Police have stepped up security measures after threats were made against Justice Minister Ionas Nicolaou following his comments that he intended to take tough measures against football fan club premises, unconfirmed reports said on Monday.
According to Antenna TV, police headquarters and the secret service (KYP) have obtained information on planned attacks against the home or the car of Nicolaou, following his statements earlier in the month that he intended to clamp down on hooliganism and even close down football fan club premises.
Nicolaou’s comments followed incidents of vandalism earlier in the month by more than 200 Apoel fans, who during the celebrations of the football club’s 90th anniversary, went on a rampage on the road outside the club’s premises which left three policemen injured and nearby traffic lights destroyed.
The club was engulfed in smoke from firecrackers, while fans ware also throwing objects at passing cars. Anti-riot squad and the Rapid Response Unit of the police (MMAD) who were called in to the area to restore order, fought pitched battles with some of the estimated 250 of the Nicosia club’s fans present throwing bangers and any other objects they could find in front of them, at the police.
Nicolaou had said the fan club premises were a ‘scourge’ and tough measures would be taken against them.
Police, Antenna TV reported, have stepped up security measures as regards the minister, but have also warned all their stations to be alert and increase security measures on their premises.
Police spokesman Andreas Angelides told the Cyprus Mail last night that he could not comment on any specific measures concerning the minister, but said police stations had been urged to be vigilant for general security reasons.