SYRIZA leader pledges return of neighbourhood policeman
AMNA--Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) leader Alexis Tsipras on Monday underlined that restoring a sense of security and safety by returning police to neighbourhood beats and "reconciling" the police with the public were two priority issues for his party, following his visit to the Attical General Police Headquarters in Athens.
"It is especially important that we ensure the conditions that will enable every citizen to walk about freely and without fear in every corner of the country, 24 hours a day," he emphasised.
According to Tsipras, the 'bailout governments' had directed resources, manpower and energy into two goals that had nothing to do with the true aim and mission of the Greek police - using the force instead to repress the people's reaction to the "memorandum policies of destruction" and as free security to guard "highly influential persons". Ensuring the safety of ordinary citizens meant returning the police to neighbourhoods, he added.amna
"That is where [a policeman's] work is. To protect the citizen and not to be at MPs and ministers' offices," Tsipras stressed.
He also underlined the party's desire to restore a climate of trust between the public and police, as well as between police and executive authority, noting that he intended to work with the police commanders to carry out "institutional changes that they, themselves, prioritise as important".
Asked whether police would patrol neighbourhoods armed or unarmed, Tsipras clarified that the officers would be bear arms "where crime is being generated" but would not be equipped to repress the reactions of the people, inspiring a sense of safety rather than fear.amna
Asked about the charges he made during his recent visit to the citizen protection ministry and a file on anti-establishment rioters that he presented to the police, Tsipras noted that "we have shared views with the leadership of the police concerning the dangers that exist for enclaves, which might be created and hatched at the lowest level even in the police force," he said.amna
He also noted that the police force had a very good track record of successfully combatting high-level crime but suffered greatly in its handling of petty and medium-level crime, while expressing his party's "complete confidence in those forces that occupy themselves with the exclusive goal of the Greek police, which is to fight crime".
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