Bulgaria to Appoint 3000 New Police Officers
Bulgaria's outgoing Interior Minister Rumyana Bachvarova has said as many as 3000 police officers will be appointed by the end of the year as part of government plans to crack down on petty crime.
Former police and military officers' ranks will be used to recruit the staff, she has told the Bulgarian National Television.
But she has warned even this particular number will not be enough to put into practice outgoing Prime Minister Boyko Borisov's idea to station a police patrol in every Bulgarian village.
Other measures will also be implemented such as large-scale video surveillance and "panic buttons" in some areas of villages that residents may use to call police, according to Bachvarova.
Authorities have also worked to revive municipal commissions fighting petty crime in all municipalities. The commissions include social services, tax officers and education inspectors.
Petty crime in rural areas has been a daunting program in Bulgaria since the communist regime, whose security and law enforcement services used fear and repressive tactics to maintain order, began dismantling itself in the 1990s.
Bachvarova has pointed to "lack of continuity" in policies to explain why successive administrations have failed to provide any solutions for more than 27 years.
As many as 1700 migrants from third countries were expelled from the country last year, Bachvarova has said. Earlier Interior Ministry data put the number at 1410.
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