NEWS

Guardians for British tourists

Faced with reports of a sharp rise in violent crimes against British tourists in Greece, the Greek authorities have decided to double the number of tourist police at popular beach resorts to help keep people there safe, The Observer newspaper reported yesterday. Recent figures released by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office suggested a steep increase in violent crimes against tourists, with 34 reported rapes of British citizens in Greece in 2002, compared with 17 in 1998. Cases of violent crime increased from 23 in 1998 to 57 in 2002, including the murder of a British man in Corfu. Among the spots to be policed more strictly are Faliraki on Rhodes and Kavos on Corfu. A Greek National Tourism Organization spokeswoman told the British paper: «These police will make sure that young adults who have overindulged get safely home. Some will be in plain clothes, so that people don’t feel offended when they try to help them.» Greek authorities note that 3 million British visitors visited Greece last year and that the number of crimes should be compared against this.