Albania Looks for Answers to Rising Trend of Gun Violence – Balkan Insight


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Sotiraq Hroni, executive director of the Institute for Democracy and Mediation, a Tirana-based think-tank, said authorities should also be focusing on prevention, primarily by improving their own performance.

“What worries me is the spontaneous and formal reaction of the institutions,” he said. “I do not recall any occasion when there was agreement on instruments or approaches that would enable prevention. There is no other sustainable and effective solution than one that would increase the accountability of local institutions and their communication with citizens.”

“Various policies have been pursued for voluntary surrender or punishment for unlicensed weapons. But no one is surprised about the weapons being used. This does not mean that austerity policies should not be strengthened. But I think that in essence the citizens, especially in rural areas, justify to themselves carrying weapons due to the lack of trust in the institutions and the shortcomings in the implementation of the law.”

Addressing the Albanian parliament’s security committee in early December, the newly-appointed director of police, Gledis Nano, said that around 120 murder cases since 2014 remained unsolved.

“Not all murders can get resolved in record time even though there are expectations,” he said.

Karamuco said that precisely by solving murders and punishing the perpetrators, the police would help prevent others from occurring in future.

He said that some of the murders were linked to Albanian crime gangs that have taken root in others countries, particularly Western Europe, but were settling scores at home.

“When conflicts occur here, our police have no information about them,” Karamuco told BIRN.

“The police should be aware of all criminal constellations that are created by constant conflicts which have occurred. If they do not prevent the crime from happening, then they should engage to detect the perpetrators of the crime after it happens.”

“Prevention does not require weapons, does not require muscles or strong authority. It does not require repressive actions but it requires intelligence,” Karamuco said.

“Information is the basis, therefore it is called intelligence. Without information, our police will only collect shells.”

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