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37° Nicosia,
14 August, 2018
 
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Cyprus to set up special crime-fighting agency

Authorities seek ways to get the upper hand in the fight against organised crime

Newsroom

Cyprus police is trying to set up a special law enforcement agency to fight organised crime and terrorism but also offer top notch intelligence analysis in serious crimes.

Police Chief Zacharias Chrysostomou, who held a meeting on Monday with his senior officials, called on his colleagues to do their absolute best in their effort to combat organised crime.

The meeting came in the wake of a number of horrific crimes that shocked the public, including a shooting incident against police officers in Limassol, with the suspects believed to have a connection with the criminal underworld.

Other incidents revealed some weak areas of police, including two serious crimes in Nicosia, a savage double murder of a married couple in Strovolos and a murder of a retired teacher in Aglandjia, with few answers and public fear raising questions over police competence. Previous cases involving ogranised crime were also tainted with either incompetence or inverstigation leaks, raising the serious question of how deeply rooted is corruption within Cyprus police.

New decisions will contribute in a zero tolerance approach towards oragnised crime, something which has gone unchallenged for decades partially due to corruption within the police

Chrysostomou said there will be specific instructions and upcoming decisions that will contribute to a zero tolerance approach towards oragnised crime, something which has gone unchallenged for decades partially due to corruption within the Force.

The chief said plans to create a new special force, similar to the UK’s National Crime Agency, have been in the pipeline for some time but they became a crucial part of the conversation following recent crimes.

The NCA is a crime-fighting law enforcement agency responsible for leading the UK’s fight against organised crime.

Justice Minister Ionas Nicolaou is also expected to make comments, as the parliament is still debating legislation for allowing greater authority to law enforcement officials to conduct real-time surveillance.

Members of parliament have raised concerns over abuse of power by police as well as threats to freedom protection as reasons new legislation can’t go as far as officials want to go.

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