About 4000 police officers will work to maintain public order during the New Year’s festivities throughout Bulgaria, police commissioner Nikolai Grigorov told public broadcaster Bulgarian National Television on December 27.
Separately, a further 960 officers will be deployed as security at 96 separate planned events.
Although the Festive Season so far has seen four armed robberies and two murders happen in the country, those incidents were fewer than in past years, Grigorov said. The most frequent calls to police during the long holiday weekend were related to alcohol-fuelled brawls.
“The good thing is that so far we have no reports of injuries as a result of pyrotechnic incidents, which seems to point towards people learning their lessons from previous years, but I believe our efforts to prevent such incidents also contributed,” he said.
Every year, Bulgarian police issues warnings against buying illegal fireworks, raiding stores that sell such merchandise, but it has had limited success at best, as skies over Bulgarian cities on the night of January 1 can attest.
(Photo of the night sky over Sofia on January 1 2009 by photolinda/flickr.com)