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Seminar: Conventional Crime in Bulgaria 2007-2008. The Use of Good Practices in the Monitoring of Justice and Home Affairs
On May 20 2009 the Center for the Study of Democracy organized a seminar dedicated to the problems of conventional crime.

Dr. Ognian Shentov, Chairman of the Center for the Study of Democracy made the opening remarks by emphasizing the importance of presenting data on the actual number of crime victims.

Mr. Tihomir Bezlov, Senior Analyst at the Center for the Study of Democracy, made a presentation on the dynamics of conventional crime in Bulgaria during the 2007-2008 period. He offered an analysis of the National Crime Survey results and compared them to official police statistics. The survey was carried out for the sixth time according to the methodology of UNICRI in the International Crime Victimization Survey (ICVS) and the EU International Crime Survey (EUICS).

Mr. Bezlov outlined the reasons for the discrepancies between official statistics and the results of victimization surveys and elucidated various factors influencing the dynamics of conventional crime. He pointed out that Bulgarian citizens have been reporting crimes less frequently in recent years and that reporting rates are lower compared to other EU countries. In order for this to change, the police should increase its internal controls and its efforts should be focused on enhancing Bulgarian society's confidence in the police. He also noted that the current recession will generate tension, which will consequently negatively influence crime levels.

Mr. Pavlin Dimitrov, Chief Commissioner of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, presented the standpoint of the Ministry and outlined the practical measures taken and the results achieved in fighting conventional crime. He stressed that government policy should focus on preventive measures, as well as on enhansing the qualification and motivation of Ministry of Internal Affairs employees. He also thanked the Center for the Study of Democracy for the fruitful partnership and pointed out that the availability of unbiased statistical data on crime is beneficial both to the Ministry of Internal Affairs and society at large.

During the discussion that followed, the participants focused on possible ways of countering crime and increasing crime reporting rates. They highlighted the need to modernize law enforcement in the country. The participants voiced their concern that some of the trends presented may be early early signs pointing to the existence of significant problems within the economy.

Agenda (Adobe PDF, 53 KB)
Presentation: National Crime Survey (MS Power Point, 1.9 MB, in Bulgarian), Mr. Tihomir Bezlov, Senior Analyst at the Center for the Study of Democracy
Presentation: Crime Trends in Bulgaria for the Period 2007 – 2008, Mr. Pavlin Dimitrov, Chief Commissar of the Ministry of Interior (MS Power Point, 7.8 MB, in Bulgarian)
National Crime Survey 2009. Results and Trends (Adobe PDF, 210 КВ, in Bulgarian)
Media Coverage (in Bulgarian)
Media Coverage (International)
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