NEWS

Extra police to fight violent crime

Police are alarmed by the rise in violent crime in Athens, particularly in the city center, during the last two months and are making an effort to put 500 more officers on patrol in a bid to ensure citizens’ safety. There have been 10 robberies in the last month in Athens that have led to victims being killed or injured. This week alone, a 30-year-old man was killed in a raid on a gift shop in Patissia. A few days earlier, a 35-year-old employee at a tailor’s shop in the same area was seriously injured after being shot in the head by robbers, while on Saturday the owner of a shop in Omonia was shot by robbers after refusing to hand over his takings. A police source said that the apparent rise in crime was attributed to unemployment, particularly among migrant communities. «There has been a rise in the number of thefts and break-ins but we are also solving more crimes,» the source said. «There has also been a rise in the number of armed robberies on shops, as opposed to banks, where things are improving.» The tendency for criminals to be prepared to use violence is something that is worrying the police, such as in the case of the street kiosk owner on Thivon Avenue who was shot at by robbers after they stole from him early on Monday. The response of the police authorities has been to set in motion a process which would see an additional 500 uniformed officers join patrols around the city but it is not yet known how long it will be before residents actually see more police on the beat, let alone if it will have an impact on violent crime.