The Hellenic Arms Control Center (HACC) launched a campaign in Greece for the foundation of a Hellenic Neighborhood Watch Program (approximated in Greek by the expression “Ελληνική Πολιτοφυλακή”). The Hellenic Neighborhood Watch program was thoroughly analyzed in the website of HACC providing hyperlinks to relevant NW programs in the USA and Europe. Despite HACC’s efforts there were some media in Greece which distorted and defamed this noble campaign. HACC launched the Hellenic Neighborhood Program to reduce crime and alert the citizens so that, after some relevant education, they could patrol their neighborhood, work together with the Police and establish a solid Citizen-Police relationship which would deter crime and enhance the feeling of security in Greece. The response was mixed and surprising, which underlines the widespread suspicion and lack of education in security matters in Greece. Admittedly, there were many citizens who expressed their interest but in Greece there is a large opinion-forming network of extremist blogs which started distorting and slandering the effort – even threatening the life of the founders.
The Greek Police seemed to be totally unaware of the Neighborhood Watch notion and expressed no interest, thus silently rejecting a powerful ally i.e. the Greek Citizen Patrol. The Director of HACC published an open letter to HACC’s website calling for the help of the Citizen’s Protection Ministry, which was totally in vain. As a token of protest, HACC finally canceled the Hellenic Neighborhood Watch program while crime and violence in Greece are rapidly expanding.

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