Increase in burglaries, bank raids

The country has seen a significant increase in burglaries and bank robberies, according to police figures made public yesterday. The statistics also showed a rise in bank and ATM fraud but a drop in drug-related crimes. A total of 9,700 burglaries have been reported so far this year, as compared to 8,551 for the whole of last year, police figures showed. Bank robberies have also seen a significant rise with 215 reported this year, compared to 159 for all of last year. «This increase is chiefly due to two foreign gangs that have been operating for the most part in western Athens,» a senior officer told Kathimerini, adding that the arrest of ring members «is a matter of time.» Forgery has also thrived with 4,319 cases reported so far this year compared to 3,600 for the whole of last year. «This increase is largely attributable to credit card or ATM fraud,» another officer said. However, figures also showed improvements in one area – that of drug dealing. Police have recorded 7,055 drug-related offenses this year, as compared to 9,600 for the whole of last year.