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Police ‘will be called to account’ over violence response – government

editorial riot police limassol
Police in Limassol during the attacks in September

Police will be held accountable no matter their ranking in the force’s hierarchy, government spokesman Konstantinos Letymbiotis said on Tuesday.

He was speaking on CyBC’s morning radio, in response to questioning of the police’s handling of the recent racial attacks in Limassol and amid confirmed allegations that the police did not do enough to protect migrant business owners and other victims.

“The facts can show whether or not police succeeded and if they could have done better,” Letymbiotis said.

He went on to say that the state’s top priority is to de-escalate tensions and ensure public safety following a volatile situation, and to prevent future similar incidents.

“No one has been forbidden from speaking, no one has been advised to not take a position,” he said when he was asked to explain the public silence from police.

“If reports show police did not make effective use of information in their possession during the events in Limassol, they will be called to account, no matter how high up they are.”

The spokesman noted his strong belief that the episodes of last Friday do not represent the views of the broader public.

“The events that occurred, especially in Limassol, are not representative of the overwhelming majority of society,” he said.

Meanwhile, police efforts to hunt for perpetrators are complicated by the fact that the thugs hid their faces and hands with balaclavas and gloves.

The investigative team is said to be trawling through dozens of videos taken by bystanders who happened to be on the scene and CCTV footage.

Thirteen suspects have been arrested to date and are under a four-day detention set to expire on Wednesday.

They are expected to be promptly charged before the court pending completion of the Limassol CID examinations.

Among the suspects are two minors, aged 16 and 17 and a known convict who was supposed to be monitored via an electronic bracelet.

Elsewhere, in Chlorakas, where the first anti-migrant violence erupted last week, and in the greater vicinity, intensive police checks are ongoing, police said on Tuesday.

Police reported that overnight three drivers tested positive for alcohol and two others for drugs.

Six vehicles were impounded, since their owners did not possess an MOT, insurance, or a driving licence.

According to Paphos police chief, Nikos Tsappis, an additional thirty drivers were booked for other traffic violations.

 

 

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