Rumours have it that Bratislava's only department of the foreigners’ police, situated in the middle of Bratislava’s Petržalka borough, will relocate. The move, however, has been postponed, and though the Interior Ministry now talks about dates for launching reconstruction of the new building, it is not clear when the relocation will actually take place.
“I don’t understand why the foreigners’ police office needs to be a police station,” Jeff Kirk, a DJ and English teacher from the USA living in Slovakia since 2011, told The Slovak Spectator, adding that it looks really menacing and dangerous.
The building is supposed to be an immigration office, but it is fortified and looks ready for a war, he added.
The department of the Office of Border and Alien Police – which is the official English name of the immigration office, but is more commonly known as the foreigners’ police – is currently located on Hrobákova Street. It has been repeatedly criticised by its clients, foreigners moving to Slovakia, mostly due to, but not only, long waiting times.
Police officers are also not keen on working at the premises due to the current conditions at the building, Ivan Hambálek, deputy head of the Office of Border and Alien Police, admitted for The Slovak Spectator.
New building in Vajnory?
The problems remain despite the extensive reconstruction of the building three years ago. At the time, the department was divided into two parts: the one dealing with citizens of the European Economic Area, and the one for the so-called third-country nationals.
Kirk, however, says that last time he visited the department for third-country nationals, several kiosks were not working.
Since the number of clients is expected to continue growing in the coming years, the Office of Border and Alien Police plans to move to bigger, more modern and more comfortable offices in Bratislava, Hambálek said.
“We have already prepared the project that deals with the relocation of the department to the new building in Vajnory,” the press department of the Interior Ministry told The Slovak Spectator.
Construction work on the interior, exterior and the adjacent premises are expected to start this year. The ministry also predicts they will be completed by the end of the year.
It, however, has not specified a date for moving to the new premises. The fact is that the move has been postponed repeatedly, and even Hambálek admitted they already found a building in Vajnory three years ago.
Just a single workplace
Currently, there are 12 foreigners’ police departments, with the one on Hrobáková Street dealing solely with foreigners living in the city of Bratislava.
The fact is that most complaints concern the Bratislava-based department, also because most of the country's foreigners live in the capital. Hambálek would welcome creating more workplaces to deal with the agenda.
The ministry, however, does not plan to do so. The new building should take all the current problems into account and secure the problem-free operation of the department.
“Thus, we don’t plan to open a new alien police workplace in Bratislava Region,” the ministry’s press department said.
1. Mar 2017 at 15:32 | Radka Minarechová