Public discerns a rise in crime

The level of crime in Greece has gotten «much worse» over the last 12 months, according to seven in 10 respondents of a new opinion poll taken, following a recent spate of violent attacks from hooded youth and terrorist groups as well an apparent increase in common criminal activity. The Public Issue survey, carried out for Sunday’s Kathimerini, indicated that 72 percent think there has been a significant deterioration, 16 percent believe things have gotten a «little worse» and 9 percent are of the view that there has been no change. Almost four in 10 believe that the quality of policing has also worsened considerably during the last year. Three in 10 respondents said that they have no faith in the government’s ability to tackle rising crime, while another three in 10 said that they have only little faith. New Democracy responded to a rampage by hooded youths in the upmarket district of Kolonaki 10 days ago by heralding tougher sentences for anyone caught committing a crime while concealing their face. The measure appears to have the backing of the majority of the public. Almost six in 10 agree to some degree with the new law, while 26 percent disagree. Sources told Sunday’s Kathimerini that the ministry is considering not allowing any criminal caught concealing their face the option of buying off their sentence. They are also likely to be barred from being released pending the appeal of any conviction, a measure that already applies to hooligans. The measures have come in for criticism from opposition parties who believe that the problem lies more with the police not being able to catch criminals rather than a lack of appropriate legislation. When asked whether the police need to be tougher or more effective, 39 percent went for the latter and 27 percent for the former.

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