Cyprus Mail

Welfare office workers down tools after asylum seeker arrested

File photo

Employees at the social welfare office in Ayioi Anargyroi, Larnaca staged an impromptu half-hour work stoppage at noon on Tuesday asking for better security measures after a 19-year-old asylum seeker caused a disturbance and was subsequently arrested.

According to Larnaca police spokesman Charis Hadjiyiasemi, police were informed around 11am that the young man was shouting and causing a disturbance outside the offices.

By the time officers arrived on the scene, he had broken the window and illegally entered the premises.

The spokesman explained that the young man had applied to the service for accommodation in February, but his application did not progress after it was determined he had not been working.

He had been to the specific welfare office on Monday, asking once more for accommodation to be allocated to him, but was told that he is instead entitled to receive €215 in benefits and would have to find a place to live by himself.

“The young man insisted, and spent the night outside the offices,” Hadjiyiasemi said.

On Tuesday morning his exchange with the social workers was repeated, with him reiterating his requests and them responding he was only entitled to benefits, which prompted the man to ask for the money on the spot.

When he was told the office’s electronic systems were not working, he proceeded to cause the incident that led to his arrest.

The police spokesman said that no injuries were reported, and that the young man was arrested. He is facing being charged with illegally entering the building, causing damages, “and any other charges that might arise from investigations”.

He is expected to be charged in writing and released. He will be called to face the court at a later date.


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