Police forces play a key role in ensuring the smooth conduct of criminal proceedings, and this includes close cooperation with judges and the Public Prosecutor’s Office.

Firstly, when the police become aware that a crime has been committed following a complaint or report, or if a police officer has witnessed a crime, the police have a duty to inform the Public Prosecutor’s Office as soon as possible so that criminal proceedings can be initiated. However, if there is a risk that relevant evidence may be lost or destroyed, then before informing the Public Prosecutor’s Office, the police must urgently take all necessary steps to prevent this from happening; for example, immediately seizing the vehicle in which a murder took place and which the suspect may wish to hide or destroy in order to conceal any evidence.

It is up to the police to continue the investigation under the guidance of the Public Prosecutor’s Office. It is the police who will gather evidence by examining the crime scene, interviewing the victim, the defendant and witnesses, collecting documents, requesting the cooperation of experts, conducting investigations, etc. The Prosecutor may of course take part in any of these. Indeed, some of these measures must in fact be approved or even carried out by the Public Prosecutor or the judge. Usually, however, it is the police who collect the evidence. The Public Prosecutor’s Office may at any time request the case file in order to assess the progress of the investigation.

During the investigation, if the victim wishes to provide further information or learn about the case, he or she should contact the police officer responsible for investigating the case. If the victim has been threatened or intimidated or fears for their safety, they should report it to the police authorities.

When the investigation is complete, the police send the case file to the Public Prosecutor so that he or she can analyze the evidence gathered. If the case goes to trial, it is normal for the police officers who conducted the investigation to be called as witnesses. They will be questioned about the actions and procedures followed during the investigation, the facts they learned, and the evidence they collected. In most cases, of course, the police officers did not witness the crime but they know a lot about it, and this information can help the court to discover the truth. Keep in mind that police officers cannot tell the court what the defendant, the victim, or the witnesses said when they were questioned during the investigation stage.

Domestic Violence Services of the Hellenic Police

A new approach to the issue of domestic violence with victims’ rights at its heart has been launched by the Ministry of Citizen Protection. The issue of domestic violence, a crime that affects the everyday lives of citizens and especially vulnerable people, is at the heart of the new violence prevention strategy now being implemented by the Ministry and the Hellenic Police.
With this regulation, cases of domestic violence receive specialized support from staff who are properly trained to manage these incidents at prefectural and regional level.
The Domestic Violence Services of the Hellenic Police operate throughout the country. The Hellenic Police handle every incident of domestic violence and inform the competent judicial authorities, while at the same time, they provide guidance and information to victims so they can find shelter, medical care, psychosocial and legal support.

The operation of the Domestic Violence Services aims towards:

  • Protection and support of victims, including the prevention of secondary victimization.
  • Encouragement and better management of complaints.
  • Prevention and management of crimes of domestic violence.
  • Coordination of all the departments involved and systematic monitoring of cases.
  • Training and ongoing education of the personnel of the Hellenic Police.
  • Raising citizens’ awareness.

The new operational structure has a coordinating and supportive character for police services that receive and manage complaints of domestic violence.
It includes 73 Services and has the following format:
- The Domestic Violence Response Unit of the General Police Directorate of the Hellenic Police Headquarters
- The Domestic Violence Offices at the headquarters of the General Police Directorates in the fourteen Regions of the country and at the Police Directorates of each Prefecture

Sources: PRESS RELEASE Ministry of Citizen Protection, 4 November 2019; PRESS RELEASE Ministry of Citizen Protection, 15 July 2021.

If you think that a member of any police force has not respected your rights, you should report them to the chief commissioner, police inspector, or police officer of the precinct where the incident occurred. You can also inform the relevant Police Directorate or the HQ of the Hellenic Police, or the Greek Ombudsman office. In case of commission of or complicity in crimes on the part of police officers of all ranks, border guards and special guards, you should report this to the Division of Internal Affairs of the Hellenic Police.


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