Poll: Bulgarian Police - Ill, Poor, PressuredSociety | June 12, 2012, Tuesday // 16:36| views
The majority of Bulgarian policemen complain of low pay, deplorable conditions, pressure and lack of motivation. File photo
Nearly half, 49%, of Bulgarian police officers have health problems, according to a recent poll.
The poll was presented Tuesday. It is titled "Motivation of the Bulgarian Police Officer," and is the first independent study of the sort, conducted on the request of the Interior Ministry's trade union.
It shows that one fourth of the sick policemen suffer high blood pressure, which incurred after the beginning their career, every tenth has ulcers, some sort of heart and/or kidney disease. Every seventh has more than one chronic ailment.
60% of policemen have not used sick leave in the last year, while every fifth has used more than 5 sick leave days.
47% of the polled say their supervisors have illegally pressured them.
The most mentioned form of pressure is supervisors refusing to take responsibility, followed by red tape, pressure to make up results, and cover-up in certain police cases.
75% see their pay as unsatisfactory, while 33% believe overtime is not rewarded accordingly, all while four out of five policemen work overtime at least one day a week.
The large majority are also not happy with their uniforms, shoes, bulletproof vests, other clothing and technical equipment. They further say their career advancement does not depend on personal qualities and/or effort.
The poll has been conducted among 585 policemen, ages 30-40, most with specialized high school or college degrees, with household income between BGN 600 and 1 200 a month.
The polled are from the Border Police, the Specialized Police Forces, Security Police, Criminal Police, including the Unit for Combatting Organized Crime.
The results will be sent to the President, the Interior Minister, the Parliament, and European partners.
According to official Interior Ministry data, 449 policemen have been injured or died in the line of duty between 2007 and 2011.
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