Cyprus Mail

House human rights committee questions police about bullying case delay

Cyprus police (Christos Theodorides)

A high level police officer has been implicated in over a dozen cases of workplace bullying of female officers, the house human rights committee heard on Monday, as they decided that there is a need to promote a bill to stop bullying and harassment in the workplace.

According to what was discussed at the committee session, it was decided that a law to stop harassment and bullying in the workplace needs to be promoted in parliament immediately.

At the start of the discussion of the issue, union representatives reported that there were also cases of people who were forced to resign due to receiving such attitudes from their superiors.

Committee head and Akel MP Irene Charalambides asked the police representatives at the meeting to provide a written answer on how a complaint against a senior officer by 15 female police officers for bullying (mobbing) behaviour was handled and why this case is still pending, raising the question whether there is deliberate delay as the officer is expected to retire in six months.

The issue of bullying in the workplace has been registered with the committee by Disy MP Rita Theodorou Superman, who noted at the beginning of the debate that phenomena such as workplace bullying must be dealt with, while it is not legally covered , since the law on equal treatment of men and women in employment and education covers the issue one-dimensionally only, since harassment is examined under the lens of gender.

The committee also discussed the issue at the police with the 15 female officers, which MPs present said that without handling the issue, authorities were just revictimizing the 15 officers.

Superman pointed out that the officer in question retires in six months, and Charalambides questioned whether it was intentional that this investigation against him was not yet finished, to allow him to retire with all the rights of his rank, and without some penalties.

The Director of Police Human Resources, Andreas Angelides said that the case is before a disciplinary committee made up of members of the attorney-general’s office, the ministry of justice, and the police.

He noted that the police completed the investigation on time and then, when the file was forwarded to the attorney-general’s office, it ended up in a disciplinary committee, which has some procedures, he said, adding that any delay should not be blamed on the police.

Charalambides requested a written response from the police because this case has been going on for three years. She asked that they answer on the consequences the senior officer will face, and what his benefits will be when he retires, and when the case will be completed.

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Source: Cyprus News Agency