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Police to take extra measures over mobile camera attacks

feature jon traffic cameras in place in nicosia
File photo: Traffic cameras in place in Nicosia

Extra measures are being taken by police to track down motorists who have been attacking mobile traffic camera units and to take more preventative steps to put an end to the growing phenomenon.

Following a new incident on Sunday against the driver of a mobile unit operated by a private company, an emergency meeting was held at police headquarters with the contractor and representatives of the electromechanical services.

Sunday’s incident occurred when the contractor’s employee was alone in the vehicle conducting speed checks on the Kandou-Omodos road near Kyvides, in Limassol.

According to police, at 2.10am a group of six hooded men attacked the employee causing extensive damage to the vehicle.

At the same time, they broke the driver’s window and hit him on the head with a rock. Terrified, he fled the scene and after driving for about a kilometre and a half called an ambulance.

At Limassol hospital where he was treated, doctors found that he had abrasions and a head injury. There were no security cameras installed in the van that might have helped to identify the perpetrators.

Reportedly, ten minutes before the attack there had been a police patrol in the area but as soon as it left, the attackers pounced.

There have been several such incidents since the introduction of the speed cameras, both fixed and mobile.

Last year on October 15, an unknown person fired two shots at a vehicle, shattering the passenger window. On October 26, an unknown person shot at another company vehicle while the driver was conducting speed checks on the Rizoelias-Ayia Napa highway beyond Pyla.

According to Phileleftheros, the contracting company told police at Monday’s meeting that a number of employees had quit, finding the job far too dangerous. The situation had likewise put off potential new recruits.

In addition to the more dangerous incidents that have occurred, the assistant director of the traffic department at the police headquarters, Haris Evripidou, told Phileleftheros that there were numerous incidents of people throwing stones at the mobile camera vans or stopping their cars, getting out and shouting and threatening the drivers. “These incidents take place on a Pancyprian basis,” he said.

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