventory, audit or inspection of the production, financial and commercial activities of institutions, private law legal persons and unions of persons, with the participation of economic specialists in such measures;

24) to remove objects, articles and substances, the manufacture, acquisition, storage or sale of which is prohibited by law or which are being stored without a permit, if according to law such is required, as well as to remove documents with indications of falsification;

25) [14 April 2005]

26) in urgent cases, with the consent of the driver of the means of transport, to utilise means of transport belonging to institutions, private law legal persons and unions of persons (except the means of transport of foreign diplomatic, consular and other representation offices and international organisations, as well as specialised means of transport) to drive to the site of the incident or to convey persons to medical treatment institutions, if such persons require urgent medical assistance, as well as the pursuit of persons who have committed crimes, and the emergency conveyance of arrested persons to a police institution;

27) without payment therefor, to utilise electronic communications facilities belonging to State and local government institutions for service requirements;

28) without payment therefor, to utilise State and local government means of mass communication in order to ascertain the circumstances for the committing of a criminal offence and the persons who committed such, search for criminals and missing persons, as well as to carry out crime prevention measures;

29) announce and pay a reward to any person for assistance in disclosing a criminal offence and in arresting persons who have committed crimes;

30) in accordance with procedures prescribed by law, arrest and hold under guard persons to whom compulsory expulsion from the State is being applied or may be applied;

31) within the scope of their competence, to receive free of charge form State and local government institutions and officials necessary information and documents; and

32) stop a recreation vessel and make an inspection if there is reason to believe that the driver has violated the regulations regarding water traffic safety in internal waters; perform an examination if it is determined that a search for the vessel or the motor thereof has been declared, or there are justified suspicions that the identification number of the vessel, the motor number, registration documents or the drivers licence of the person have been forged; to remove from driving of a recreation vessel a person who is under the influence of alcohol, narcotic, psychotropic, toxic and other intoxicating substances or also speed of reaction and attention reducing medicaments or has such a level of illness or tiredness that it may influence the ability to work of the driver and water traffic safety; remove from driving of a recreation vessel a person who does not have documents, which certify the registration of the vessel (if the relevant vessel needs to be registered), or a drivers licence for the relevant vessel (if such is necessary); prohibit the utilisation of a recreation vessel, which is not in running order, is not equipped with the necessary equipment and life-saving appliances, as well as recreation vessels that it is necessary to register and which do not have in the place indicated for this purpose the State registration number signs or name; if necessary convey the recreation vessel to the nearest quayside intended for recreation vessels if it is determined that the driver of the vessel have not observed the regulations regarding water traffic safety in internal waters.

[13 October 2005]

The Cabinet shall determine the procedures by which a means of transport is conveyed to a police institution for examination, is stored and returned to the owner, as well as the time period for the performance the examination of the means of transport.

The Cabinet shall determine the procedures by which observation of public places is to be carried out using technical means, as well as the regulations for storage and publication of the data obtained as a result of such observation.

[5 December 1996; 20 March 1997; 15 June 2000; 4 October 2001; 6 December 2001; 27 May 2004; 14 April 2005; 13 October 2005; 15 June 2006; 14 September 2006; 12 June 2008]

Section 13. Rights of Police Officers to Use Physical Force, Special Means, Special Vehicles, Use Service Dogs and Horses and Place Detained Persons at Places of Temporary Keeping

Police officer, in performing his or her office duties, has the right to use physical force, special fighting techniques, special means (chemical substances, objects or mechanisms intended for self-protection or ensuring of public order and security, but which are not weapons) and special vehicles, use service dogs and horses, as well as to place detained persons at places of temporary keeping and in vehicles intended for such reasons, but in exceptional cases, if there is a large number of detained persons, also at places of temporary keeping confined temporarily, in order to:

1) repel an attack on persons, police officers and persons who are performing their duties of service in guaranteeing public safety and in the fight against crime;

2) repel an attack on buildings, premises, structures and means of transport regardless of their ownership, or free facilities occupied by armed persons;

3) free hostages;

4) prevent mass disorder and group violations of public order;

5) arrest and convey persons violating the law to a police institution, as well as restrain arrested, detained and convicted persons if such persons do not submit to or resist police officers, or if there is reason to believe that such persons may escape or do harm to other persons nearby or themselves; and

6) stop intentionally wrongful resistance to lawful requests made by police officers or other persons performing service duties in guaranteeing public order or in the fight against crime.

