Recent violent events in Gazι, Rentis, Aspropyrgos, Nea Smyrni, and Thessaloniki, totaling around 15 consecutive incidents, have shocked the public. These clashes, triggered over trivial reasons like a pothole protest a piece of clothing or lifestyle disagreements, highlight a breakdown in law enforcement.

The weakened immediate response units, questionable officer assignments, and rampant criminal impunity reveal deeper flaws in the Hellenic Police. The surge in domestic violence and juvenile delinquency, rooted in social problems, adds to the concerning situation.

Greece faces a wave of violent incidents – cold-blooded shootings, police fatalities, and heinous crimes across various regions. Murders in Salamina, Kalyvia, Nea Smyrni, and Thessaloniki have sparked public concern about safety, particularly along Kifisias Avenue.
Adding to the worries are a 17-year-old’s death post-police pursuit, ongoing clashes among minors in Attica, and a significant rise in thefts and robberies. The influx of offenders from Balkan nations in Athens and the unchecked actions of local and foreign thugs worsen the situation.
Recent data highlights a concerning spike in criminal activities. Theft and burglary cases have soared to approximately 62,000 nationwide, up from 56,000 in 2022. Vehicle thefts have risen by 31% compared to 2022. Fraud cases have surged by 30% in 2023, compared to 2022.

Additionally, monthly reports reveal about 1,400 cases of youth violence across Greece, with potentially three to four times more incidents going unreported. Domestic violence incidents numbered around 12,000 in 2022, persisting in the past year. These incidents affect various relationships, with a concerning 40% involving spouses.

Compounding these issues, police services have significantly weakened, with staffing levels in Athens down by 50%-60%. Many crime investigation units remain closed for substantial periods, and key units such as DIAS (Delta Force) have been reduced by 50%. Patrol teams have drastically decreased, from 150 to 25-30 vehicles, impacting security in various neighborhoods.
This decrease in policing resources has led to challenges in handling citizen calls, with the emergency hotline “100” struggling to manage around 10,000 daily calls due to personnel shortages.
The lack of supervision in areas with increased crime rates and the presence of thugs further worsens the situation. Programs such as the “Shadow” initiative, aimed at continuous monitoring of key members of organized crime, have been abandoned. This has been highlighted by recent events, such as that of a 37-year-old Albanian criminal shooting against a young Cretan in Gazi, without any hesitation due to the complete absence of police presence. Despite reports of the presence of four gang members—two Greek and two Albanian—and numerous incidents of assaults and shootings in the area, no concrete measures have been taken.

Another illustrative incident is the death of a police officer during the pursuit of young Roma individuals who had stolen four cars from Piraeus areas. There have been reports of approximately 30-50 dangerous pursuits annually involving young gang members from western suburbs (mainly Roma), linked to about 55% of thefts and burglaries, 30% of robberies, and roughly 30% of car thefts in the country.
The Hellenic Police has documented the activities of 15 such family-based gangs in a confidential report, noting a rotation of members within these structures.
Nevertheless, many of the apprehended individuals take steps before their trial to return stolen items to their victims, seeking favorable judicial treatment in return.

On the prosecution side, authorities continue their investigation into compiling comprehensive charges against approximately 30-50 hooligans for the deadly incidents in Rentis, based on revealing testimonies from participants or individuals knowledgeable about the events and individuals involved.

Finally, incidents such as the murder of the 43-year-old woman by her 71-year-old partner in Salamina, as well as the death of a 16-year-old at the hands of his 18-year-old brother, seem to be linked to the surge in domestic violence observed in the country in recent years.

These incidents demand urgent police reform and a concerted effort to address societal issues to restore public trust and ensure community safety.