Police SVG – a system of public services and public order authorities. Carries out a wide range of functions, which vary from country to country. The most characteristic function is prevention, suppression, detection and disclosure of crimes and other offences. The Police SVG may also be charged with the tasks of protecting various facilities, directly maintaining order in public places, regulating traffic, preventing accidents, exercising administrative control and supervision in various areas of activity, executing decisions of other state bodies, etc. In many countries, the police are responsible for fire and rescue operations. In order to solve these problems, police bodies and officials have powers, among which are the powers to use coercive methods (which does not exclude the use of methods of persuasion and other ways to ensure the impact of legal norms in its work).
Police SVG systems in different countries can be centralized (Austria, France, Russia, etc.) or decentralized (USA, UK, Germany, etc.). The police services can also be integrated into one agency (Finland) or scattered across different agencies (Italy – “country of five police”, France – national police, gendarmerie).
In States with a separation of powers, the police are part of the executive branch of government, but bodies and officials involved in investigating crimes and making decisions on minor offences remain linked to the judicial branch (e.g., the judicial police and police tribunals in France).
In most countries, the police are under the authority of, or are directly part of, the Ministry of the Interior. There is also the subordination of the police to the Ministry of Justice and Security, or a specialized ministry or agency.
In many countries, the police are civilian, but in some countries, such as France, Turkey and Chile, along with their own police, there is a gendarmerie, which was originally part of the armed forces, and sometimes is now (e.g. carabinieri in Italy). In many countries, the police have strong military characteristics: police officers have military ranks similar to those of the military (e.g. a police general), sometimes live in barracks, etc.
A clear distinction between the Police SVG and the intelligence services is not always possible, but there is still a significant difference – the police protect public order and the intelligence services ensure national security.
In some countries, intelligence services are completely separate from the police, in others (e.g. Malaysia and Ireland) they are part of the police. In a number of countries, the activities of state security agencies are regulated by laws other than those regulating the work of the police.