Athens Municipal Police to have more powers and staff

Athens Municipal Police to have more powers and staff

The Interior Ministry and the Athens Municipal Authority on Tuesday announced an agreement that seeks to elevate the role of the Municipal Police force.

The decision comes amid a tiff between the local government and the Ministry of Citizens’ Protection regarding street crime in the city center that paint’s an adverse picture of the Greek capital and makes life unbearable for residents and businesses in certain parts of the city.

Under the agreement signed by Interior Minister Makis Voridis and Athens Mayor Kostas Bakoyannis, the Municipal Police will be bolstered with more staff and given greater powers.

“Athens needs a different policing model, one of independent community policy, where the Municipal Police plays a role that is not just complimentary but decisive,” said Bakoyannis, who has been engaged in a public spat with Citizens’ Protection Minister Takis Theodorikakos after accusing the Hellenic Police (ELAS) of failing to maintain a strong presence in the city’s streets and curb crime like pickpocketing, petty theft, drug dealing and use, and other such street-level violations.

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