Czech police assist on Croatian coast

Croatian together with Czech policemen, photo: www.CT24.cz

Croatia’s Dalmatian coast has long been the number one destination for Czech tourists during the summer months and as a result, three years ago, the Croatian government offered Czech police the opportunity to cooperate in key areas. Although they have no authority on their own and do not carry firearms, they are able to assist their Croatian counterparts in communication with Czech tourists in cases of theft or in traffic accidents.

Croatian together with Czech policemen, photo: www.CT24.cz
A little earlier I spoke to Tomio Okamura, vice-president of the Czech Association of Tour Operators and Travel Agencies, and asked him how he saw the situation:

“There were 814,000 Czech tourists in Croatia last year, which means that it is the Czechs’ most popular summer destination. Given the high number, it is not surprising that there are also some accidents or incidents requiring assistance, so the fact that Czech police are available in areas is very helpful. And we can say that cooperation has been very good. If Czech police can cooperate with local police it can be very useful to quickly solve problems and naturally we welcome this arrangement wholeheartedly.”

To your knowledge does any similar such service exist anywhere else?

“I am sure that there is no other country that would have such cooperation with Czech policemen on the spot. But there is no other country that sees so many Czech vacationers. The number 2 destination as you may know is Slovakia, so there are obviously no problems for Czechs to communicate there: Czechs and Slovaks understand each other very well. No. 3 is Italy but Italy sees only a third of the number that travel to the Dalmatian coast. If it is necessary for there to be extra assistance for Czech tourists than it is Croatia.”

Although it has been running for some time now, some tourists may not be aware of the arrangement: do you think it comes as a surprise to them?

“It might come as a bit of a surprise to some but from my information most welcome the situation. In the past, to put it diplomatically, communication with Croatian police wasn’t always easy and it’s better now. I think most of us understand this is an extra service for us, for Czech police to assist local policemen when it comes to controls or help for our tourists.”