reported that Greek police are now available for hire by private citizens desiring extra protection from "streets teeming with criminals." A price list has been posted by the government offering police officers for €30 per hour, €200 per hour for police patrol boats and €1,500 per hour for a police helicopter.
According to Financial Magazine
the ministry will only approve police leasing if it does not interfere with normal police operations. Services on offer for rent, which were previously offered without charge, include escort work for people transporting works of art of hazardous material. Such services in the past resulted in accusations of the ministry favoring the economic elite.
The move mirrors the boom in the private security industry which has gripped the capital as crime has soared on the back of mass illegal immigration and the financial crisis. Balkan Analysis
reported "a steep increase in organized crime in Greece, a trend accompanied by the country’s ongoing economic crisis and marked by the involvement of transnational crime organizations and illegal immigrant groups."
The Athens City Council released a statement, reported by Der Spiegel
, saying "The city's historic centre and other major areas are suffering desertification, all manner of criminal activity and manifestations of violence, insecurity, lawlessness, the impoverishment of significant numbers of people -- both native inhabitants and foreign nationals, illegal prostitution and illegal drug trading."
The decision to proceed with the rent a cop scheme is intended to swell the nation's coffers but will only benefit those with the cash to afford additional security.