The use of physical force, special fighting techniques, special means and special vehicles or the type and intensity of use of service dogs and horses, as well as the necessity to place persons at premises of temporary keeping, in a vehicle intended for such purpose or at place of temporary keeping confined temporarily shall be determined by taking into account the nature of a particular situation and individual characteristics of a person. In using physical force, special fighting techniques, special means and special vehicles or using service dogs and horses, the damage caused shall be restricted as much as possible, as well as provision of first aid shall be ensured for a victim, if it is necessary. If an injury is caused to a person or he or she is dead as a result of the use of physical force, special fighting techniques, special means and special vehicles or service dogs or horses, a police officer shall immediately notify the immediate supervisor who shall notify the relevant prosecutor's office regarding such fact.

It is prohibited to use special means (except handcuffs and means of tying), special fighting techniques and special vehicles, as well as use service dogs and horses, against women, against persons with obvious signs of disability and minors, except during mass disorders or violations of public order in group, as well as in cases when the lives or health of other persons are endangered or when armed resistance is made or armed attack is committed.

The types of special means the procedures for use of such means shall be determined by the Cabinet.

Prior to placement in premises of temporary keeping, in a vehicle intended for such purpose or at a place of temporary keeping confined temporarily a person shall be searched by a police officer of the same sex, examining the objects present at a person and seeing over a person visually in order to take objects which may be used for attack to police officers or with which it is possible to commit bodily injuries to other people or to him or herself.

The Cabinet shall determine the procedures by which persons are placed and kept at premises of temporary keeping, in a vehicle intended for such purpose, as well as at places of temporary keeping confined temporarily and the requirements for equipment of vehicles intended for such purpose and places of temporary keeping confined temporarily.

[12 June 2008]

Section 14. The Right of Police Officers to Use Firearms

Shooting on purpose shall be deemed to be use of a firearm.

A police officer has the right on a continuing basis to keep and carry a firearm issued to him or her for use in the line of duty. The Minister for the Interior of the Republic of Latvia shall determine the regulations and procedures with respect to keeping and carrying a firearm issued to a police officer.

A police officer is entitled to use a firearm in an absolute emergency in order to:

1) defend other persons and him or herself from attack that actually endangers life or may do harm to health, or to avert an attempt to obtain a firearm by force;

2) free hostages;

3) repel a group or armed attack on police officers or other persons who are performing the duties of the service in guaranteeing public safety and fighting crime;

4) repel a group or armed attack on facilities, premises, structures, institutions, private legal persons and unions of persons that are to be guarded;

5) arrest a person who is showing armed resistance or who is surprised in the act of committing a serious or an especially serious crime or has escaped from detention, or arrest an armed person who refuses to comply with a lawful request to hand over a weapon or explosives;

6) stop a means of transport, damaging it, if its driver through his or her actions is creating actual danger to the life or health of persons and does not submit to the request of a police officer to stop the means of transport and if there is no other way to arrest the driver; or

7) render harmless an animal that endangers the life or health of a person.

A police officer also has the right to use a firearm to give a warning signal or to summon help.

Before using a firearm a warning of intent to do so must be given. If necessary, a warning shot may also be fired.

A firearm may be used without warning if:

an attack is sudden or weapons, military equipment, or any type of mechanical means of transport is used in the attack;

such is necessary to free hostages;

an escape from detention is in progress with the use of a weapon or a means of transport, or detainees are escaping from a means of transport while in motion.

It is prohibited to use and make use of firearms at locations where as a result of such use other persons may be injured; also, it is prohibited to use firearms against women and minors except in cases when they are executing an armed attack, show armed resistance, or by means of a group attack endanger the lives of other persons or police officers.

