Sources: The Library of Congress Country Studies; CIA World Factbook
The crime rate in Greece has risen in the 1990s, but the incidence of most types of crime has remained relatively low. Narcotics-related crime, however, has accelerated markedly and has been identified as the most serious challenge to public security.
Although detailed current statistics are not available, experts agree that the crime rate in Greece is relatively low compared with other nations in the region. The majority of offenses are crimes against property (especially in the big cities), simple assaults, and infractions of commercial and motor vehicle regulations. An increased rate of armed robberies since 1990 has been attributed to the influx of illegal aliens and economic refugees from the Balkans and the Middle East. In 1994 the rates for major crimes were two rapes and two murders per 100,000 population and 475 thefts per 100,000 population.
Narcotics-related crime is an ever-increasing area of concern. Greece is an important transshipment point for illegal narcotics moving from Asia to markets in Western Europe and the United States. Drug-related crimes began to increase in Greece in the late 1980s, and control of domestic drug abuse and shipment has become a major emphasis of the legal authorities (see Narcotics Sales , this ch.)
Gun control is strictly enforced in Greece. Possession of firearms of any type, except those licensed for hunting, is forbidden. Any violation of gun-control regulations (possessing, importing, selling, or transporting weapons and ammunition of a military type) brings a multiyear prison sentence.
In traditional Greek society, acts of revenge against a person perceived as having assaulted a family's honor often went unpunished. In the 1980s and the 1990s, some incidents of "vigilante justice" still occurred in rural areas, but authorities have become far less lenient in cases of assault and property damage instigated by a revenge motive.
Data as of December 1994
NOTE: The information regarding Greece on this page is re-published from The Library of Congress Country Studies and the CIA World Factbook. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Greece CRIME information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Greece CRIME should be addressed to the Library of Congress and the CIA.