Released criminals are ?free to reoffend?

A change in the law last year that allows fewer suspected criminals to be detained is leading to suspects being released and allowed to reoffend, according to police sources.

Figures obtained by Sunday?s Kathimerini show that the vast majority of the 15,562 people arrested last year for robberies, break-ins and muggings were immediately released after being charged. Police sources said that this was leading to what they call a ?recycling of crime? as the suspects can commit more crimes.

In January, five Georgians were arrested in the Pangrati area of Athens on suspicion of breaking into more than 60 homes. They were released from custody the next day. A law passed last year aimed at easing overcrowding in Greek prisons only allows prosecutors to remand suspects in custody if they are accused of a felony and, even then, it must have been committed under certain conditions.

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