Police tasked with cutting crime by 25 pct by year-end


As part of the government’s intention to crack down on crime, Citizens’ Protection Minister Michalis Chrysochoidis has reportedly asked the leadership of the Greek Police (ELAS) to reduce rates of burglaries, thefts and robberies in Athens by 25 percent by the end of the year.

In a meeting Thursday at ELAS headquarters, Chrysochoidis outlined his ministry’s target regarding crime fighting for the period spanning August to December, noting that the performance of police will be monitored by the government through an online system.

The new minister reportedly requested a more visible presence of law enforcement officers, mainly through the boosting of the DIAS motorcycle unit.

To this end, he called for an increase in the number of motorcycles to the same level as in 2010, when the unit was first created.

He also prompted police authorities to move officers from desk duties to other services more actively focused on crime fighting.

Meanwhile, Chrysochoidis also agreed Thursday with the Athens Traders Association (ESA) to increase police patrols in the center of the capital and to evaluate the results of this increased deployment in November.

ESA President Stavros Kafounis told Kathimerini that during the meeting with Chrysochoidis, which was attended by the leadership of ELAS, he was given reassurances that the police presence on the streets of Athens will be boosted so as to tackle illegal trade, robberies and drug dealing.

“The minister told us that the presence of uniformed officers will be increasing until the end of the year,” he said.

Kafounis added that the meeting discussed ways of minimizing disruptions caused by demonstrations in the city center.

Kathimerini also reported Thursday that 130 armed police officers will begin patrolling metro stations in Athens next week.