Policing Sofia

From centralisation to decentralisation

authors Elke Devroe
  Manol Petrov
journal EJPS (ISSN: 2034-760X)
volume Volume 2
issue Issue 1: Policing European Metropolises – Guest Editors: Adam Edwards, Paul Ponsaers, Amadeu Recasens i Brunet, Antoinette Verhage
section Articles
date of publication Sept. 8, 2014
language English
pagina 30
keywords plural policing, public and private police, governance of crime and disorder

In this article, which is embedded in the special issue of the Journal which focuses on the comparative research project ‘Policing European Metropolises’, the general aim is to provide an answer to the research question: ‘Are underlying Anglo-American assumptions regarding trends towards plural policing recognisable in European local geographical settings’? Our underlying question in this article concerns whether or not the local empirical situation in Sofia differs from more general evolutions of policing in Europe. This article will inquire specifically about the (national) influence of a ‘country in transition’ (Bulgaria) on the territory of the city of Sofia. For reasons of feasibility the article is limited to an exploration of the organisation of Bulgarian police. The following main questions are answered in this article: (1) What is the nature of the division between the national police apparatus and local policing bodies?, (2) Are tendencies towards fragmentation and centralisation determined at the same time? and (3) Are tendencies towards private governance present within the public domain? Answering these questions requires an exploration of the historical and contextual background, so that insight into the related Bulgarian realities, particularly those of Sofia, might be gained. This article explores the official arrangements regarding the policing of crime and disorder in Sofia; it is based on desktop research, mostly internal research from the Ministry of the Interior. In the concluding section, the article summarises the different aspects of policing security in Sofia, framing the reality of this city within the article’s theoretical starting points regarding security governance and plural policing.