Author Topic: Pick a pocket or two  (Read 688 times)

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Offline Maik

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Pick a pocket or two
« on: Sunday, 24 September, 2017 @ 19:52:02 »
Greek police expose audacity of £3,000-a-day pickpocketing gang
Officers detail crackdown on major criminal network that worked shifts and in teams to distract and prey on tourists

The audacity and creativity of a pickpocket gang who worked shifts, employed teams of runners and made tourists their exclusive prey has been revealed by one of the most successful crackdowns to date on street crime in Greece.

Pickpocketing may flourish in tourist havens, but in Athens, where visitor numbers are booming, thieves appear to have been on a roll. With takings in excess of €3,500 (£3,100) a day, pickpockets posing as holidaymakers built a criminal network of unprecedented scale, “working” the public transport system for the best part of a decade.

Tourists heading to and from Athens airport on the metro were their favourite targets, along with older people and those with mobility issues.

Most of those arrested, including a woman thought to be the gang’s leader, were from Albania. A former Greek police officer, who played a key role providing protection, was also among those arrested.

Although Greece is known for its safety, pickpocketing has long been seen as a major problem for holidaymakers.

With the country’s struggling economy more dependent than ever on tourism, and one in five people working in the sector, officials are taking crime seriously. Toskas said security had been upgraded and Greek police were receiving training from their British counterparts in on-the-ground policing and signal intelligence.

“We have 52,000 police nationwide and 16,000 in Athens, and have increased patrols in tourist areas dramatically,” the minister said. “The UK has very good city policing, very good intelligence services and we have been cooperating very closely with them on both.”

Offline TonyKath

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Re: Pick a pocket or two
« Reply #1 on: Monday, 25 September, 2017 @ 16:19:27 »
Thanks for the reminder Maik.  A friend had her bag snatched on the metro back to the airport.  Complete with passport and tickets.  To be fair it could just as easily happen in London or Paris.  Kath watched a gang on the Ramblas in Barcelona a few years back.  Very noticeable earlier in the morning with fewer tourists about.

 :( :( :(