New research presented by the justice minister and the chief of police suggests that community policing is on the right track but more police patrols and staff are needed. The research evaluated the neighbourhood watch programme under which police and volunteer citizens work together to combat crime.
According to the findings, the most positive point of the scheme is the trust and security that its presence inspires, as well as the prevention of crime. However, three out of ten people questioned believe there should be more patrols especially in the evening and the police force should increase their numbers for better policing.
“It is clear from the statistics presented today that the vast majority of people, with a percentage of almost 70 per cent, are convinced that the institution of the police neighbourhood watch scheme is necessary and effective, while 55 per cent agree that residents feel safer with the presence of the scheme in their area,” police chief Zacharias Chrysostomou said.
Justice Minister Ionas Nicolaou summed up the numbers as they stand today.
“Today,” he said about community policing, “75 police officers cover 27 municipalities, 94 communities and a total of over 706,000 inhabitants over the island, having daily contact with citizens of all ages.”