Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis on Monday pledged ‘zero tolerance’ for crime as he criticized the former leftist-led government’s record in safeguarding the rule of law.
The Greek Police (ELAS) on Monday announced the hiring of 1,500 officers for its DIAS motorcycle unit in line with a pledge made by Mitsotakis shortly after he came to power in the summer. The force will be reinforced with 450 vehicles (including motorbikes), 3,000 bulletproof jackets, 500 radios and other equipment, ELAS said.
Speaking during a presentation at the Markopolo training center east of Athens, the conservative prime minister called upon the newly hired officers to show “zero tolerance” toward crime.
“You must also show zero tolerance for disruptive behavior. You have nothing to be afraid of,” said Mitsotakis, adding that the force will soon be equipped with body cameras and drones in order to improve transparency and accountability.
“Convenient rumor-mongering against the police will stop. At the same time, we will be able to evaluate police operations and detect any inappropriate behavior,” he said.
“Democracy knows how to protect, but it must also protect itself,” he said.
Mitsotakis said precious time had gone to waste as the SYRIZA administration, which was unseated in July’s elections, was too reluctant to clamp down on rampant lawlessness.
“The police were for years not allowed to fulfill their duties,” he said.