EFUS “Country profile” : Bulgaria

Last update : 06.08.2004
Population (31.12.2003): 7 801 273

1.Crime statistics

Crime rate (2001): 18,52 ‰
Main Offences (2001):
theft: 83 588
transport crimes: 8 541
robbery: 4069
frauds: 4003
intentional bodily injuries: 3237
Offenders (2002):
Total : 73 482
Minors percentage (< 18) : 13,7%
Women percentage : 9,3%
Foreigners percentage : 1,4%
More on crime stats
Prison population (26.11.2003): 9918 (127 per 100 000 inhabitants)
Prison capacity: 10 556
Age of criminal responsibility : 14
National victimisation survey :  Yes, carried out in April 2001

2. Safety and crime prevention (general)

Police forces : 24 604 (310 per 100 000 inhabitants)
Judicial system workforce: 1704 judges (22 per 100 000 inhabitants)
Private security forces: 1750 companies with 130 000 employees
Relevant NGO’s operating in the field of crime prevention:
Bulgarian Association of Criminology ; Bulgarian Gender Research Foundation ; Animus Association, Rehabilitation center for women, adolescents and children, survivors of violence ; Nadja Center, Sofia ; ACET – Assistance Center for Torture Survivors

3. Competence of State, regional and local authorities / Partnership structures

National Crime Prevention Council: Yes (Council for Criminological studies established in 2003)
National actions plans: National Strategy for Counteracting Crime (2002 -2005) ;«Information Campaign on Prevention of traffic in women and violence against women from Bulgaria» (1999-2000) ; National Anti-Corruption Strategy for Bulgaria (2001-2004) ; Law on Countering Trafficking in Human Beings (2003) ; Draft Law against domestic violence (2003) ; National Action Plan against Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children (2003) ; National Program “The children of Bulgaria” (2002) ; Draft Law on Combating Sport and Football Hooliganism (2003) ; National strategy on prevention and counteracting the antisocial behavior and the offences of minors and juveniles (2003)
Regional level of competence: no regional competence
Local authorities:
The Municipal Council approves regulations on ensuring and maintaining public order, the safety of traffic, the guarding of public and private property and the cleanness on the municipality’s territory.Local commissions on prevention of juvenile delinquency (7 to 15 members) and Local commissions on combating Trafficking in Human Beings (3 to 7 members) comprise representatives of the local administration responsible for education and health matters, representatives of social welfare authorities, of the police and NGOs as well as teachers, psychologists, lawyers, doctors, etc. A representative of the Regional Prosecutor’s Office participate in the sessions of the Local Commission. The Local Commission for the prevention of minor and juvenile delinquency and for Combating THB are chaired by the deputy-mayor.
Local anti-corruption coalitions have been initiated and co-operate in the “Open municipality” network launched by Coalition 2000, a private-public partnership structure.
Role of elected officials (city mayors):
The mayor is responsible for the preservation of public order and issues penal orders on its violation.

4.  Main Debates

  • Political crime and corruption
  • Organized crime and connected violence (contract killings, political implications)
  • Weaknesses in the activity of the judiciary and the police (corruption)
  • Violence during sport events (hooliganism, violent police action and citizen rights)
  • Domestic and sexual violence towards women
  • Rights of victims of violence and state obligation (compensation for victims, victim-offender mediation)