New Democracy leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis said on Tuesday that he has asked the head of the Hellenic Police (ELAS) to reduce the number of officers assigned to guard the party’s offices by 20 percent, so they can return to neighborhood patrol amid a spike in crime.
Mitsotakis cited a media report on Sunday according to which the government has decided to slash the number of policemen patrolling neighborhoods by 30 percent.
He added that a law passed by former justice minister Nikos Paraskevopoulos to decongest Greek prisons also “explained the increase in crime.”
However, Citizens’ Protection Minister Nikos Toskas said later on Tuesday that reports of a reduction in the officers patrolling the streets were “fake news.”
Toskas said more than 600 police officers guarding a wide range of people, including politicians, judges and other officials, will be relieved of their duties this week and put on patrol.