|On 15 April 2009 the Center for the Study of Democracy organized a seminar on the effectiveness of the police. Mr. Chavdar Chervenkov and Mr. Tihomir Bezlov, CSD Senior Experts were the key speakers at the event.
During the introduction, Mr. Chervenkov highlighted the need for reform at the Ministry of Interior, as well as the need to boost its financial resources. This should help achieve more effective law enforcement in the country. He stressed that there is a need for a transformation of citizens’ perception of the police – they should come to view the police not as a repressive institution but as an institution that works for the good of society and serves in the interests of security. “Civil society should become a consumer and not a passive receiver of security” he said. He also explained that a new integrated strategy for maintaining public order should be adopted and that the government should increase the budget of the Ministry of Interior. In the second part of the presentation he emphasized the “Police Proximity to the Public” model and the “Stop and search” project, the purpose of which is the introduction of new report cards for monitoring police offers' work. These reports will provide transparency and will ultimately contribute to better serving society's needs. He also stressed that the main difficulties in implementing the “Police Proximity to the Public” model are the lack of adequate legal framework and the financial insecurity of the Ministry of Interior.
In his speech, Mr. Bezlov presented the results of the 2009 National Crime Survey . He explained that there are considerable discrepancies in statistical data on the number of crimes recorded by the police and their actual number.
Mr. Veselin Vouchkov, doctor of law and Ministry of Interior official, took part in the discussion that followed. He insisted that the legal framework on investigations needs updating and that police and judicial crime statistics should be synchronized. Mr. Dinko Kunchev, a at “Bulgarian Lawyers for Human Rights” Foundation lawyer emphasized the need to modernize the Unified Information System for Crimes. Dr. Ognian Shentov, CSD Chairman, pointed out that a unified approach to the distribution of the budget between the Ministry of Interior and the Ministry of Defence should be developed. This will constitute an important step towards building an integrated model for internal and external security as well as a measure towards increasing the effectiveness of the two ministries.
Agenda (Adobe PDF, 160 KB, in Bulgarian)
Presentation: For Modern and Effective Police Activity (MS Power Point, 736 KB)