Boosted police force to patrol Athens center

The return of some 1,500 police officers who had been guarding VIPs to active duty will pave the way for the force to put into action a plan designed to improve safety in central Athens, Kathimerini understands.

The scheme has been drawn up and is awaiting approval from Public Order Minister Nikos Dendias, who announced a few days ago that police ranks would be swelled by the return of officers previously assigned to VIP duty. The plan includes the detention of illegal immigrants, drug addicts and prostitutes in the city center.

?The aim is to improve the quality of people?s lives in downtown Athens,? a Public Order Ministry official told Kathimerini. ?Our priority is to remove illegal migrants and drug users from areas such as the Archaeological Museum, the University of Athens, Omonia Square, Syntagma and Monastiraki.?

Dozens of undocumented migrants were detained in central Athens on Saturday.

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