The coronavirus epidemic radically affected the social situation and some citizen rights had to be sacrificed for the purposes of preserving public welfare. Even though necessary and intended to protect the health and life of people, restrictions have been unpopular with the population.        

Among the many regular policing tasks, the police had to take on additional duties of enforcing  pandemic-related coronavirus containment restrictions. In this context, the core police duty is to make sure that national counter-covid-19 restrictions are complied with. In accordance with their powers, the police carry out their tasks in a lawful and professional way, and strive to achieve the legal objectives in the least intrusive way and with the least intrusive measures, while respecting the principle of proportionality. To this end, the police consistently communicate Covid-19 prevention recommendations and remind citizens to act responsibly and to comply with restrictions for common good, and, most importantly, for the purposes of protecting the most vulnerable groups. This approach does not differ from the way we usually do policing, such as when we remind people to adhere to the law and show solidarity with other citizens in road traffic situations, on ski slopes, in swimming areas or any other public order situation. It is only through compliance with legislation and regard for solidarity that the society can provide a safe living environment to each of its members.

It is our wish that even those individuals who are the most fervent opponents of restrictions would begin to act responsibly and that they would exercise freedom of expression in a way that does not adversely affect public health, security, and order, and that respects the boundaries of decent communication.   

No matter how hard we try to provide clarification on police action, items of incomplete and misleading information on police procedures and unjust sanctions against individuals are repeatedly disseminated, particularly by social networks (e.g. cases involving consumption of food in a public place, homeless people, identity checks carried out on protesters, police intervention at Metelkova and Rog zones, etc.). Such incidents are usually much more complex than the media tend to portray them. We wish to underline the fact that police check and review every such specific case, but often conclude that a sanction imposed on an individual depended on a number of background factors and circumstances unknown to the public.       

The same challenge arises when undeclared and prohibited public protests take place. All public order policing is based on detailed preliminary risk assessments, careful planning of police action and previous experience in public assembly events. Although police officers have an understanding of people's frustration, policing protests is still their job duty. When incidents and police actions are viewed out of context, the risk of misinterpreting police work in public and undeservedly labelling it as biased is very high.

As history has proven, police officers have always carried out their duties with great regard for ethics, tolerance, correctness, professionalism, and according to law. This has always been our single guiding principle. No matter what has happened, we have always protected those whose health or lives have been put in harm’s way because of those who acted irresponsibly or arrogantly, and we shall continue to do so in the future. We have always helped people in distress and we shall continue to do so. When joining police ranks, we made a pledge to serve the people. Yet, sometimes helping one person entails acting against another person. This dichotomy is inevitable yet logical, and we get »punished« for it in public all too often. Can police stop tragic accidents without removing drunk drivers? Can police protect property without stopping criminals? How can police ensure a safe living environment if they cannot ask for Covid restrictions to be followed? It is not unimportant to note that the police cannot be selective about which valid restrictions to enforce and monitor and which not to. But we guarantee that every person can exercise his or her rights, including the right to file a police complaint or initiate a constitutional review of legislative acts and ordinances.             

There is one permanent objective of police work that never changes: to protect people’s lives, health and property. This was our guidance before the epidemic, this is our guidance for today and for the future. We believe that the epidemic will eventually pass and that time will show again – as it has shown throughout the history of our independent state – that Slovenia's police serve the people and the people only.