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Greek Riot Cops Get Crowd, Bodycam Lessons From French Units

ATHENS – In frequent combat with anarchists, Greek riot police have been getting advanced training from elite French units on how to control confrontations that break out often during protests and use of body cameras.

It’s the first such schooling in 10 years, said Kathimerini, the Greek police taking lessons from France’s Compagnies Republicaines de Securite (CRS) on the use of the bodycams.

Those were required by Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis after a violent confrontation earlier between police and demonstrators in the Athens neighborhood of Nea Smyrni over COVID-19 health restrictions.

The program is only three days long and involves the training of two platoons at a time. The first two days focus on tactics and on the third the officers attend talks by lawyers and psychologists, the report said.

The timing for the training was chosen because riot units are not currently involved in policing soccer games and protest rallies have slowed during the pandemic after thousands were conducted when an economic crisis began in 2010.

Police officers are learning new crowd management tactics and on using the body cameras after it was found in a recent operation the devices failed to accurately focus on rioters faces.

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