A police officer has the right to take out a firearm and prepare it for shooting if the officer believes that in the specific situation its use or utilisation is not ruled out. If the arrested person on purpose makes sudden movements or other dangerous actions which the police officer may interpret as attempted violence, attempts to approach the police officer closer than the distance indicated by the officer, the police officer has the right to use a firearm in conformity with this Law.

In all cases of use and utilisation of firearms the police officer must do all in his or her power in order to guarantee the safety of others and to provide any necessary first aid. For each incident of firearm use, the responsible official at the police institution shall without delay notify the prosecutor

[15 June 2000; 13 October 2005; 12 June 2008]

Chapter IV
Organisational Structure of the Police, Competence of Police Institutions, and Division of Responsibilities

Section 15. Organisational Structure of the Police and Jurisdiction

The police comprise the State Police, the Security Police and local government police.

The State Police and the Security Police each within its competence shall perform their duties throughout the whole territory of the Republic of Latvia; the local government police - within the relevant administrative territory.

The State Police and the Security Police are institutions under the supervision of the Minister for the Interior.

[15 June 2006]

The local government police are incorporated in the relevant local government, but with respect to questions of the organisation of work, co-operate with the State Police

[15 June 2000; 14 April 2005]

Section 16. The State Police

The State Police comprise the central headquarters and organisational units subordinate to it.

The State Police shall have its own flag. The State Police organisational units may have their own flags.

[20 March 1997; 13 May 1999]

Section 17. Civil Police [15 June 2006]

[15 June 2006]

Section 18. Criminal Police [15 June 2006]

[15 June 2006]

Section 19. Local Government Police

Local governments may form local government police.

The duties of local government police include:

1) prevention of violations of the law;

2) provision of social rehabilitation assistance to persons who have been released from institutions of deprivation of freedom or of restriction of liberty, or who are under treatment for alcohol, narcotic, psychotropic or toxic substances addiction;

3) guarding and conveyance of persons arrested and under administrative arrest for administrative violations;

4) control of how regulations approved by the local government are being observed, for the violation of which administrative sanctions are prescribed, as well as the imposing and collection of fines regarding such violations; and

5) support of the State Police and Security Police in the guaranteeing of public safety and the fighting of crime.

If a local government does not form its own police, the State Police shall perform the measures referred to in Clauses 1-4 of this Section.

If information is received concerning a violation of the law being prepared or carried out and the examination of which is within the competence of the State Police, the local government police shall carry out the necessary measures to prevent such, to arrest the violator, to guard the site of the incident and to inform the relevant State Police institution (official) without delay, as well as to hand over the person doing the violation of the law and relevant documents regarding the violator. The instructions of the State Police official shall be binding on officers of the local government police regarding such issues.

The relevant local government shall determine the number of local government police officers. The local government police may comprise its chief, his or her deputies, senior inspectors, inspectors and junior inspectors, as well as senior civil officers, civil officers and junior civil officers. Local government police officers shall perform their duties in uniforms of a common type approved by the Minister for the Interior.

The local government police officer within its competence has all the rights referred to in Clauses 1-6, 8-12, 14.1 15, 17, 20, 21, 24, 26-28 and 32 of Section 12 of this Law, upon occurring of conditions referred to in Section 13 of this Law to use physical force, special fighting techniques, special means, as well as the right to place persons at premises of temporary keeping and in vehicles intended for such purpose, but in exceptional case, if there is a large number of arrested persons, also at places of temporary keeping confined temporarily.

Special means which the local government police officers have the right to use, as well as the procedures for use of these special means shall be determined by the Cabinet.

Local government police officers have the right to use firearms in accordance with the procedures specified and in the situations provided for in Section 14 of this Law.

The Cabinet shall approve the model regulations for local government police.

[1 September 1992; 8 June 1994; 20 March 1997; 13 May 1999; 15 June 2000; 27 May 2004; 15 June 2006; 14 September 2006; 12 June 2008]

Section 20. Competence of the State Police Central Headquarters and Subordinate Units Subject to It

[15 June 2006]

Section 21. Procedures by which Local Government Police Officers are Appointed to and Removed from Office

The chief and deputy chiefs of local government police shall be appointed to office by the relevant city council after consent from the Minister for the Interior has been received. The chief or deputy chiefs of local government police shall be removed from office by the relevant city council on their own initiative or pursuant to a request of the Minister for the Interior, which the council must examine within seven days.

