Controversy as Bulgaria empowers mayors to contract private security firms to guard entire towns

Controversy has surrounded the Bulgarian Parliament’s approval of a new law that will enable mayors to conclude contracts with private security companies to take over the guarding of entire municipalities, with critics saying that this amounts to privatising police powers.

Bulgaria’s National Assembly has approved the second and final reading of a law on private security firms that will enable security guards to carry firearms, use physical force, and hold people in custody pending the arrival of police.

The law introduces a new licence, to be granted for guarding urban territories. This will enable contracted security firms to provide protection against unlawful encroachments on property through surveillance, control and mobile security patrols reacting.

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