After the outcry over fines of 150 euros to homeless for “violating the lockdown restrictions” police in Thessaloniki has apparently decided to withdraw this absurd policy. According to NGO ARSIS that made the issue public, the Infringement Office of Police Directorate in Thessaloniki pledged that the fines imposed on homeless will be written off.
Last week the NGO for Social Support of Young People, said that police in Thessaloniki imposed fines of 150 euros to homeless in the city for “unnecessary movement.” In one case police fined a homeless couple twice.
ARSIS reportedly stresses that homeless people should be treated differently as they actually need to move to meet their daily needs (feeding, toilet, bathroom, visiting social structures).
It underlines that this becomes even more urgent when the number of available accommodation is not sufficient to cover all homeless people living in Thessaloniki.
In a poster on the issue, ARSIS says “Homelessness is a condition not an adress” and calls on people who know fined homeless to contact the NGO under specific phone numbers. The last two (mobile) number are for “unaccompanied minors.”
PS We hope that also other police directorates across the country will review their fines policy on homeless, especially police in Rethymno, Crete.