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23 May, 2024
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How the police let the criminals run wild in the streets

Police’s broken system: Understaffing and bureaucracy endanger lives

Andreas Georgallas

Andreas Georgallas

The Police's inability to proactively and reactively address various incidents has resurfaced in the aftermath of recent serious events.

On May 11, 2023, "K" highlighted the core issues, with the understaffing of operational units in the Police Force identified as a significant challenge.

In the wake of the attempted murder on January 15, the arson of a public prosecutor's vehicle on January 16, and a shooting incident in Geri, the entire Cyprus population has become witnesses to various criminal acts, including violence in stadiums.

The public's lack of security and the urgent need for measures prompted political announcements, urging Minister of Justice Marios Hartsiotis to take swift action upon assuming office.

Sources from "K," actively engaged in combating organized crime, revealed that immediate orders for the deployment of strong police forces in Nicosia should have been issued shortly after the attempted murder. However, such orders were either not given, or even if they were, there wouldn't be a sufficient number of officers to patrol the streets.

Nicos Loizides, President of the Police Force Branch of the Equality Trade Union, emphasized that the police force is understaffed, making it challenging for crucial operational units to fulfill their mission effectively.

The consistent pattern and frequency of organized crime-related incidents trouble police authorities, demonstrating a determination to execute plans regardless of the potential danger to minors or unsuspecting citizens.

Since November 2023, police sources have raised alarms, warning that if the situation persists, it could spiral out of control. Loizides emphasized that without sufficient personnel in the front line departments, neither prevention nor enforcement is possible.

Loizides stressed the urgency for changes in the police force's functioning, asserting that these changes can be implemented promptly with strong leadership will. He highlighted that effective solutions, in addition to organizational changes, require appointing capable individuals to key positions.

The structural issues within the police force persist, causing a decline in public confidence. Internal reforms, according to those familiar with police operations, could yield immediate positive outcomes. Notably, the police force, with 5,500 members, has less than five hundred members on the front line dedicated to combating organized crime.

[This article was translated from its Greek original]

Cyprus  |  police  |  crime  |  Nicosia  |  security  |  criminals

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