Cyprus Mail

Tough new measures to stamp out police corruption

Police officers found guilty of corruption will either be sacked or forced to resign, according to proposed disciplinary regulations discussed by parliament on Wednesday.

Justice Minister Ionas Nicolaou said the regulations would only include two options for officers found guilty of corruption: dismissal or forced resignation.

The penalty, according to the minister, aims at sending the message that corrupt officers have no place on the force. The differences between the two is that with resignation officers get to keep their entitlements – the pension and lump sum granted upon retirement.

The House legal affairs committee on Wednesday discussed the revised text of a bill on the creation and operation of the police internal affairs department, following party proposals.

The regulations provide for a permanent disciplinary committee instead of having the current ad hoc basis.

It will handle cases concerning officers up to the rank of chief inspector. Higher ranking officers will be dealt with by a different committee.

The minister said the new regulations revised penalties and ranked offences by degree of severity in a bid to ensure a fairer trial.

Current penalties include a €8 fine or reprimand for any disciplinary offence resulting in reprimands for serious offences and stricter punishments for lesser transgressions.

Monetary fines for disciplinary offences will raise to between €500 and €1,000 instead of €8, depending on the severity, the minister said.

The police internal affairs department will be under the chief of police and supervised by the attorney-general.

The regulations are part of a raft of bills submitted by government in a bid to stamp out corruption on the force.

It followed a gangland hit in Ayia Napa last summer in which a suspected underworld figure was murdered along with a police officer and his wife who happened to be having dinner with him at the time.

A second police officer, also at the table, was seriously injured.

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