Bulgaria's Crime Rate Down 1.4% in 2013, Car Thefts Up 13%
In 2013, the crime rate fell by 1.4% on an annual basis, according to Bulgaria's Interior Minister Tsvetlin Yovchev.
Speaking Friday in Parliament, he noted that auto thefts had increased by 13%, despite the positive results.
He informed that a total of 115 942 crimes had been registered in 2013, compared to 117 601 in 2012.
"The increase in car thefts was identified as one of the main problems for the police," Yovchev declared, adding that police departments in different regions of the country would be given instructions on boosting the efficiency of counteracting crime.
Yovchev, as cited by dnevnik.bg, made clear that Sofia police would undergo structural and staff changes as part of an attempt to "build a systemic approach."
The issue of the increase in car thefts was brought up by Lyubomir Hristov, MP of center-right party GERB (Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria), who pointed out that the number of cars which had gone missing in 2013 had increased by nearly 400 in a year, despite the neutralization of two notorious car thieves.
He also insisted that the number of thieves who lived outside Sofia but came to the capital to steal cars and car parts had also increased.
Hristov accused Yovchev of using the resources of the Interior Ministry inefficiently, claiming that instead of combating household crime, police officers were concentrated at Bulgaria's border with Turkey and around the Parliament building, despite the fact that the number of anti-government protesters had dropped substantially.
Yovchev, in turn, assured that the number of police officers guarding the Parliament building in Sofia would be reduced as soon as the situation allowed it.
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