RealNews

Greek Police to Patrol Island Clubs

The Greek authorities are calling it the “invisible solution”. As the first British tourists begin to flock to their favourite spots with the start of the holiday season, local police forces are taking precautionary measures – although this year out of sight of the crowds. In the biggest effort yet to prevent trouble in the infamous resorts on Corfu, Crete and Rhodes, the Athens government has dispatched plain-clothes police officers to the islands. The patrols, say officials, will be as much protective as preventive following the sharp rise in reported rapes and other violent crime against UK holidaymakers in Greece. “They are going to be invisible out of uniform but they’ll have their badges and if there’s any trouble they’ll intervene,” says Alexis Doukas, at the Greek national tourist board. According to British consulate staff the number of reported rapes of holidaymak ers abroad has more than doubled in five years from 61 in 1997 to 129 in 2002. In Greece alone, reported rapes rose from 17 in 1998 to 34 last summer. Cases of violent crime, including the murder of a British man on Corfu, also jumped from 23 in 1998 to 57 in 2002. The biggest number of sex crimes – 11 in total – was reported in Faliraki on Rhodes, where the local mayor, Yiannis Iatrides, said the municipality had also laid on extra policing. Full Story

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