The crime rate in Bulgaria in 2015 was just more than 12 per cent lower than the previous year, the National Statistical Institute (NSI) said in an annual report on July 15 2016.
The NSI also found that the number of trials ending in penalties – either effective or conditional – also was down on the 2014 figure, by 8.5 per cent.
However, from the bare figures, the reason for this change was not immediately apparent – whether it was the result of fewer crimes leading to trials, or from the failure of prosecutors to secure convictions, or any other reason.
Trials concluded in connection with crimes committed added up to 31 511 in 2015, the NSI said.
Of these, 14 296 resulted in effective sentences, 12 127 in conditional sentences, 832 in acquittals, 65 with suspended proceedings and 4191 with what Bulgarian law describes as release of penalty.
Of the trials in 2015, just more than 40 per cent related to crimes committed that year, just more than 28 per cent to crimes committed in 2014 and 31.6 per cent to crimes committed in years before 2014.
In all, the number of accused in 2015 was 32 985. Of these, 14 567 were handed effective sentences, 13 220 were given conditional sentences, 820 were acquitted and the trials of 80 people were suspended, the NSI said.
Criminal activity was highest in the 18 to 24 age group, the NSI said.