Greek resort fights back against British 'hooligan tourists'

The Greek island of Rhodes has begun a campaign against British "hooligan tourists" because of a rise in the number of public order and drug offences in the resort of Faliraki.

Police have doubled the number of officers patrolling outside clubs and bars and have joined tourist industry leaders to "elevate the standard" of tourists, 90 per cent of whom are young Britons.

A concerted effort to curb their excesses has resulted in 11 arrests this week – four for drugs offences and seven for public indecency, mainly because of an increasing incidence of drunken holidaymakers running naked through the centre of the resort.

There are also concerns of a more sinister side to Faliraki's nightlife, with a rise in the number of reported sex attacks. A British woman was raped last month and two others have claimed they were assaulted in recent weeks – although one allegation has since been dropped. Police say evidence-gathering is difficult because alleged incidents frequently occur after long nights of drinking and drug-taking.

The tour operator Thomas Cook has issued rape alarms to its female representatives and the Foreign Office has updated its advice to visitors, warning women not to accept lifts from strangers.

The tourist industry is concerned that the island's image is being destroyed by British tourists – many attracted by the hedonistic nightlife portrayed in the ITV series Club Reps. A local lawyer, Efthymios Dimitriadis, who deals with a large number of cases involving Britons every year, said: "The community has had enough, we can't have anarchy here. We don't tolerate illegal acts. People must get the message." He added: "A 10-metre run with your trousers down can cost you up to €1,000 (£650)."

Locals complain that they are enduring the worst of the UK's tourist hordes. "The class of people that come is not a high standard," Mr Dimitriadis said. "People on unemployment allowance with no money to spend are coming and they bring their problems."

Two British citizens were charged on Thursday with trafficking drugs and face up to six months in prison awaiting trial. The pair, represented by Mr Dimitriadis, were caught with 42 ecstasy pills and five grams of cocaine. They insist it was for personal use. Locals deny any trafficking in the resort and insist most substance abuse is committed by tourists with their own supply.

Mr Dimitriadis, who has appealed against the latest trafficking charge, said: "There is no proof of trafficking here. If it was going on you would expect to see up to two arrests a day. We have a nice place here with swimming and sunshine. Well adjusted to British customs, everyone speaks English and we have organised pub crawls. But there is a clear message – 'don't destroy the place'."

Locals point to the nearby island of Ios, the former black sheep of Greek holiday destinations. A clean-up campaign has curbed drug abuse, violence and drunkenness and brought a five-fold increase in domestic tourism.

Meanwhile, about 300,000 young British holidaymakers are expected to head for Faliraki this summer, with bookings already up by 30 per cent on last year.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Voices
voices
News
general electionThis quiz matches undecided voters with the best party for them
Arts and Entertainment
Keira Knightley and Matthew Macfadyen starred in the big screen adaptation of Austen's novel in 2005
tvStar says studios are forcing actors to get buff for period roles
News
Prince William and his wife Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge show their newly-born daughter, their second child, to the media outside the Lindo Wing at St Mary's Hospital in central London, on 2 May 2015.
news
ebooks
ebooksA celebration of British elections
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Trainee Consultant - Surrey/ South West London

£22000 per annum + pension,bonus,career progression: Ashdown Group: An establi...

Ashdown Group: Trainee Consultant - Surrey / South West London

£22000 per annum + pension,bonus,career progression: Ashdown Group: An establi...

Ashdown Group: Recruitment Consultant / Account Manager - Surrey / SW London

£40000 per annum + realistic targets: Ashdown Group: A thriving recruitment co...

Ashdown Group: Part-time Payroll Officer - Yorkshire - Professional Services

£25000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A successful professional services firm is lo...

Day In a Page

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before