Crime in Greek capital comes under scrutiny

Crime in Greek capital comes under scrutiny

Athens Mayor Kostas Bakoyannis and Citizens’ Protection Minister Takis Theodorikakos met on Monday along with high-ranking police officials to discuss the rising crime rate in Athens. The meeting took place a month after Bakoyannis had publicly called for a discussion with Theodorikakos about crime in the Greek capital, stressing “we have a problem.”

During Monday’s meeting Bakoyannis presented the “black map of crime in Athens,” with 11 areas in Athens where increased crime has been recorded.

Sources from the Athens Municipality noted that an in-depth probe has been carried out into crime, while noting that local authorities have received hundreds of complaints and lawsuits from citizens.

“Gathering all the information for a long time now, we know not only the areas but also the specific streets and squares where there is a bigger problem,” the same sources noted, while stressing that the crime map also contains information on the type of crime recorded in different areas.

Bakoyannis also raised the issue of changing the model of policing in the city, entailing the presence of officers in all districts in order to instill a sense of security in citizens on the one hand and to act as a deterrent to would-be offenders.

He also focused particularly on the plague of petty crimes.

For his part, Theodorikakos noted that the common goal is to tackle “crime and delinquency, with an emphasis on tackling illegal immigration and drug trafficking.”

More specifically, ministry data showed that from March until Monday, 1,000 illegal migrants had been arrested and taken to pre-departure centers.

In comments to Kathimerini, Theodorikakos stressed that the police forces in the city will be strengthened, as far as possible, while also expressing his full agreement to numerically strengthen the power of the municipal police in Athens. He added that municipal police should be given “more responsibilities.”

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