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Crime And Police In Bulgaria

Like many Eastern countries, Bulgaria suffers its fair share of crime. However knowledge is power and crime can be avoided if you are fully aware of the possible hazards and take the necessary precautions. Here you will gain an insight into the crime and police situation in Bulgaria.

Bulgaria suffers from its fair share of petty street crime and this is especially prevalent in busy cities. Pick-pocketing and bag snatching can occur in crowded streets or markets. It is easy to avoid being a target by using common sense measures:

  • Dress conservatively
  • Do not wear expensive looking jewelry
  • Avoid the appearance of affluence
  • Travel light. You can move more quickly and will be more likely to have a free hand. You will also be less tired and less likely to set your luggage down, leaving it unattended.
  • Carry the minimum amount of valuables necessary for your trip and plan a place or places to conceal them.
  • Your passport, cash and credit cards are most secure when locked in a hotel safe.
  • When you have to carry valuables or money, try to hide them in several places rather than putting them all in one wallet or pouch.
  • Avoid handbags, bum bags and outside pockets that are easy targets for thieves. Inside pockets and a sturdy shoulder bag with the strap worn across your chest are somewhat safer. One of the safest places to carry valuables is in a pouch or money belt worn under your clothing.
  • Leave nothing visible in a parked car.

Typical Incidents

Con artists - can be common on public transport and in train or bus stations. They pose as “instant friends” or government officials. There have been incidents where tourists have been drugged and robbed after accepting valium tainted drinks from these new acquaintances. Always ask “officials” for identification.

Racism - as in many countries, people with dark skin have sometimes been victims of hostile attitude and ethnic slurs.

Taxis - can sometimes overcharge tourists, particularly at Sofia airport and the train station. To avoid this, use reputable taxi companies whose cars have meters and clearly marked rates. Pre-negotiate a fare to avoid excessive payment if a metered taxi cannot be found.

Car theft - the main targets are four wheel drive vehicles and luxury cars. Very few are recovered.

House robbery - happens in Bulgaria, as with properties anywhere in Europe today. In modern developments today, security personnel are on duty and modern security systems are in place. For other property, you would be well advised to put bars on your windows, change the lock on your newly purchased property and be vigilant about locking doors and windows when away. Remember to get a contents insurance policy.

It is worth reporting a crime immediately to the police as they do help recover money and valuables on some occasions.

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