A police substation is back up and running 24 hours a day in downtown Nicosia, with officials hoping not only to promote a sense of security in the old city but also carry out inspections to ensure compliance with the latest emergency health laws.
Starting Monday, people should expect to see more law enforcement officers patrolling the streets within the capital’s walled city, including Ledras, Onasagorou, Rigenis, Tricoupis, as well as Solomou and Eleftheria town squares.
Police said additional officers would be manning the Ledras substation that will operate 24 hours a day. It was understood the boost would be valid at least through January 31, when a partial lockdown across the Republic of Cyprus is set to expire. Citizens will be able to file complaints downtown while it will be up to officers there to notify the Central Police Station if further steps are needed.
The move came after a big protest took place on Saturday in downtown Nicosia, as crowds protested against new lockdown measures and a previous ban on group demonstrations
An official report said officers serving at the Ledra substation would be primarily involved crime prevention as well as upholding health laws.
The move came one month after the President’s Cabinet approved a measure to downsize the security detail for party leaders and former state officials. The measure could also affect the presidential guard either up or down, depending on the recommendations by a police committee.
It also came after a big protest took place on Saturday at Eleftheria Square, followed by a march through Ledras Street, as crowds demonstrated against lockdown measures and a ban on group gatherings. Two people were briefly detained but no citations were issued to participants, with police citing fear of escalating the situation.
But new stricter measures kicked in on Sunday morning including the government reinstating the SMS 8998 Service, where citizens are required to send a text message before going outside for a legitimate purpose up to twice a day.
The measures, which include shutting down shopping malls but keeping airports open, came in an effort to minimize the spread of coronavirus, after it emerged that previous measures failed to reduce COVID-19 hospitalizations, now said to have reached or surpassed dangerous levels.
On Monday, police reported there were 119 issued citations out of 10,092 inspections in the last 24 hours, with 75 individuals fined for not registering their outings with the SMS 8998 Service. Police said 35 of those violators were pedestrians who had not sent a text before going outside.
Justice Minister Emily Yiolitis, who announced last month that police were cutting down the security detail of VIP’s, hinted at a boost in law enforcement presence in the downtown area.
“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.