More than 800 police officers will be withdrawn from the service of VIP persons and buildings and be deployed to Patrol Service on the streets, Minister for Citizens Protection, Nikos Toskas, announced on Thursday. The measure comes amid increasing crime in Athens and broader Attica and sharp criticisms by opposition parties and average people.
700 police officers will move from security duties for VIP and important buildings. Another 100 officers currently serving in administrative duties in Police Headquarters and hing-ranking police will join the patrol service as well.
The police officers will be assigned to police stations across Attica and join the new patrol Service.
The plan is scheduled to be implemented immediately.
Already outnumbered police officers were withdrawn from political parties and former ministers. The new plan foresees that the decrease of the number of policemen safeguarding also active ministers and government lawmakers. The plan will expand also to journalists occupying police officers for their personal safety, note Greek media.
Although according to official police records, crime has decreased by 9.6% in 2017 across the country when compared to the previous year.
- 4,271 robberies in 2017
- 4,724 in 2016
A decrease of 6.9% has been recorded in Athens and 24.4% in the country’s second bigger city Thessaloniki.
However, the crime is getting more and more brutal. Robbers raid homes mostly at night, they beat, torture and often kill the defenseless citizens not so seldom for ridiculous amounts of money. They frequently target are vulnerable seniors especially in the days after they have received their monthly pension. The victims can hardly recover from the physical abuse and the shock.
Two tragic incidents beginning of the month that took place within a couple of days raised the citizens’ security and safety into major social issues.
A 52-year-old businessman was serious injured when robbers raided his home and shot at him with a fire gun. The man was with his family at home. He is still hospitalized in serious condition.
A few days earlier, an 88-year-old retired officer of the Greek Coast Guard shot at two robbers who entered his home at night. The man claimed “self-defense”, however, he was brought to prosecutor. Moreover, he had no license for the weapon.
The case of the retired officer sparked a public debate about the right to self-defense. But the government absolutely rejects such an option. Self-defense is thus recognized by Greek courts only for the case that one’s life was really at risk.
Within days, the Greek Police uploaded a couple of guidelines about how citizens can protect themselves when robbers gets into their homes.
One of the advises was: Pretend that you are sleeping.
The rest is …history.