A 30-year-old Greek Cypriot man, who admitted to torching a patrol car outside Platres police station while drunk, was remanded in police custody for seven days on Friday.

The man was arrested early in the morning after he was identified on CCTV camera footage as the suspect who set fire outside the police station.

The arson took place around 10.35pm on Thursday, when a loud noise was heard, and officers realised a police car that was parked in the parking space of the police station was on fire.

A blaze had also broken out on the exterior wall of the station in the mountain village, in an air condition compressor, police said in a written statement.

An officer put out the fire using a fire extinguisher. The exact amount of the damage is yet to be assessed.

Firefighters and other police officers were called to the scene for investigations and concluded the fire had been set maliciously using a flammable material.

During assessment of the CCTV footage, it was found that a young person approached the station on foot and set the fire. A warrant was issued against the 30-year-old man who was arrested on Friday morning.

During police questioning, the man admitted to the offence, saying he was mentally unwell and had consumed large quantities of alcohol.

Meanwhile, head of the Isotita police union Nicos Loizides described the arson as “the peak of criminality and the rise of hatred” against law enforcement officers who work every day to maintain order “under the most adverse conditions”.

He called on the police directorate to review the number of officers working on the front line, saying it is “unjustifiable” with 4,800 members, to have only one police officer working in any police station for a full 12-hour period.

Loizides urged everyone to take on responsibility to “prevent any actions which may prove fatal”.

“We will stand by… all our colleagues,” he added.