Riot police ID tags, body cameras to improve accountability

Riot police ID tags, body cameras to improve accountability

Following a spike in complaints of police brutality, the Citizens’ Protection Ministry is reinstating a 2010 directive obliging riot police officers (MAT) to clearly display their name and badge number.

The union of Athens police officers reacted to the announcement, saying that the directive has been strictly adhered to. However, an investigation of dozens of images of MAT deployed in recent operations found that in most cases the ID tag was missing or was not clearly visible.

The ministry also said that the heads of MAT units will be equipped with body cameras to record interactions with civilians.

The introduction of body cameras is being welcomed by the force. In a recent letter to Citizens’ Protection Minister Michalis Chrysochoidis, the union of Thessaloniki police officers said that the use of video equipment, including dashboard cameras in police cars, “will stop the spread of incomplete footage that… feed an urban myth that is unfair to the police.”

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