By Jean Christou
Police said on Tuesday they received around 100 complaints last year about violations of the law when it came to private security.
Speaking at the launch of an awareness campaign on the provisions of the law, senior police official Christakis Mavris said that there were currently 134 licensed security firms in Cyprus with 1,664 guards employed plus around 325 private guards.
Mavris said the law has been in place since 2009 and provides comprehensive rules and regulations on how private security should be run for the protection of individuals and premises, and with provisions on the installation and maintenance of technical equipment such as CCTV and alarm systems.
“The provision of private security services by non-licensed entities and natural persons is a criminal offence,” he said, adding that if convicted illegal operators could find themselves jailed for up to two years or a fine of €30,000 or both.
In addition, those who employ non-licensed companies or persons commit the same crime and the perpetrators, he added.
Mavris said police and private security should work as partners in a joint effort to prevent and combat crime.
The President of the Cyprus Association of Security Companies, Yiannis Argyris, said they receive complaints almost every day about firms and persons who are not licensed and do not comply with the provisions of the law.
“The economic crisis has unfortunately contributed to the increase of crime at a particularly alarming rate,” said Mavris, adding that security companies were being called on to respond to the increased demand. “Unfortunately we also have this problem of unlicensed companies contributing to the problem,” he added.