NEWS

Gov’t proposes security for campuses, tougher laws for uni crime

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The government presented on Monday three main proposals to curb criminality inside university campuses, after a spate of violence and intimidation against academics.

The measures include forming a security force to prevent criminal behavior inside the campus which will request police assistance if needed, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said during a teleconference with Greece’s rectors and Education Minister Niki Kerameus.

Mitsotakis said this group will be specifically trained for the university environment, and based at universities.

The second proposal is the upgrading of security measures at universities, such as access to the campus, lighting and fencing and the use of surveillance cameras.

The third step is toughening laws for offenses committed in universities.

“It goes without saying that until we make the necessary changes, the existing provisions should be activated, which meet the hesitation or sometimes fear of those who have to set them in motion,” Mitsotakis said, adding that the role of rectors, professors and university students is crucial.

Rectors from Greece’s biggest universities who participated in the virtual meeting said the plan submitted by the government is in the right direction, but noted that the entire academic community will have to mobilize to end lawlessness.

The measures followed an October 29 incident when a group of some 15 hooded individuals stormed the office of the rector of the Athens University of Economics & Business, caused extensive damages and hung a sign from his neck with a slogan in favour of squatting.