By Philip Chrysopoulos, May 9, 2018
The Hellenic Police (ELAS) on Wednesday introduced 64 new electric bikes as part of a project to have greater presence in Greek cities, according to the Athens News Agency.
The new electric bicycles will be distributed to 10 cities and towns. Police officers on bicycles first appeared in Greece two and a half years ago and the reception has been very good so far, especially from foreign visitors.
The 64 bicycles were acquired by the Ministry of Citizen Protection after requests from certain municipalities. The project will expand to other cities and towns, especially during summer season.
Head of ELAS, Lieutenant General Constantinos Tsouvalas said during the presentation, that bicycle police have been very successful. He said that the basic philosophy of police is mild policing, prevention and with police presence giving a sense of security to citizens.
“Police presence and effective preventive action of the Hellenic Police dramatically reduces the chances of intervention being necessary, as it prevents the occurrence of criminal acts,” Tsouvalas said.
Deputy Minister of Citizen Protection Nikos Toskas said: “Greece is a safe country and this is, among other things, the reason why more and more tourists choose it. The government and the leadership of the Ministry of Citizen Protection are of particular importance in maintaining a high level of safety and in enhancing the sense of security of tourists and citizens. Against this background, the police are making every effort, recording significant successes and undertaking new actions and initiatives to preserve it.”
With the new 64 bikes, the project extends to Spetses, Kastoria, Chalkida, Lesvos, Chios, Rethymno, Heraklion, Trikala, Lefkada and Hydra.
The police officers, men and women, who are members of the bike teams, are young, educated and speak English, at least, while almost all foreign languages are also learned. Bicycle police have high visibility and belong to the Department of Tourist Police.
The main priorities of police bicyclists are:
– Serving visitors and tourists, providing directions and information.
– Collaboration and assistance with other police services or agencies to solve problems, mainly of tourist interest.
– Operational readiness and effective management of mild incidents.