European Journal of Policing Studies


Policing Sofia

From centralisation to decentralisation

Keywords plural policing, governance of crime and disorder, public and private police
Authors Elke Devroe en Manol Petrov
Author's information

Elke Devroe
Elke Devroe is master in criminology, associate professor in the Campus The Hague, Public Administration, university Leiden (the Netherlands). She teaches in the international master ‘Crisis en Security Management’ (CSM) the courses ‘Governance of crime and social disorder’, ‘Evidence-based policing’ and ‘Researching crisis and security’. She conducts research in plural policing, governance of local security problems in particular incivilities (corresp.:

Manol Petrov
Manol Petrov is Master in Public Administration at the University of Leiden, Campus The Hague.
  • Abstract

      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.

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