New re­cruits and setup for po­lice

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

Al­most 250 new po­lice re­cruits were placed on duty in cen­tral Athens yes­ter­day as part of an ef­fort to re­vamp the way the force op­er­ates, which will in­clude ad­just­ments to its two mo­tor­cy­cle-rid­ing squads, DIAS and Delta.

Po­lice chiefs were prompted to take ac­tion af­ter a group of about 30 peo­ple fire­bombed the precinct in the cen­tral Athens neigh­bor­hood of Exarchia on Satur­day, lead­ing to three by­standers be­ing in­jured. The slow re­ac­tion of the DIAS and Delta squads drew crit­i­cism and came just days af­ter Cit­i­zens’ Pro­tec­tion Min­is­ter Chris­tos Papouti­sis had raised ques­tions about the po­lice’s “front­line” forces when a protest- er was se­ri­ously hurt at an anti-aus­ter­ity protest.

Papout­sis soft­ened his stance on Sun­day, prais­ing the po­lice for their “su­per­hu­man” ef­fort, but the heads of the force had al­ready be­gun to ring the changes. Of some 500 new re­cruits that joined ac­tive ser­vice yes­ter­day, 245 were put on duty at the down­town precincts of Aghios Pan­telei­monas, Omo­nia, Am­be­lokipi, Syn­tagma, Acrop­o­lis and Exarchia.

Po­lice chiefs have also de­cided to make clear dis­tinc­tions be­tween the du­ties of the DIAS and Delta squads. So, the 310 Delta of­fi­cers will con­cen­trate on pre­vent­ing at­tacks from self-styled an­ar­chists and ex­treme right-wing groups while 590 DIAS of- fi­cers will fo­cus on com­bat­ing other crimes.

In an­other cru­cial change, the forces will no longer take their in­struc­tions from a cen­tral com­mand and will each have their own dis­patch cen­ter. Attica will be di­vided into 39 sec­tors, which will be pa­trolled by 39 DIAS and 10 Delta units dur­ing each shift. Po­lice chiefs hope that six units, to­tal­ing 24 of­fi­cers, will be able to re­spond to calls for help within a few min­utes at the most.

Their main area of fo­cus will be be­tween Patis­sion Street, near where a man was stabbed to death last week dur­ing an ap­par­ent mug­ging, and the Ki­fis­sos River, and be­tween Kypseli and Kal­lithea.


from 36 coun­tries have gath­ered in Athens for the 10th meet­ing of the Euro­pean Trade Union Con­fed­er­a­tion (ETUC). Dis­cus­sions be­gan at the Athens Con­cert Hall yes­ter­day and are due to last un­til Thurs­day. John Monks, ETUC’s gen­eral sec­re­tary, is be­ing re­placed by Ber­nadette Se­gol of France, who un­til now had served as head of a fed­er­a­tion of Euro­pean work­ers in the bank­ing and com­mu­ni­ca­tion sec­tors. Athens was cho­sen as the lo­ca­tion for the meet­ing be­cause it is cur­rently at the heart of eco­nomic de­vel­op­ments in Europe.

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