In the wake of the arrests of three officers in connection with people trafficking, police chief Zaharias Chrysostomou said Tuesday it was the first time since the foundation of the Republic the force was dealing with the matter but he urged the state to create the necessary conditions to stamp out corruption across the public service.
In a written statement, the chief said he had acknowledged the problem but also the gaps that hindered efforts to stamp it out.
“It is the first time since the creation of the police force in 1960 that we are tackling this problem adequately,” he said.
Chrysostomou said the force had conducted a study which showed the real dimension of the problem and proceeded to set up an internal affairs service, which was granted the necessary powers and legal tools.
The police chief said the overwhelming majority of officers were conscientious and dedicated and honoured the oath they had taken.
“Thus, I must, and I feel is my duty and obligation towards all those members of the force who even risk their life on a daily basis, stress that the Cyprus police are all these people, the unsung heroes, who do everything in their power to serve the public,” the chief said.
Chrysostomou said police corruption was not just a Cypriot phenomenon but the force had the will to stamp it out.
“On the other hand, let us not fool ourselves, corruption does not only exist in the police, it spans the entire public service, and I know well what I am saying.”
The chief urged the state to “create the necessary conditions to stamp out corruption across the public service.”
“Because without the necessary essentials, powers that is, there cannot be a crackdown on the corruption phenomenon,” he said.