Thefts and robberies in Greece increased by an average of 10 percent in 2011, the country’s fifth year of recession.
The highest percentage of recorded offenses involved small amounts of money or property which police referred to as crimes of “emergency or survival” while violent, organized robberies decreased, according to statistics on the Police website yesterday.
Robberies increased to 6,636 in 2011 with 5,134 taking place in the Attica region around Athens. Robbery increases were recorded for homes, shops and gas stations, while bank robberies dropped by more than half to 115 from 318 and post office robberies declined to 71 from 95, with supermarket holdups falling to 344 from 359, police said.
There were 96,925 thefts and burglaries in 2011, an increase of 5,994 from the year before, with 56,852 offenses taking place in the Attica region. The offenses include car break-ins, purse snatching and pick-pocketing.
Greek police said they are increasing the number of officers on the force’s rapid-response motorbike patrols by 195 members in the Athens area to 1,533 officers and the number will gradually rise to 3,000 officers. The increase is part of an “effort to strengthen the public confidence and tackle crime”, according to a separate statement posted yesterday on the police website.
Greece recorded 184 homicides in 2011 compared with 176 in 2010, police said. About 100,000 migrants were arrested trying to enter Greece in 2011 down from 132,524 in 2010.
The government last month committed to additional austerity measures to secure a 130 billion-euro ($172 billion) aid package from the European Union and International Monetary Fund. Gross domestic product contracted 7.5 percent in the fourth-quarter of 2011 and the country’s unemployment rate rose to a record 21 percent in December, with the rate for those under 24 at 51 percent.
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