The Full Wiki

Greek Police: Wikis

Advertisements
  
  

Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.

Encyclopedia

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Emblem of the Greek Police
Ministry Ministry of Citizen Protection
Chief of Police Eleftherios Ikonomou
Established 1984
No. of Personnel 55,000

The Hellenic Police (Greek: Ελληνική Αστυνομία "Elliniki Astynomia", abbreviated ΕΛ.ΑΣ.) is the national police force of Greece.

The force was established in 1984 under Law 1481/1-10-1984 (Government Gazette 152 A) as the result of the fusion of the Gendarmerie (Χωροφυλακή, "Chorofylaki") and the City Police (Αστυνομία Πόλεων, "Astynomia Poleon") forces.[1]

According to Law 2800/2000, the Hellenic Police is a security organ whose primary aims are:

  • Ensuring peace and order as well as citizens' unhindered social development, a mission that includes general policing duties and traffic safety.
  • Prevention and suppression of crime as well as protecting the state and its democratic form of government within the framework of the constitutional order, a mission which includes the implementation of public and state security policy.

The Hellenic Police is constituted along central and regional lines. Its current chief is Police Lieutenant-General Eleftherios Ikonomou (Ελευθέριος Οικονόμου). The force takes direction from the Minister of Citizen Protection.

The force's staff consists of police officers, civilians, Border Guards and Special Police Guards.

Contents

Structure

Advertisements

Overview

The Hellenic Police force is headed in a de jure sense by the Minister of Interior, however, although he or she sets the general policy direction of Greece's stance towards law and order as a whole, the Chief of Police is the day-to-day head of the force. Underneath the Chief of Police is the Deputy Chief of Police whose role is largely advisory, though in the event of the Chief of Police being unable to assume his duties the Deputy Chief will take over as the interim head. Regular meetings are also held with the Council of Planning and Crisis Management who are drawn from the heads of the main divisions of the police force and raise relevant issues with the Chief of Police him/herself. Underneath the Deputy Chief of Police is the Head of Staff, who, in addition to acting as 'Principal' of the Police Academy, heads the Security and Order Branch, Administrative Support Branch and Economical-Technical and Information Support Branch. Equal in rank to the Head of Staff are the General Inspectors of Southern and Northern Greece, who have under their jurisdiction the regional services of both these divisions.

Regional Jurisdiction

Greece is divided into two sectors for policing, both headed by an Inspector General. These sectors both contain several regions, headed by an Inspector General.

Northern Greece

Southern Greece

Special Services of the Police

The Greek Police force has several special services divisions under the authority of the Chief of Police and working in conjunction with regional and other police sectors where necessary, these are as follows:

  • Special Violent Crime Squad (Greek: Δ.Α.Ε.Ε.Β. - Διεύθυνση Αντιμετώπισης Ειδικών Εγκλημάτων Βίας - Diefthynsi Antimetopisis Eidikon Eglimaton Vias)
  • Forensic Division (Greek: Δ.Ε.Ε. - Διεύθυνση Εγκληματολογικών Ερευνών - Diefthynsi Eglimatologikon Erevnon)
  • Division of Internal Affairs (Greek: Δ.Ε.Υ. - Διεύθυνση Εσωτερικών Υποθέσεων - Diefthynsi Esoterikon Erevnon)
  • International Police Cooperation Division (Greek: Δ.Δ.Α.Σ. - Διεύθυνση Διεθνούς Αστυνομικής Συνεργασίας - Diefthynsi Diethnous Astynomikis Synergasias)
  • Informatics Division (Greek: Διεύθυνση Πληροφορικής - Diefthynsi Pliroforikis)
  • Special Anti-Terrorist Unit (Greek: E.K.A.M. - Ειδική Κατασταλτική Αντιτρομοκρατική Μονάδα - Eidiki Katastaltiki Antitromokratiki Monada)
  • Department of Explosive Devices Disposal (Greek: Τ.Ε.Ε.Μ. - Τμήμα Εξουδετέρωσης Εκρηκτικών Μηχανισμών - Tmima Exoudeterosis Ekriktikon Mihanismon)
  • Hellenic Police Air Force Service (Greek: Υ.Ε.Μ.Ε.Α. - Υπηρεσία Εναερίων Μέσων Ελληνικής Αστυνομίας - Yperisia Enaerion Meson Ellinikis Astynomias)
  • Special Guards (Greek: Ειδικοί Φρουροί - Eidiki Frouri)
  • Border Guards (Greek: Συνοριοφύλακες - Synoriofylakes)
  • Unit of Police Dogs (Greek: Ομάδα Αστυνομικών Σκύλων - Omada Astynomikon Skylon)

