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SYRIZA’s plans for police reform

22 January 2015 / 13:01:23  GRReporter
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Disbanding riot police forces, immediate cessation of the use of prohibited and hazardous chemical substances, merger of DIAS, ZIRA and DELTA police forces and prohibiting the involvement of their members in protests are some of the changes in the police planned by the radical left SYRIZA.

The programme provides for the establishment of judicial police and an independent service to deal with the cases of police brutality as well as of a police ombudsman institution.

It was presented by party representatives of the trade unionists of the Pan-Hellenic Federation of Police Officers, as reported by the Greek newspaper To Vima.

According to the trade unionists, the majority of the measures are in the right direction. They asked for explanations on the position expressed by some SYRIZA members that the police should be disarmed. In their words, the party representatives clarified that the plan provides for disarming only those policemen who guard the football and protest meetings. According to the unionists, the measure in question is valid even at present under an internal police order.

At the same time, the representatives of SYRIZA indicated that the riot police forces would be replaced by a new service, the staff of which would act only in the event of unrest.

The programme provides for the withdrawal of the ‘static’ police forces from different locations in the centre of Athens. Patrolling will be assigned to walking patrols, thus avoiding the difficult conditions for the staff of the new service.

SYRIZA's vision for the merger of the three squads for emergency police intervention provides for turning them into a "people’s police", that will stand by citizens 24 hours a day."

The discussion considered the issue of police salaries as well. The representatives of SYRIZA stated that the official position of the party expressed in parliament is to completely restore them to the amount before the cuts.

In addition, they emphasized that all possible changes in the police will take place after a discussion and after reaching consensus with the rest of the parties, the police headquarters and the unionists with the participation of experts and social institutions.

According to the unionists, SYRIZA is  calling on the policemen to vote without fear, because the party "not only will not disarm them, but it will also support the services at the operational and institutional level in order to protect them from the dangers that threaten them." The representatives of SYRIZA defined the concerns of disarmament as "propaganda tactics of the government in order to terrorize both the police and society."

It is worth noting that the representatives of the trade union of policemen are the target of "courting" on the part of candidate members of New Democracy, who have recently visited them more often in order to secure their support.

Meanwhile, the general staff of the Greek police have presented the report on their activities in 2014 that informs of reduction of crime and increase in the number of revealed perpetrators of crimes.

The report states that, compared with 2013, murders decreased by 25.5%, robberies by 22.7%, thefts and burglaries by 7.8% and car thefts by 13.2%.

The reduction in cases of sexual exploitation was 43%. The crimes affecting intellectual property fell by 24.6% and the violations of the laws on arms control by 23.2% whereas the reported decline in the cases of rape was 10%.

As a result of the improved operational response, in 2014 Greek police worked further on 555 cases of drug trafficking, 412 cases of forgery, 336 cases of distribution of counterfeit notes and 132 cases of smuggling.


Tags: PoliticsSYRIZAPlanReformPoliceRiot forcesDisarmament
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