Multiple police units, including the Immediate Response Unit (Mmad), carried out stepped up checks in the Geroskipou and Chlorakas communities on Wednesday night as a response to increased criminality in the area.
Paphos Police Spokesman Michalis Ioannou told the Cyprus Mail on Thursday that the increased patrols and operations are part of a wider effort not only to address a spike in crime but also to prevent future incidents.
“The issues facing the two communities are well known and the police patrols seek to prevent crime in the area such as burglaries,” he said.
A total of 80 vehicles were checked and 30 incidents related to traffic violations were reported.
Mmad, the Paphos police department and immigration services also took part in the patrols. The latter, Ioannou said, is due to the fact that the area has many foreign nationals.
“The checks have been happening for about a month now in coordination with local authorities and the neighbourhood watch,” Ioannou said.
He also explained that the coordinated efforts, such as exchanging information and opinions, is to ensure the sense of safety among residents.
The increased police presence is, in part, a response to recent high-profile incidents such as the suspected honour killing of 20-year-old Jamal Alhadzi who was stabbed to death in early April in Chlorakas.
A total of 11 suspects, all Syrian, face murder charges over Alhadzi’s death.
Last week, Interior Minister Nicos Nouris said “the government is aware of the problem in Chlorakas and we are cooperating with the local authorities.”