Police in Athens: What's the Stance?

BY Maria Pappa

Police in Athens: What's the Stance?
Photography by Dimitris Lambridis


Hellenic police are a mixed bag. Despite recent efforts of modernisation, it’s still an institution full of neverending controversies. There is always the danger of arbitrary behaviour, but this is a nationwide issue. For a number of reasons, it can be very unnerving when police are involved in any way.

In Athens policing may be considered undue in certain areas like Exarcheia, where there are recorded incidents of unexpected searches in the middle of the street and many officers can be aggressive if provoked. Things can get more complicated in the case of middle eastern males but you don’t usually hear about it in the news.

Tourists and visitors tend to be excluded from these kinds of situations. Still, you might witness police brutality if you happen to stumble upon a big demonstration. In the past, protests could easily turn violent but this is becoming more of a rare phenomenon as time goes by.