Serious and financial crime plus petty offences were showing a downward trend, but domestic violence and child pornography cases were on the up, police chief Zacharias Chrysostomou told the Cyprus News Agency in an interview published on Wednesday.
Chrysostomou also spoke about corruption, cybercrime, terrorism, football violence, animal cruelty and neighbourhood watch programmes.
Child pornography was one area where more and more cases are being reported to the police, he said, but added that it was a global phenomenon. Investigations into such cases, he said showed that there was an increasing use of social media and primarily Facebook by people under 18.
On domestic violence, he said that despite the increased number of incidents of serious violence within the family in 2014, there was no sufficient or scientific link between the economic crisis and violence in the family.
He did say that the disintegration of family and moral values had fuelled violence in sport and warned of the police’s zero tolerance at sports grounds. “Anyone who violates the law will face the consequences,” he warned.
Referring to allegations of corruption in football, Chrysostomou said police had embarked on a fight against corruption at all levels and expressed the view that the efforts were yielding results “However we are still at the beginning,” he added.
Terrorism was not a huge concern for Cyprus itself but police have to be on alert when dealing with international terrorism. “We take increased measures and we are in constant communication and collaboration with Cyprus Intelligence Services, as well as with agencies such as Europol, Interpol and the FBI,” he said.
The Neighborhood Watch Scheme, Chrysostomou said, was first implemented on a pilot basis in 2003 in three police stations with 27 members.
Now 74 members of the force are serving in the scheme, covering 115 municipalities and communities.
Chrysostomou said so far there had not been any survey into the effectiveness of this scheme but according to public opinion, it was a positive measure, he said.
Asked about the role of the police in animal protection, Chyrsostomou said it was a serious matter and that they were doing all they could to combat animal cruelty. (CNA)