"She is seen as a modern day hero," said Theordoros Pakos, a senior police officer on Crete."A lot of people here are really tired of the way drunken Englishmen comport themselves." The bar where the events took place is in Malia, a resort that has become notorious for the bad behaviour of tourists.The visit, the first by UK police specialised in hooliganism, came as it surfaced that sexual assaults against British tourists on Greek islands were higher than official figures indicated.Younger women, on first their trips away, were especially vulnerable, the junior Foreign Office minister Chris Bryant said after holding "crisis talks" with officials in Athens."The drug-dealing and drug-taking is partly to blame for the fatal accidents involving Britons that you see on our islands every year." Christina Tetradi, who heads the hoteliers' association on Zakynthos, goes further: "We've had cases of tourists thinking they can fly because they are in some altered state of mind due to drugs," she said."And then they are found dead." Last year, 237 Britons were arrested on the Greek resort islands of Corfu, Crete, Kos, Rhodes and Zakynthos, helping to earn Britons an international reputation as the worst behaved tourists in the world. In the early hours of Tuesday in the Electra bar on the island of Crete, the 26-year-old is said to have doused a drunken West Country plumber with sambuca and set him alight. She claims that 23-year-old Stuart Feltham had groped her, exposed himself and demanded sex. But in the eyes of many Greeks and regardless of the facts, Ms Fanouraki is being hailed for her actions.
Crete is not the only island to be suffering for the bacchanalian excesses of British holidaymakers.
Last summer, nine women on one tour were brought before a public prosecutor on Zakynthos after being accused of gross public indecency for allegedly participating in an oral sex "bonanza" on the island.
The competition, held on a sandy beach, was allegedly organised by reps although subsequently fiercely denied.
"They are among the measures we have used in places like Torquay and Newquay and they have worked," said Detective Barry Marsden who is in charge of community safety in Devon and Cornwall.
British tourists are not always to blame for the debauchery with which they have come to be associated.