Crime crackdown in downtowns Athens to continue, says minister
Police in downtown Athens will persist with efforts to turn high-crime parts of the capital into “regular neighborhoods,” Citizens’ Protection Minister Michalis Chrysochoidis indicated during a visit to the Agios Panteleimonas precinct on Wednesday.
Chrysochoidis said pedestrian police patrols and the general presence of law enforcement in Athens will be strengthened to increase the sense of security among citizens in downtown areas of Athens and the suburbs where the crime rate has risen in recent years, according to annual statistics of the Hellenic Police.
He said a plan has been drafted and is already being implemented. It envisages, among other things, a pedestrian police network, and more patrols with the contribution of special teams like the Dias motorcycle unit and others.
“In a very short time, this entire effort will start bringing results and the area will truly become an area of social coexistence, where people can enjoy their neighborhood,” Chrysochoidis said.
According to official data seen by Kathimerini, the Hellenic Police (ELAS) conducted 52 crime-fighting operations from May 15 to the start of August in Agios Panteleimonas, Pedion tou Areos, Sepolia, Vathi Square, Omonia and other parts of downtown Athens with a high incidence of street crime.
In these operations, officers questioned 1,605 people and made 137 arrests, of which 52 were for illegal immigration, 50 for drug violations, 26 for illegal trade and three for illegal arms.
Officers also confiscated 291 grams of heroin, 528 pills of different controlled substances, 1,000 euros in cash and a plethora of bootleg products.