History of the Hellenic Police

19th century

Though there was what constituted a police force under the provisional Government of Greece during the Greek War of Independence, the first organized police force in Greece was the Greek Gendarmerie which was established in 1833 after the enthronement of King Otho. It was at that time formally part of the army and under the authority of the Defence Ministry (later the entirety of the organization including the Police Academy was brought under its authority). A city police force was also established but its role remained a secondary one in comparison to the Army's role (mainly dealing with illegal gambling, a severe problem at the time), several foreign advisers (particularly from Bavaria, which emphasized elements of centralization and authoritarianism), were also brought in to provide training and tactical advice to the newly formed Police force. The main task of the police force under the army as a whole during this period was firstly to combat theft but also to contribute to the establishment of a strong executive government.

The army's links to the police and the nature of the structure of the police force and its hierarchy (that of being similar to the army) was maintained throughout the 19th century for a number of reasons. Largely the socio-political unrest that characterized the period including disproportionate poverty, governmental oppression, sporadic rebellions and political instability. As a result of this, as well as the input of the armed forces, the police force remained a largely conservative body throughout the period, there was also a certain amount of politicization during training as the police force were trained in military camps.

20th century

In 1906 the Greek police force underwent its first major restructuring at an administrative level. It acquired its own educational and training facilities independent of those of the army (though still remaining titularly part of the armed forces). Despite this the Gendarmarie still maintained a largely military based structured based on its involvement in the Macedonian Struggle, and the Balkan and First World Wars, as a result it tended to neglect civilian matters and was partially unresponsive to the needs of Greek society at the time. However, together with the establishment of a civilian city police force for Attica in 1920 (which would eventually be expanded to the entire country), it set a precedent for further change that came in 1935 because of rapid technological, demographic and economic changes which helped it to become more responsive to civilian policing needs of the time.

However, modernization of the police force was stunted by the successive periods of political instability. The dictatorship of Ioannis Metaxas, compounded with both the Second World War and the Greek Civil War led to a retardation of reform throughout the late 1930s and early to mid 1940s. After the war however, British experts were brought in to help reform the police along the lines of the British Police, as a result, after 1946 the police force ceased to be a part of the Defence Ministry, however even then it did not abandon its military features and was still prevalently a military based institution. The Civil war of the period also contributed to excesses on both sides (Royalist and Communist), torture and abuse of human rights were widespread especially during the early periods of the war when parts of the country where in a state of near lawlessness. Despite this, after the war the police force did reach a respectable level of civilian policing throughout the mid 1960s which was stunted by the rise to power of the Military Dictatorship of the Colonels from 1967 to 1974 where it was largely employed as a method of quelling popular discontent along with the newly established Greek Military Police force of the dictatorship.

After the fall of the Colonels the Greek Military Police was eventually disbanded and Greece became a Republic. Despite strong opposition from the Gendarmarie, in 1984 both the city police and the Gendarmarie were merged into a single unified Greek Police Force which maintained elements of a military structure and hierarchy. Because of the long tradition of militaristic elements within the structure of the police even the Council of State of Greece ruled that the police should be regarded as a military body and that members are not civilians but members of the military engaged in a wider role together with the Armed Forces to supplement the Army in defence of the homeland. This has however in recent years been relegated to policing duties such as border patrols and combating illegal immigration and is not reflective of any de facto military duties outside of that of a defensive role in the event of an invasion. Today the Greek Police assist in training other emerging Balkan police forces and Greece has one of the lowest crime rates within the European Union.

