Police chief: Budapest is one of Europe’s safest capitals

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Since 2010 the number of crimes in the Hungarian capital has fallen, particularly that of the crimes most affecting people’s security perception such as car thefts and break-ins, Terdik said in the interview.

He said the number and training of police officers in Budapest is sufficient to do their job effectively and meet the people’s expectations. He added that as the new head of the capital’s police he did not plan any major overhauls “only some fine-tuning”.

Terdik said one of the crimes we wanted to fight more effectively was conmen targeting the elderly. A widespread type of crime in Hungary and other countries of the region is tricksters posing as lawyers or policemen calling elderly people asking for money to “help out” their children in trouble.

He said that while he didn’t think crime statistics were the only thing that mattered, “numbers are numbers, but we do have to have some form of measurement”.

Terdik said the percentage of solved cases has also increased the average response time in Budapest which now stands at 12 minutes. He said response time for serious crimes was a critical factor in apprehending perpetrators. Police will also increase its presence in a Budapest area where designer drugs are especially widespread.

Title image: Col. Tamás Terdik at his appointment hearing in the Budapest general assembly, Mayor István Tarlós in the background. MTI/Noémi Bruzák

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