The Military Police is part of the Bulgarian Armed Forces and is organised into a Military Police Service and Military Police Formations within the Bulgarian Army.
The Military Police Service consists of HQ, five Regional Services and the Centre of Logistics and Training. The Military Police Formations of Bulgarian Army belong to Land, Air and Navy forces and are typically presented as companies.
The Military Police Service is specialized in maintaining order and security within the Bulgarian Armed Forces, it constitutes a military structure with police functions, directly subordinated to the Minister of Defense. The Service acts independently or in co-operation with other organizations from the security sector.
2010- up to now
The Military Police is an integral part of the Bulgarian Armed Forces history and dates back to the earliest days of the Third Bulgarian State, dating from 1877.
The first documents for the establishment of interior order bodies in Bulgaria were: Instruction on Establishment of Initial Military Police Governorship, dated 03.06.1877, Instruction on the Rights and Duties of the Constituted Local Police Guards, dated 19.07.1877, and Temporary Regulations on Constituting Police Voluntary Sentries and Armed Guards, dated 08.08.1877.
The Military Police took part in the Balkan war, as well as in the First and Second World Wars. The end of their activity was in 1947. After the end of the Cold War, the new strategic security environment necessitated the re-establishment of the Military Police. The establishment of the Military Police Service, based on regional principle, was promulgated by the Decree No. 217 of the Ministerial Council on 05.11.1991. With this governmental act the first NATO-oriented formation in the Bulgarian Armed Forces was established. That is why 5th of November was announced the Military Police Service Celebration Day.
Military Police insignia from the World War II.
The Military Police Service is a structure headed by a director who is the immediate superior of the entire MP personnel.
The director of the MP Service plans, organises, directs, represents, coordinates, controls and bears responsibility for the overall work of the MP Service. He is subordinated to the Minister of Defense and assisted by two deputy directors. In order to provide methodical guidance and to exert control over the subordinated structures in the country, the HQ of the MP Service is organised into General and Specialized Administration.
There are five regional MP services on the territory of Bulgaria, led by regional directors. The MP personnel of those regional services maintain readiness to react immediately to all signals and incidents concerning the Bulgarian Armed Forces.
Bulgarian MP Service activities are carried out according to the Bulgarian Military Police Law and Doctrine for Military Police including the following functions:
• mobility support;
The Military Police:
• exercise control over the observance of public order and military discipline by servicemen;
• perform protection for preventing, neutralizing and guarding against unlawful encroachments on persons, facilities, property, weapons, equipment and events;
• exercise control over the use of military vehicles;
• ensure control over the observance of the established access regime on entry and exit from protected facilities of the Ministry of Defense, the organizational structures subordinated directly to the Minister of Defense, the Bulgarian Armed Forces and the internal order, including issuing and observing mandatory instructions while carrying out:
- checks of identity documents of visitors and the official passes of employees;
- checks of luggage, cargo and/or vehicles and their accompanying documents;
• perform tasks jointly or in cooperation with the Ministry of the Interior or with the National Security State Agency within their competence in:
- protection of facilities;
- detection, termination and prevention of terrorist acts, proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and illegal arms trafficking;
- detention of perpetrators of indictable offences and freeing of hostages.
The MP Service protects order and security of the Ministry of Defense (MoD), the structures subordinated directly to MoD and the Bulgarian Armed Forces by carrying out both on its own and in cooperation with other security services and public order services the following scope of responsibilities:
• operational and investigative tasks;
• anti-terrorist work;
• prevention, investigation and detection of indictable offences and police registration of persons;
• information work;
• protection and control tasks;
• fire prevention control;
• investigation of military aircraft accidents;
• control over the observance of the road;
• activities and the relevant powers relating to foreign servicemen or military formations, their bases and vehicles on the territory of the Republic of Bulgaria.
The MP formations in the Bulgarian Armed Forces perform control and protection activities in the garrisons and the deployment areas outside them through:
• control over the compliance with military order and military discipline by servicemen;
• protection, access control and admission regime;
• escort of military vehicles;
• control over the use of military vehicles.
The operation of MP is based on the following principles:
• observance of the Constitution, the laws and international agreements to which the Republic of Bulgaria is a party;
• respect for and guaranteeing the rights and freedom of citizens and their dignity;
• openness, objectivity, impartiality and political neutrality;
• centralization and undivided authority in the organisation and control;
• exercising of civilian control by the bodies provided for in the Constitution.
The Military Police Service exercises its power in relation to:
• servicemen and civilian employees of the Ministry of Defense, the organizational structures subordinated directly to the Minister of Defense and the Bulgarian Armed Forces;
• persons intended, perpetrating or having perpetrated indictable offences in complicity with persons enumerated in the above-mentioned paragraph;
• persons intended, perpetrating or having perpetrated indictable offences or breaches of the law on the territory of facilities, installations and vehicles of the Ministry of Defense and the Bulgarian Armed Forces, persons entering, exiting and located there as well as persons occupying their property with no legal grounds;
• persons who through action or inaction threaten or disturb order and security of the Ministry of Defense and the Bulgarian Armed Forces or the security of their personnel as well as persons who do not assist or do not obey the instructions of the MP authorities issued in relation to and during exercising their functions;
• members of management bodies and employees of the single person commercial companies with state owned share in the capital stock in which the rights of the state are exercised by the Minister of Defense.
When discharging their legal powers the bodies of the MP Service are
independent from any persons who are not their immediate superiors.
The MP Service authorities may detain a person for up to 24 hours when:
• there is information that he/she has committed an offence;
• following due warning he/she purposefully prevents a body of the MP Service to fulfill its official duties;
• displays serious mental disorders or behaves in a manner breaching public order or subjects his/her own life or the life of others to a serious threat;
• it is impossible to establish his/her identity;
• has absconded from serving the sanction of imprisonment or has fled places of detention where he/she has been apprehended as a defendant in compliance with an order of a police or a judicial authority;
• has been declared for international search by another state in relation to his/her extradition or in compliance with a European arrest warrant;
• this has been provided by law.