The police on Wednesday sought to address the public’s complaints over mobile camera units and said the locations may be announced via an app.

Police spokesman Christos Andreou said there is a misconception about the aim of the cameras – “the purpose is not to simply issue fines, but our aim is to prevent [crashes]”.

He said their efforts are yielding results – with road fatalities down significantly.

Andreou conceded that there have been many difficulties with the mobile camera units – having been shot at, personnel attacked and so on – but sought to clarify their status.

“Much of the public appears to be under the impression that the mobile camera units are operated by police officers but that’s not the case – they are ordinary citizens working for the operating company,” he told Sigma.

Andreou explained that the company hires them and works in coordination with the police, such as identifying which locations are suitable for the mobile units to set up.

“The locations are the result of research into which points are more prone to serious collisions, general issues on the road network and other problems.

“But after complaints from the public, many rightly so, we carried out a meeting with the leadership and new orders were given – for example, don’t set ‘traps’ at spots where the speed limit suddenly changes,” he said.

His main message is that “we try to avoid those spots, because the purpose is not to simply issue fines as our aim is prevention”.

The spokesman then explained that the force is evaluating whether it may be feasible to announce via a police app where the location of mobile speed units will be set at.

Andreou said that the police, in coordination with other key state actors, have achieved significant results in reducing road fatalities over the past two years.

He said it’s a multi-pronged approach but that speed cameras are now an additional tool.

“Last year there was an 18 per cent reduction in road fatalities – this year there’s a 50 per cent reduction in the first six months compared to the previous year.

“By this point last year there had been 25 fatalities, this year there have so far been 13,” he said.

But the spokesman said that no matter what measures are taken there will always be those who flout the law.

“But whatever we do there will always be those who drive recklessly, we saw just recently the man speeding at 235km/h under the influence of drugs – cocaine and cannabis,” he concluded.