Committee report falls short of offering guidelines on campus crime

Committee report falls short of offering guidelines on campus crime

A report by a committee set up last year by the Education Ministry to investigate the problem of lawlessness in Greek universities has not offered specific solutions but leaves it to specific institutions to tackle the problem as they see fit, Kathimerini understands.

The report – which is expected to become the subject of debate between government officials and university representatives – is to be made public in early July, the head of the committee, Nikos Paraskevopoulos, a former justice minister and honorary professor of law at Thessaloniki’s Aristotle University, has told Kathimerini.

The committee was set up by Education Minister Costas Gavroglou shortly after a group of 471 students at Aristotle University sent a letter the university’s rector and the dean of the faculty demanding action against rampant crime on the campus grounds, ranging from muggings and drug dealing to violent attacks against students and professors.

The aim of the committee was to provide advice to a series of ministries as to the best possible enforcement of the asylum law, which effectively bans police from university grounds, while protecting academic freedom.

Though stopping short of proposing specific measures to tackle the problem, the report reached certain key conclusions, according to Paraskevopoulos.

Firstly, it surmised that problems of lawlessness on university campuses are part of a broader social phenomenon; secondly, it concluded that the only way of tackling the scourge is via the cooperation of all associated bodies; thirdly, it noted that some problems are manifested in all Greek universities while others appear only in particular institutions.

The committee is to deliver its report to Gavroglou as well as the country’s Interior, Justice and Health ministers. Once it has been scrutinized, Gavroglou will forward it to Greek universities, which are expected to debate it over the next six months.

It is thought that the presence of police in Athens and Thessaloniki, where universities have the biggest problem, will be boosted.

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