Cyprus Mail

Police undergoing training on how to handle rape cases 

Police are undergoing training on how to handle cases of rape and sexual assault, the force announced on Monday.

The training by foreign experts, which will take place on two different weeks this month, aims to develop skills in investigators on how to handle crimes of sexual abuse and rape, police said in an announcement.

The first training session started on Monday and will end Thursday and is addressed to police investigators. The second training programme will take place on October 26-27 and will address first responders.

Only 25 police officers from district offices that work on the management of domestic violence and child abuse, and the office for combatting human trafficking will participate in all of the training programmes.

One person from the police academy and the British bases will also participate so they can inform the other members of their force in the future, the announcement said.

In collaboration with the British High Commission, members of the Glasgow and Clyde rape crisis centre will conduct the trainings. International media reported that Scottish counsellor Isabelle Kerr and former detective and sexual violence expert Alison Eaton will be part of that team.

The two experts will also help carry out a feasibility study looking into the possibility of opening a sexual assault referral centre on the island.

According to British media sources, the trainings come after the force’s treatment of a 19-year-old UK citizen who reported she had been gang raped by 12 Israeli youths last year in Ayia Napa led to an international row.

The young woman, who was eventually found guilty of lying, had later reported that police had pressured her to sign a retraction statement, withdrawing her rape claim after questioning her for hours.

The British teenager launched an appeal against her conviction this year, for public mischief.

Cyprus police denied any mishandling of the case.

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