Citizen Protection Minister announces reforms and radical changes to police force

Citizen Protection Minister Takis Theodorikakos has given the Chief of the Hellenic Police Lieutenant General Michail Karamalakis until the end of the week to complete changes to the top echelons of the police Emergency Response service and to reinforce its ranks with 20 new officers.

The changes aim to improve response to the kinds of incidents that most concern ordinary citizens, while Deputy Citizen Protection Minister Lefteris Economou and a team of specialist officers have until the end of November to complete radical changes to the service and how it operates.

These actions will be among five major reforms announced by Theodorikakos on Monday, after the police chief presented him with a report last Friday on the incident in Perama. The minister also announced two legislative initiatives to be carried out immediately.

The first, the minister clarified, was that no police pursuits will henceforth stop and that steps will be taken to provide ongoing training for police officers. He also announced that the Emergency Response Centre will be digitalised and acquire secure communications by September 2022, while all police officers in the DIAS, MAT, OPKE and patrol car units will be issued with cameras.

Theodorikakos announced plans for legislation to upgrade the police academy and improve officer training, and changes to the penal code to convert thefts committed on a professional basis into a felony.

Theodorikakos did not conceal his displeasure at the way the Emergency Response service has been operating, adding that this is also a concern for public opinion.