Crisis triples crime rates in Bulgaria: study Focus - 2009/5/25
Sofia. The economic crisis has helped triple crime rates in Bulgaria and the trend is likely to worsen over the coming months, a study by the independent Centre for the Study of Democracy showed Wednesday, AFP informed.
"The number of victims of crime has trebled in January and February compared with the first two months of last year," said centre analyst Tihomir Bezlov.
Bezlov said this trend matched previous rises in crime during Bulgaria's two post-communist crises - in 1990-1992 when prices were liberalised and in 1996-1997 when 14 banks went bankrupt and a period of hyperinflation followed.
Asked about the findings, interior ministry chief of staff Pavlin Dimitrov said "thefts and burglaries accompany economic crises," adding that groups seen as most likely to commit crimes were affected first by rising unemployment.
The CSD study, based on the results of victimisation surveys, found that 520,000 crimes went unreported.
These were mainly thefts and burglaries which, according to the study, increased by 5.0 percent in 2008 from 2007.