Cyprus Mail

Police official admits to corruption in the force

The chairman of the police association (SAK) on Tuesday conceded there was corruption in the force but it was not as bad as people thought.

Andreas Symeou appeared certain that the measures in place and new legislation in the pipeline would help curtail the phenomenon.

“Because I always want to be frank, there is indeed corruption the police, but not to the degree the public opinion believes,” he told the Cyprus News Agency.

“It is not the end of the world nor a phenomenon that appeared today.”

Symeou said corruption has always been a problem but the intervention of President Nicos Anastasiades “who wants to solve the problem” would bring better days.

Police corruption took centre stage following the gangland murder of Ayia Napa businessman Phanos Kalopsidiotis, who was gunned down in July while having dinner at a busy restaurant.

Along with Kalopsidiotis, the shooters killed a police officer and his wife who had been having dinner with him together with their two children. A second police officer at the table was seriously injured while one of the two shooters was also killed.

Symeou declined to comment on the incident, citing an ongoing criminal investigation.

But he said he understood why the public came to believe that corruption in the force was rife.

In a recent interview on private television station Alpha, President Anastasiades said there were police officers who were on the payroll of criminal groups.

Symeou said the president was being briefed by the chief of police and the justice minister.

“To make this statement it means the president has something in mind,” Symeou said.

He said the association did not have the same information but there were whispers.

“We want to help the police leadership and the justice minister in their efforts to tackle the phenomenon,” he said.

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