The chairperson of the city council has the right, up to the day that the relevant city council examines the issue of the removal from office of the local government police chief or the deputy chief, to suspend the referred to officials from performing their duties of office.

[4 December 2008]

Chapter V
Legal Protection, Work Guarantees and Liability of Police Officers

Section 22. Legal Protection of Police Officers

A police officer is a representative of State authority and all persons must obey the lawful requests and orders that he or she has issued or made in fulfilment of service duties. Non-compliance with the lawful requests of a police officer is punishable. A police officer is under the protection of the State; the honour and dignity of a police officer is protected by the State. Infringement of the honour of a police officer, resisting a police officer, endangering the life or health of a police officer, as well as actions that interfere with the performance of the duties of office shall be punished in accordance with procedures prescribed by the laws of the Republic of Latvia.

A police officer shall not be liable for economic and physical harm done, within the scope of authority of the service, to a person violating the law who does not submit or resists at the moment of arrest.

The requests of a police officer are compulsory and actions are binding on all persons until the official who is authorised to control or supervise the operations of the officer suspends or revokes such operations.

Section 23. Guarantees with respect to the Operations of Police Officers

A police officer in performing his or her duties is subordinate to his or her immediate supervisor and to more senior supervisors. If a police officer has received a command or order of a supervisor that is contrary to law, the officer shall observe the requirements of the law.

A police officer shall not be bound by orders and decisions of parties and other socio-political organisations and movements or their representatives.

Interference with the operations of the police by parties and other socio-political organisations and movements or their representatives is prohibited.

An action of a police officer in a justified professional risk situation shall not be considered a violation of the law, even if in such action there are elements of an offence which is subject to disciplinary, administrative, financial or criminal liability. A professional risk shall be considered justified if the police officer has acted in accordance with information available to him or her regarding the facts and circumstances and a lawful objective was not achievable without operations involving risk, and if the officer in assuming the risk has done everything possible to prevent potential harm.

[15 June 2006]

The police officer union does not have the right to declare strikes. A police officer has the right to appeal to a court the decisions regarding him or her taken by officials of the police and the Ministry of the Interior institutions if the officer believes that such decisions unjustifiably restrict his or her rights or authority or injure his or her dignity. To satisfy their needs for culture and sport, police officers may form societies and clubs the activities of which are regulated by articles of association adopted and registered in accordance with procedures prescribed by law.

[19 December 2002]

[15 June 2006]

[15 June 2006]

[15 June 2006]

[15 June 2006]

[15 June 2006]

[15 June 2006]

[20 March 1997; 4 October 2001; 20 June 2002; 16 December 2004; 14 April 2005; 13 October 2005; 15 June 2006]

Section 24. Provision of a Flat and Telephone for Police Officers

The State Police and Security Police have a right to buy residential houses or separate flats, as well to build residential houses for the needs of police officers of the State Police and Security Police.

Local governments on the basis of a request from State Police or Security Police institutions may ensure for police officers of the State Police and Security Police who have been transferred for the needs of the service to another populated area with a dwelling space near the place of service.

[15 June 2006]

[24 October 2002; 15 June 2006]

Section 25. Granting of Other Guarantees to Police Officers

[15 June 2006]

Section 26. Working Hours and Remuneration for Police Officers

[15 June 2006]

Section 27. Liability of Police Officers

A police officer shall be liable for an illegal action in accordance with the procedures specified in regulatory enactments.

A police officer shall not perform or support any activity related to torture or other cruel, inhuman or demeaning treatment or punishment. No police officer may refer to an order from a superior or such exceptional circumstances as a state of war or threat of war, threat to national security, internal political instability of the State or emergency circumstances, in order to justify torture or other cruel, inhuman or demeaning treatment or punishment.

Knowingly carrying out an illegal command or order shall not relieve a police officer from liability.

A police officer shall serve a criminal sentence in accordance with general provisions, but segregated from other convicts.

