Cyprus Mail

Special squad set up to investigate child sex abuse

File photo

POLICE on Friday announced it was setting up a special team to look into offences concerning the sexual abuse of children.

“As part of the implementation of the national strategy to address the sexual abuse of children, adopted by the cabinet on the basis of a special study commissioned by instructions of the chief of police Zacharias Chrysostomou, the police is setting up a special investigative team to handle all inquiries in cases of sexual abuse of minors,” the announcement said.

The team will share the same office with the unit that handles family violence and abuse of minors, at the Nicosia headquarters. The first positions have already been filled and others are expected to follow soon, the police said, adding that the team, which will be fully operational from January 1, will include equal numbers of male and female investigators.

“With the operation of a ‘Home for Children’ before the end of 2017, part of the group’s work, mainly conducting forensic interviews of child victims or witnesses will take place in this home, and in consultation or cooperation with officers of the home or other involved services.”

The police said that with the concentration of investigations into child abuse cases by a specially trained investigative team, it aimed to provide a more specialised, professional and child-centred service for the highly sensitive issue, with a view to better detection, documentation and control of child sexual abuse.

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