Police launch operations to clean up Pedio tou Areos
Police patrols in the Pedio tou Areos park, one of the largest green areas in central Athens, have picked since the start of the year, resulting 231 arrests in connection to minor offences, authorities said on Wednesday.
The crackdown in the area, located minutes away from Omonia square and close to the National Technical University of Athens, comes after complaints from local residents of rampant drug usage and peddling in the park area, that has also become a hang out for prostitutes.
Τhe park is surrounded by the densely populated suburbs of Kypseli, Gyzi, Neapoli, Polygono and Viktoria.
Police said that daily patrols of the park have resulted in more than 6,000 people being detained. Out of this number, 231 have been arrested with about half charged with drug related crimes. The rest of the arrests relate to illegal immigrants, gun possession and theft, authorities added.
Police said they will continue the increased supervision of the area.
In a bid to involve the local community in cleaning up the area, the Athens city council is planning an open council meeting at a stadium on the fringes of the park later this month that will be open to the public.