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Last Updated: Sunday, 31 August, 2003, 19:43 GMT 20:43 UK
TV show blamed for Faliraki trouble
Inspector John Donnelly (left) and Superintendent Andy Rhodes
Insp Donnelly and Supt Rhodes visited the resort's Bar Street
A UK police officer visiting Faliraki to help tackle unruly behaviour has blamed a fly-on-the-wall TV documentary for an increase in drunken behaviour in the resort.

Blackpool-based officers Superintendent Andy Rhodes and Inspector John Donnelly flew to Rhodes after local police complained about the behaviour of British holidaymakers.

Mr Rhodes, 38, said the ITV programme, Club Reps, had signalled to young people that "they could come to Faliraki and do what they want."

But the makers of Club Reps have denied any responsibility for the bad behaviour of British tourists.

Mr Rhodes said: "It has increased trade but brought a problem in terms of standards of behaviour.

"I would apportion quite a lot of blame to Club Reps. It's good TV, people like watching it, but there's a lot of young people here who have been influenced by it."

'Vulnerable' youngsters

Glasgow-based SMG Television, the makers of Club Reps, has rejected the criticism.

A spokesman said: "Club Reps is a documentary series and as such its content has been wholly factual.

"The programme-makers filmed what they saw, and the programmes that were broadcast were simply a reflection of what was already commonplace in the resort."

The documentary, which featured the alcohol-fuelled antics of holidaymakers, was screened on ITV in January 2002.

Mr Rhodes said: "It's often the first holiday abroad for these young people.

Faliraki
The officers have suggested CCTV is installed in Faliraki

"They are vulnerable, they may not be binge drinkers at home, a shot here is three times the measure in the UK, and if they get involved in binge drinking, incidents are bound to happen."

Mr Rhodes also said "aggressive" drinks promotions, bar crawls of up to 500 people and inadequate policing, at what was once a quiet fishing village, have fuelled bad behaviour.

The Lancashire officers met with Chief of Faliraki police, Captain Themis Kalamatas, to discuss Operation Nightsafe.

The initiative launched in Blackpool earlier this year has proved successful in cutting loutish behaviour.

Tough on nudity

Mr Rhodes said the key to tackling problems is stopping the "aggressive marketing of drinks promotions" and bar crawls.

He has also suggested that CCTV cameras are installed on the streets, lighting is improved, police presence is increased and officers are "firm but fair" with young people early on in the evening.

"If you give people a warning about behaviour before it gets out of hand you can nip it in the bud," Mr Rhodes said.

Superintendent Andy Rhodes
Officers here didn't understand before why drunken lads who support different football teams will fight if they have been drinking
Supt Andy Rhodes
Lancashire Police
Mr Rhodes said he was impressed with measures already taken by Greek authorities.

Bar crawls have been banned in the resort following the arrest of five holiday reps for allegedly taking people on illegal crawls.

The music on Bar Street is now turned off at midnight and a police station is also to be opened soon in Faliraki.

Mr Rhodes also praised the Greek police investigation into the death of 17-year-old Paddy Doran, from Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, who was stabbed with a broken bottle, earlier this month.

Peter Navarro, 21, of Leasowe, Wirral, has appeared before a court in Greece accused of manslaughter.

Mr Rhodes said some of the fines given out for nudity were high compared to British punishments.

Pub culture

Jemma Gunning, 18, of Frome, Somerset, was jailed for bearing her breasts in a "Beautiful Bottom" contest. She was released after her mother paid a fine.

Greek police are visiting Blackpool later this year to see what has been done in the resort and to get a better understanding of British pub culture.

"Officers here didn't understand before why drunken lads who support different football teams will fight if they have been drinking," Mr Rhodes said.

"Faliraki has maximum 5,000 people out on a Friday, Saturday night.

"They will be able to see how we deal with Blackpool where just one club alone has 4,500 people."


SEE ALSO:
UK officers meet Faliraki police
31 Aug 03  |  Lancashire
Funeral for Faliraki victim
29 Aug 03  |  Northamptonshire
Tales from Faliraki
29 Aug 03  |  Magazine
Switching from seedy to saucy
29 Aug 03  |  Lancashire
Life in Faliraki
19 Aug 03  |  Magazine


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