Party leaders and former state officials in the Republic of Cyprus will see their security detail downsized following a Cabinet decision on Thursday, also tasking police to evaluate the size of the presidential guard.
According to local media, the President’s Cabinet met on Thursday morning and decided to reduce the number of police guards allocated to political party leaders as well as former elected or state officials and political appointees.
The overall number of state-funded police guards is expected to go down from 56 to 35 following the decision, with 21 officers being reassigned to a temporary Police House in downtown Nicosia, in a similar move with Limassol when community officers and police officers joined forces to patrol the area on bicycles in the southern town.
Yiolitis said the decision came after an evaluation by an assessment team within the police, which found too many officers were assigned to guard politicians compared to actual risks
Justice Minister Emily Yiolitis made the announcement saying the decision came following an evaluation by an assessment team within the police, which found that too many officers were assigned to guard politicians compared to actual risks.
“With this decision, 21 officers will be added to patrols in old Nicosia for the time being based out of a mobile Police House” Yiolitis said, adding that police were still looking for a more permanent location downtown.
“It is our intention to make citizens feel safe, and this is why members of the police force will have a noticeable presence along Ledras Street, at Eleftheria Square, and throughout the area,” Yiolitis added.
The decision also made clear that numbers could change accordingly as police continue to make updated assessments on risks to politicians, including the President’s Guard numbers which could be increased or decreased depending on future evaluations.
The reduction in police guards for Cyprus’ VIP politicians did not come as a surprise, following criticism over the large numbers and low risks.
When new House Speaker Adamos Adamou came into office earlier this year, following the resignation of his predecessor amid the golden passport scandal, he was quick to ask police to cut in half his security detail, saying there was no particular cause for concern over his personal safety.