Current Issues

There are several current issues affecting the police in Greece today, of particular importance is the rise in drug related crimes, sometimes attributed to increased immigration from Albania and other former Eastern Bloc countries, this has particularly affected Athens and in particular Omonoia Square which has become a central point for drug-related activities within Greece. Illegal immigration is also a problem as Greece remains both a destination and transit point for illegal immigrants, particularly from Albania (as well as increasingly African countries). There has been an effort in recent years to step up the security procedures along Greece's borders (though some allege there has been too much of a heavy handed approach to this issue). The issue of the recruitment of minorities has also been brought up by opposition PASOK MPs in Parliament several times. Greece is also one of the few EU countries where there is a rising crime rate, though comparatively the crime rate is still very low by EU standards. Some also allege there is a division within the Greek Police force between the 'Modern' and 'Traditional' elements, they claim the traditional element is underpinned by the long history of links with the military whereas the 'Modern' element is geared towards the police playing a greater social role in society (for example, drug rehabilitation).

Transportation

A Citroen Xsara police car in Corfu.

The most common police vehicle in Greece is a white with blue stripes Citroen Xsara, which recently replaced the Opel Astra used until the late 1990s. Other vehicles that Greek Police uses are: Citroen Xantia II (1998, 1999), Skoda Octavia A facelift (2002, 2003), Nissan Sunny N13 (1989), Renault 19 Chamade (1991), Nissan Sunny N14 (1992), Opel Astra A/F facelift (1995, 1996), Opel Astra G/B(1999, 2000), Opel Vectra A (1991), Citroen Saxo (1998), Nissan Primera mk2 (1997, 1998), Nissan Almera mk1 facelift (1998, 1999), Citroen Xsara Break (2000), Nissan Sunny N12 (1985), Mitsubishi Lancer 2 (1985), Citroen ZX II (1995), Citroen Xsara II Break (2004), Daihatsu Charmant 2 (1985), Volvo 460 (1991), Citroen Xsara II (2002, 2004), Toyota Corolla E110 (1998), Toyota Corolla E110 Station Wagon (1998), Suzuki Baleno (1996), Mitsubishi Galant 4 (1984, 1985), Skoda Octavia A facelift 2 (2004, 2006), Skoda Octavia B facelift (2009), Skoda Octavia B Combi facelift (2009), and Citroen Xsara (2000).

Equipment

Academy of Police

The Hellenic Police Academy was established in 1994 with the voting of law 2226/1994 through Parliament. It is situated in Athens and is under the jurisdiction of the chief of police (i.e. the minister of public order). However the Chief of Police can make recommendations and act as an advisor to the Minister on improvements and other such issues (for example structural reform) pertaining to the Academy. The Minister and the Chief of Police make annual speeches at the Academy to prospective Police Officers. The school is made up of University Professors, special scientists (for areas such as forensics) and high ranking police officers who have specialist field experience. Entrance to the academy is based on examinations and an interview, though it differs depending on which particular school of the academy the student wishes to join.

The Police Academy includes:

  • The School for Police Officers, for high school students who wish to become police officers.
  • The School for Police Sergeants, for high school students who wish to become police employees.
  • The School for Postgraduate Education and lifelong learning.
  • The National Security School, for high ranking police personnel (also open to other categories of public servants such as Firemen).

Special Forces

See: Special Anti-Terrorist Unit

See also

Notes

  • After the War was Over, Mark Mazower (Reconstructing the family, nation and state in Greece).
  1. ^ Law 1481/1 October 1984, Official Journal of the Hellenic Republic, A-152

External links


Advertisements






Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address
Message