Police plot strategy to fight crime

Chiefs of police from all over the country will be meeting with Public Order Minister Giorgos Floridis today to evaluate current efforts in the war against crime and to lay down new strategies. The police chiefs will examine the results of their efforts in each of their districts. Also, they will examine the special challenges of each area and the effectiveness of current measures, adjusting them if necessary. One of the main topics on the agenda is to reassess the policy of setting targets for the number of fines or citations expected of each area. For example, citizens in some provincial towns complain that traffic police spend more time issuing fines than performing necessary police work. These complaints have reached the Public Order Ministry and Floridis wants to direct the police force toward combating crime while also making it clear that the police are at citizens’ sides in order to protect them and not to punish them. Attica will be the focus of much attention, as the capital region is the site of both the most crimes and the most serious ones. With regard to petty crime, the police will examine a series of measures such as foot patrols and the work of special teams whose aim is to prevent crime. Regional police chiefs will be given instructions on a number of issues concerning the quality of life, such as combating noise and atmospheric pollution. One of the current measures that is judged as being highly effective is the use of helicopters (three operated by the police and a fourth rented from Olympic Airways) in helping control traffic on national highways and in Attica. But more widespread use of the aircraft is being hindered by the fact that Olympic has not been able to provide another two helicopters that were expected. Because the police helicopters serve a number of other needs, from now on one helicopter will be flying over Attica from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. daily, helping to control traffic on the beachfront avenue, Kareas, and other important routes.

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