After youth unrest, Greece targets hoodies

22nd March 2009, Comments 0 comments

Authorities in Greece have spent the last few weeks struggling to find an effective policing response to increasing incidents of violence and vandalism by youth following the fatal shooting of a teenager by police in December.

Athens -- Greek authorities are planning to introduce measures to penalise the wearing of hoods during protests after a series of vandalism incidents involving hooded youths, the government said.

"We envisage a number of measures (to discourage) the use of hoods," Justice Minister Nikos Dendias told reporters after briefing the inner cabinet, adding that this could involve prison terms of up to 10 years. "Greek citizens ... are not afraid to show their faces while protesting."

"People who are arrested for vandalism, inflicting bodily wounds and disrupting public order risk getting additional terms of between two and 10 years," he added.

Authorities in Greece have spent the last few weeks struggling to find an effective policing response to increasing incidents of violence and vandalism by youths following the fatal shooting of a teenager by police in December.

Last week, a group of around 50 hooded youths armed with crowbars and sledgehammers vandalised shop fronts, banks and cars in the affluent Athens district of Kolonaki.

Witnesses later said many of the youths were in their early teens.

The police this week also announced the creation of new groups of motorcycle-borne police patrols to enforce security.

Another by-product of the December unrest was the escalation of attacks by far-left groups and the re-emergence of the country's most dangerous extremist organisation, Revolutionary Struggle, after over a year of inactivity.

RS earlier this year injured a young officer in two ambushes on police and carried out two bombing attacks against US-based banking group Citibank, one of them aiming to blow up the company's Greek headquarters.

Concern about resurgent extremism has prompted the Greek government to seek advice from Britain's Scotland Yard under a collaboration begun in 2000 after Britain's military attaché was assassinated by the radical group November 17.

With Scotland Yard's help, the N17 group which had killed 23 people in a 25-year run of attacks was dismantled two years later.

AFP/Expatica

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