Police officers be promoted to a higher pay scale as a reward for their hard work in helping decrease crime by 30 per cent in recent years, President Nicos Anastasiades said on Monday.
He did not specify when the 30 per cent drop in crime took place.
Speaking from the Famagusta police headquarters in Paralimni where he lay the foundation stone for a new building costing €5.5m, Anastasiades said “we are doing nothing more that contributing to the feeling of the public’s safety because this is our ultimate goal when we reinforce infrastructure for the police force and its staff.”
The current building did not allow officers to perform to the best of their abilities as different services are scattered across different buildings in Paralimni originally built to house shops and costing the state over €81,000 per year in rent, the president said.
The piece of land which will see the new Famagusta police building had been in police’s hands since 1984 but problems holding the project back hand had only been resolved in 2016, he added.
Congratulating the police chief and the force’s leadership for “reducing crime by 30 per cent over the past few years”, Anastasiades said “building infrastructure is only one part of our plan to improve security in our country.”
This effort was boosted with the recent hiring of 210 police officers and 40 fire services staff.
“As we have improved the standards of the police force and increased our demands, we have changed the pay scale from A3-5-7 to A5-7 so police officers are rewarded with what they really deserve.”
Providing better working conditions will make police work much easier in a district which sees its 80,000 population that reach 1.5m during the summer months, Anastasiades said.
The president also hailed the neighbourhood watch scheme that started out with 4,000 people registered in 2012 in three local municipalities or communities.
“Today we have 90,000 registered observers in 285 municipalities and communities.”
Anastasiades said the new police building was only one of the many projects underway or completed. These include three new court buildings in Paphos and Famagusta, three new police buildings for Paphos, Famagusta and Morfou and 14 projects for the central prisons which include three new wings and maintenance works in police holding cells.