EXPAT residents in Paphos are joining forces to try and push the government to appoint more staff at the overworked police department and enact an operational neighbourhood watch schemes involving the wider community, following concerns about increasing numbers of burglaries.
On occasion, burglars are entering houses while residents are in adjacent rooms or asleep, said Russian expat Paphos resident, Irina (surname withheld).
In May, she organised two events in Paphos and Limassol to encourage the public to stand together and call on authorities to take immediate action.
A further, larger event is now planned for Saturday June 30 at 6pm, and supporters are invited to attend a demonstration ‘Prevent Crime in Cyprus’, to be held at the castle in Kato Paphos.
Irina said that there are not enough police officers and that they are overworked.
Graham Gurley, a Peyia resident, said that Peyia has now joined forces with Tala and Kamares to try and help authorities to reduce crime. Gurley was integral in setting up Peyia Community Services, PCS, a website dedicated to community matters, security and information.
He said that a petition in support of the protest later this month is up and running and people are invited to add their signatures.
“The petition is in support of the protest at Paphos harbour. We want to give as many signatures as possible to the government and local authorities to gain more resources and ask for enactment in all areas of a functioning and communicating Neighbourhood Watch scheme, involving two-way communication between the police and the community” he said.
Gurley added that residents will also ask for more resource for the enforcement agencies.
Irina said that a recent residents’ meeting in Kamares saw more than 100 (mostly British expats) attend, and although the chief of police didn’t show up as agreed, he did send officers in his place.
“They were not from the surrounding areas but from Geroskipou. The local police officers were so busy, it shows they urgently need more police.”
Gurley said that the decision to team up with Tala and Kamares comes in the wake of a spate of crime in the area adding that they are in reasonably close proximity to Peyia. He said that other areas being targeted are: Paphos, Tsada and Aphrodite Hills and that these incidents illustrate a problem which is being ignored and ‘pushed under the carpet’.
“Cyprus is a safe place and you often see people walking completely safely here which is not always possible in other countries, but the problem we have is crime against property.”
He stressed that the group want there to be proper neighbourhood watches in all areas to help the police to protect people.
“Many investors here are already disappointed as crime is on the rise,” said Irina.
To sign the petition:https://www.ipetitions.com/petition/prevent-crime-in-cyprus/