The Hellenic Police operates under the jurisdiction of the under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Citizen Protection. Greece is divided into two sectors of policing - Northern Greece and Southern Greece - with both consisting of several regions.
Border Security and Management Overview
The Hellenic borders are divided into three sectors (land, air and sea borders), according to the Schengen Acquis and the framework of the European Border and Coast-Guard Agency (Frontex). The land and air borders protection fall under the jurisdiction of the Hellenic Police (HP), while the protection of sea borders fall under the jurisdiction of both the Hellenic Police and the Hellenic Coast Guard
Counter Terrorism Overview
The State Security Division, a subordinate of the Security Branch of the Hellenic Police, has its 2nd Department (Protection of the Democratic Constitution) responsible for the strategic coordination on issues relating to terrorism, violent extremism and radicalization. The Special Violent Crime (Counter Terrorism) Division [CT Unit] falls directly under the Chief of the Hellenic Police and works to confront crimes of extreme violence with the purpose of prevention and repression of all terrorist acts. The Information Analysis and Management Division (HPiD) is the Central Intelligence Hub of the Hellenic HP, focusing on combating all forms of crime, but mainly serious and organised crime and terrorism. The Special Anti-Terrorist Unit (EKAM) constitutes the elite Special Unit of the Hellenic Police, with the mission to effectively respond to serious and exceptionally dangerous situations (such as terrorist actions, etc.)
Cyber/ICT Security Overview
The National Authority Against Electronic Attacks (NAAEA) is responsible for co-ordinating the management and mitigation of cyber incidents, in particular those targeting critical infrastructure, and for the establishment of additional measures pertaining to the safeguarding of the public sector and the Greek critical infrastructure against cyber-attacks.
Functions and missions
The Hellenic Police (HP) is one of the law enforcement agencies and operates under the authority of the Ministry of Citizen Protection. According to the Law 2800/2000 its mission is to:
- ensure peace and order as well as citizens` unhindered social development, a mission that includes general policing duties and traffic safety
- prevent and interdict crime as well as to protect the State and the democratic form of government within the framework of constitutional order, a mission that also includes the implementation of public and state security policy
Structure and organisation
HP’s hierarchy is as follow:
- Chief of the HP
- Deputy Chief of the HP,
- General Inspector for Aliens and Border Protection,
- General Inspector for Southern Greece,
- General Inspector for Northern Greece and
- Chief of Staff of the HP Headquarters
Furthermore, HP is comprised of both Central and Regional Services.
HP Headquarters is the supreme authority over both central and regional Services and is structured in the following Branches:
- Order Branch
- Security Branch
- Aliens and Border Protection Branch
- Administrative Support and Human Resources Branch and
- Financial – Technical Support and IT Branch.
Moreover, there are central Services that are directly under the authority of the Chief or the Deputy Chief of the HP:
- Information Analysis and Management Division
- Internal Affairs Division
- Special Violent Crimes Division (Counter-Terrorism Unit)
- Forensic Science Division
- Cyber Crime Division
- V.I.P. and Sensitive Targets Protection Division
- Financial Police Division
- Special Police Forces Division, which comprises:
- Aerial Support Unit (YEMEA),
- Special Counter Terrorism Unit (EKAM) and
- Bomb Disposal (YEEM) and Police Dogs Sub-Units.
- Unified Coordination Centre for Operations and Crisis Management
- Police Academy
- Financial Audit Division
- Health Services Division
As for the HP regional Services, Hellenic territory is divided into two sectors for policing, both headed by an Inspector General, as follows:
- East Macedonia and Thrace region
- Central Macedonia region
- West Macedonia region
- Thessaly region
- Epirus region
- North Aegean region
- Central Greece region
- Peloponnese region
- West Greece region
- Ionian Islands region
- South Aegean region
- Crete region
Education / Training
Police Academy’s objective is to provide education and training to HP personnel. The Academy consists of the following Police Schools:
Police Lieutenant’s School, a university-level institution which aims at the training of future police lieutenants (eight semesters’ duration).
- Police Constable School, which trains cadets to become police constables (five semesters’ duration).
- National Security School, which aims at the life-long learning with the goal of providing further education and training addressed to high-ranking Police officers, focusing on matters related to national security strategies and policies (six to eight months duration).
- School of Further Education and Training, which focuses on specializing and providing further educating to HP staff (one to four months duration)
Border Police Units
The Border Police Units (BPU) of the HP, operates under the supervision of the Headquarters and especially under the Aliens and Border Protection Branch. Currently, police officers with border-related duties serve at 29 Border Police Units across the land border areas of the Hellenic territory. The police officers have at their disposal a variety of technical means, in order to fulfil their mission, which is to prevent illegal immigration and combat cross-border crime, at the external borders of Greece.
Border Guarding Services have been established in order to address the problem of illegal immigration and cross-border crime. Border Guarding Services operate in the following prefectures: Alexandroupolis, Orestiada, Thesprotia, Kastoria, Ioannina, Florina, Pella, Kilkis, Serres, Drama, Xanthi, Rhodopi and Corfu. In addition, Migration Management Units operate in areas with a large number of illegal immigrants. In particular, they operate at the following prefectures: Attica, Preveza, Arta, Kozani, Imathia, Thessaloniki, Kavala, Halkidiki, Pieria.
