Crime rate dips in the first five months of the year

The number of recorded crimes in the first five months of the year is 15 percent down compared to last year, according to data presented on Thursday by the Greek Police, which said that this year’s rates are the lowest seen in the past four years.

Crimes such as smuggling, begging and sexual exploitation, however, have risen significantly and are being linked directly to the toll of the ongoing crisis.

A breakdown of the figures for the period from January to March shows a promising decline in the number of robberies, from 2,571 cases reported last year in the same period to 2,187 cases this year, dropping 14.9 percent on average. In Attica, the decline in robberies was 12.8 percent and in Thessaloniki 14 percent.

Home break-ins and burglaries also posted a decline of 17 percent overall, with Attica seeing a drop of 22 percent. Thessaloniki, in contrast, observed a rise of 7 percent.

The number of fatal robbery was also slightly less this year, with 17 cases recorded in the first five months compared to 19 cases in 2012.

Where the numbers have spiked, however, is in crimes such as begging, which shot up 120 percent, and smuggling, which rose by 69.5 percent.

There was also a worrying rise in the number of cases involving sexual exploitation, which increased by 32 percent this year compared to 2012.