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Official Launch of the National Crime Prevention Commission
On 17 June 2005 the Center for the Study of Democracy hosted the launch of the National Crime Prevention Commission established by a Council of Ministers decision of 16 June 2005.

The Commission, which brings together public institutions and non-governmental organizations, will meet the need of wider community participation in tackling crime. Its task will be to identify crime trends and find effective remedies to the proliferation of crime in everyday life. The Commission will give priority to improving coordination between all stakeholders, developing new prevention initiatives and awareness-raising and advocacy campaigns aiming to alleviate the negative impact of crime on community life.

The Commission was presented by Mr. Boyko Kotzev, Deputy Minister of Interior (MoI), Mr. Dikran Tebeyan, Deputy Chairman of the Bulgarian Industrial Association (BIA) and Ms. Valentina Zartova, legal advisor at the Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCA).

In his opening remarks, the Center’s Program Director Mr. Boyko Todorov emphasized that the new Commission should focus on presenting security problems as a shared concern of the entire society. The newly established body will rely on the vital interaction between state institutions and civil society while similar previously set up public-private anti-crime structures will find national representation through this Commission.

Mr. Boyko Kotzev called the Commission’s establishment „a major step forward” in crime counteraction due to the inclusion of NGO and business representatives essential to achieving permanent results. The commission is also integral to Bulgaria’s efforts to join the EU where crime prevention initiatives are abundant. Mr. Kotzev underlined the importance of the cooperation between business organizations and the MoI in crime prevention and gave examples of such successful joint undertakings in Bulgaria and the EU.

Mr. Dikran Tabeyan, Deputy Chairman of the BIA, spoke about the relatedness of crime prevention to the Bulgaria’s overall economic and social policy. He identified several areas where business could contribute to the Commission’s activities: through transfer of certain administrative functions from state bodies to the business sector, through stepping-up one-stop-shop servicing and through enhancing transparency in public procurement. Mr. Tabeyan also focused on the need to provide vocational training and employment for disadvantaged young people who have dropped out from the educational system and to reduce unemployment among the Roma population.

Ms. Valentina Zartova, legal advisor at the BCCI, defined the commission as „the best sustainable model of crime prevention so far”. She claimed that because of the global increase in crime, prevention should become a common concern which goes beyond the state-run criminal justice system. She stressed the importance of the media which have the crucial role of informing society on these issues. The BCCI will be the Commission member to develop a Crime Prevention Strategy, draw the terms of partnership between the municipalities and offer strategic measures to reduce child and youth crime.

About the National Crime Prevention Commission
Media coverage (in Bulgarian)
Council of Ministers' regulation for the establishment of the Commission (in Bulgarian)
Crime Trends in Bulgaria: Police Statistics and Victimization Surveys
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