Hellenic Coast Guard
The Hellenic Coast Guard (HCG) Force is currently under the authority of the Ministry of Shipping and Island Policy. It operates a total of 269 patrol boats and vessels and its own dedicated air fleet, composed of 6 fixed wing assets and 6 helicopters. BPU’s and HCG cooperate closely with the law enforcement agencies from other EU member states in the implementation of EU policies.
The Hellenic Coast Guard Force is currently under the authority of the Ministry of Shipping and Island Policy. The HCG Force is headed by the Senior Coast Guard Officer who has the rank of vice admiral (Antinavarchos). The basic roles of the Hellenic Coast Guard are law enforcement at sea, search and rescue, marine safety, preventing sea pollution, fisheries patrolling, preventing illegal immigration and drug interdiction.
The main activities of the Hellenic Coast Guard are defined in the present legislation and specified within its institutional framework of operation. These activities are the following:
- Law enforcement at sea, ports and coastal areas. Prevention of illegal immigration.
- Surveillance of the sea, shipping, ports and borders.
- Search and rescue at sea (jointly with the Hellenic Air Force, which is responsible for search and rescue by air).
- Safety of navigation (with the exception of lighthouses, RACONs and buoys, which are constructed, purchased, installed and maintained by the Hellenic Navy Lighthouse Service).
- Protection of the marine environment and response to marine pollution incidents.
- Provision of emergency maritime radio communication services.
- Port operations (excluding port pilots service).
- Representation of Greece in international organizations and the European Commission in matters related to these roles.
HP HQs State Security Division
The State Security Division (SSD) is subordinate to the Security Branch of the HP HQs and consists of 4 Departments, as follows:
- 1st Dept. (Social and Cultural Affairs)
- 2nd Dept. (Protection of the Democratic Constitution)
- 3rd Dept. (Firearms and Explosives)
- 4th Dept. (Identity Cards and Archives).
2nd Dept. (Protection of the Democratic Constitution)
The 2nd Dept. of Protection of the Democratic Constitution is subordinate to SSD and is responsible for the strategic coordination on issues relating to terrorism, violent extremism and radicalization.
In this regard, it conducts information – intelligence gathering, deriving from a broad spectrum of competent authorities, such as national LEAs as well as EU and international intelligence services.
Hence, the Dept. manages to formulate an overall picture (current situation and emerging trends), primarily at the national level, with regard to terrorism, violent extremism and radicalization, thus guiding, supporting and coordinating the competent national authorities.
Terrorist and extremist activities/ groups could be identified as areas of special concern, in tandem with the process/ phenomenon of radicalization, mainly concentrating on sources of motivation and/or ideologies, such as religiously – inspired and jihadist, left – wing and anarchist, right-wing and nationalist, as well as “single issue”.
Special Violent Crime (Counter Terrorism) Division [CT Unit]
Special Violent Crime (Counter Terrorism) Division [CT Unit] falls directly under the Chief of the Hellenic Police and is responsible for the entire Hellenic territory.
Its aim is to confront crimes of extreme violence with the purpose of prevention and repression of terrorist acts are directed against the security of the state and its democratic government, as well as against individuals or things.
It includes the following Departments:
- Combating of Internal Terrorism Department
- Combating of International Terrorism Department
- Protection of State and Constitution Department
- Operations and Special Investigations
- Administrative and Technical Support Department
- Information Management and Strategy Department
For the fulfilment of its mission, the Special Crimes Division cooperates with the Hellenic National Intelligence Service, as well as with other Hellenic and foreign Agencies.
Information Analysis and Management Division
The Information Analysis and Management Division (HPiD) is the Central Intelligence Hub of the Hellenic HP, focusing on combating all forms of crime, but mainly Serious and Organised Crime and Terrorism.
The mission of the HPiD includes intelligence support and analysis of data deriving from preliminary judicial procedures to all Hellenic Police Agencies as well as to other National Security Authorities, Law Enforcement Agencies and Judicial Authorities.
HPiD orientates its actions towards the prevention, identification or investigation of criminal activities, either in the framework of independent operational-intelligence activities or through intelligence-support to other Authorities or Agencies, regarding serious and organized criminal behaviours, inter-alia, with cross border and trans-European dimensions.
Special Anti-Terrorist Unit (EKAM)
The Special Anti-Terrorist Unit (EKAM) constitutes the elite Special Unit of the Hellenic Police, with the mission to effectively respond to serious and exceptionally dangerous situations (such as terrorist actions, piracy, hostage taking, arrests of dangerous criminals, subdue barricaded individuals, high-risk VIP's escort etc.) as well as to intervene in dangerous regions, which have intentionally been polluted by chemical or biological agents or have been contaminated by radioactive or nuclear substances.
EKAM in the broader context of its mission supports and participates upon request in search and rescue operations at inaccessible or dangerous regions, as well as in the evacuation of victims in major natural or technological disasters or major accidents.
The Unit carries out operations all over the Hellenic territory, in order to support police operations for intervention or aid rendering in major disasters.