A police officer shall be held administratively liable for administrative violations in accordance with the procedures prescribed by law.

A person according to the procedures specified in the regulatory enactments regulating administrative procedure may dispute an administrative act issued by a police officer and his or her actual actions.

[4 October 2001; 14 April 2005]

Chapter VI
Service in the State Police

[15 June 2006]

Section 28. Police Personnel

[15 June 2006]

Section 29. Oath of Police Officers

[15 June 2006]

Section 30. Assistants to Police Officers

[15 June 2006]

Section 31. Employment and Removal of Police Officers from the Service. Procedures and Regulations of Performance of Service

[15 June 2006]

Section 32. Uniform of Police Officers

[15 June 2006]

Section 33. Inducements and Liability of Police Officers

[15 June 2006]

Chapter VII
Financing Of Police Activities and Supply of Material and Technical Facilities

Section 34. Financing of the State Police

The financial resources of the State Police shall be formed from:

1) grants from general revenue of the State budget;

2) own income obtained from entering into contracts with legal persons and natural persons.

[20 march 1997; 23 October 1997; 4 November 1999; 14 April 2005]

Section 35. Supply of Materials and Technical Facilities for the State Police and Security Police

The norms on the basis of which the State Police and the Security Police shall be ensured with technical facilities, means of communication, armaments, special equipment, uniforms, computer equipment and software programs, means of transport and the necessary funds for the exploitation thereof shall be determined by the Cabinet of the Republic of Latvia.

[14 April 2005]

Section 36. Provision of Service Premises for the State Police

The State Police structural units located in rail, air and water transport State capital companies shall be provided with premises by the relevant State capital company, which shall cover the expenditures for the exploitation of the premises.

[13 October 2005]

Section 37. Financing and Supply of Material and Technical Facilities of Local Government Police

Local police institutions and subordinate units shall be financed from local government resources, but their supply of material and technical facilities shall be provided by local government institutions and the Ministry of the Interior of the Republic of Latvia from local government resources.

Chapter VIII
Control and Supervision of Police Activities

Section 38. Control of Police Operations

The operations of the police shall be under the control of the Cabinet, the Minister for the Interior and local government institutions, within the scope of their competence.

[5 December 1996]

Section 39. Supervision Regarding Observance of the Law in Police Operations

The Prosecutor General of the Republic of Latvia and prosecutors subordinate to him or her shall carry out supervision regarding observance of the law in police operations.

Transitional Provision

Unpaid leave allowances for 2005 shall be paid out within the scope of the State budget funds granted for this purpose.

[15 June 2006]

Chairperson of the Supreme Council
of the Republic of Latvia A. Gorbunovs

Secretary of the Supreme Council
of the Republic of Latvia I. Daudišs

Rīga, 4 June 1991

Transitional Provisions Regarding Amendments
to the Law On Police

Transitional Provision

(regarding amending law of 20 June 2002)

Section 4 of this Law shall come into force simultaneously with the law regarding the Prisons Administration.

Transitional Provision

(regarding amending law of 29 May 2003)

With the coming into force of this Law, Cabinet Regulation No. 572, Amendments to the Law On Police (Latvijas Republikas Saeimas un Ministru Kabineta Ziņotājs, 2003, No. 6) issued in accordance with Article 81 of the Constitution of the Republic of Latvia is repealed.

Transitional Provision

(regarding amending law of 14 April 2005)

Section 5 of this Law shall come into force on 1 January 2006.

Transitional Provision

(regarding amending law of 14 September 2006)

This Law shall come into force on 1 May 2007.

Transitional Provision

(regarding amending law of 12 June 2008)

Section 3 and 5 of this Law shall come into force on 1 September 2008.

Transitional Provision

(regarding amending law of 4 December 2008)

This Law shall come into force on 1 July 2009.

 


Translation © 2010 Valsts valodas centrs (State Language Centre)

 
Document information
Status:
In force
in force
Issuer: Supreme Council Type: law Adoption: 04.06.1991.Entry into force: 04.06.1991.Theme:  State security and protectionPublication: "Ziņotājs", 31/32, 15.08.1991., "Diena", 126, 05.07.1991.
Language:
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