Theft, break-ins on way down

The number of thefts and break-ins in Attica last year fell but there was a sharp rise in the number of fraud cases reported to police in 2005, according to figures released yesterday by the Public Order Ministry. The statistics showed that there were 1,786 thefts reported last year, more than 200 fewer than in 2004. There was also a substantial drop in the number of break-ins. Ministry figures indicated that there were 31,451 break-ins last year as opposed to 32,200 in 2004 and 37,684 in 2003. Car thefts were also down last year. According to yesterday’s statistics, 11,013 vehicles were stolen in Attica in 2005, which was more than 300 fewer than in 2004. Although 2006 began with one of the most bloody bank robberies to take place in Attica when a gang of five thieves held up a branch of the National Bank of Greece in central Athens, bank heists had actually fallen slightly in 2005. The Greek Police (ELAS) also made public yesterday its priorities for the fight against crime this year. No specific targets were set for officers to meet as police chiefs decided that the heads of each region should set the goals for their forces. However, ELAS did make it clear that traffic police would aim to reduce the number of deaths on Greek roads by 7 percent this year. Checks for drunk driving, speeding and on use of seat belts and crash helmets should be stepped up by 10 to 20 percent. The statistics made public yesterday suggest that there are some crimes on which officers at the 35 police stations in Attica need to focus their attention. There was a big rise in the number of fraud cases last year, for example. Police recorded 670 cases last year compared to 572 in 2004. There were also eight more murders in 2005 than 2004.

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