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Police complaints up by 75 per cent

Complaints against police are up by 75 per cent, according to a report compiled by the independent police investigations and complaints authority.

The report, handed to President Nicos Anastasiades on Monday, spans the years from 2015 to 2017.

During this time, there were about 240 complaints, 75 per cent more than in 2013.

However, head of the authority Andreas Paschalides pointed out that the increase is not because “police changed their practices”, but because the attorney-general agreed to handle all complaints himself, following a suggestion by the complaints authority.

He said of the total complaints for the three-year period, about 70 to 75 per cent concerned issues of abuse, of which 40 per cent are considered well founded.

Complaints about negligence of duty are generally legitimate, while the number of complaints about corruption, bribery and unjust enrichment is small the report said.

The president said the justice minister, the chief of police and the government are determined to follow the law completely. He asked for all complaints to be investigated and called for punishment of those found guilty.

This is the only way to create conditions which will allow the public to feel safe and for police officers to feel they are doing their job properly, he added.

Paschalides commented that 40 lawyers are being trained to become investigators at the police academy following his recommendation, a change that will enable the country to respond to requirements by the European Union regarding dealing with complaints.

 

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