Geography of crime in Athens and its suburbs

If an unsuspecting visitor to Athens decided to walk through Vathis Square at night, he or she would certainly be faced with one of Athens’s more wretched aspects; much the same atmosphere prevails around Omonia Square, the drug distribution centers of Menidi, Aspropyrgos or other high-crime areas in Attica’s west. Athens today is full of contrasts, unbridgeable chasms between rich and poor, glass towers and «unprotected» areas. On the one hand is the image of a cosmopolitan city, on the other is that of an inhospitable, hostile environment. Crime prevails in districts where poverty and unemployment reign; where prosperity is the rule, crimes are rare. In the city center and surroundings (from Patissia to Kolonos) and the western suburbs (from Peristeri to Aspropyrgos), both low-level and more serious crime is rife. At the other end of the spectrum are the northern and southern suburbs, where a more visible police presence appears to have borne results.