Sharp fall in holiday petty crime

More determined policing in the greater Athens area has succeeded in reducing petty crime during the Christmas holidays to about half last year’s levels, a senior officer told Kathimerini yesterday. The officer, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said between 50-60 thefts and burglaries have been recorded so far in the capital and its immediate surroundings on a daily basis during the festive season – when such crime usually peaks. The corresponding figure for last year often exceeded 100 daily incidents. The police source attributed the reduction to a top-level decision at the beginning of last week to put more officers on the streets, which resulted in over 400 policemen and policewomen being temporarily relieved of their deskwork. Most of these officers were put on plainclothes patrol in crowded parts of the city center, on public transport, as well as at train and bus terminuses and shopping malls. The new CID precincts, which came into operation in November in various parts of Attica, are also credited with reducing petty crime.