A special police team has been set up to investigate reports of a babysitter abusing three infants in Nicosia in the span of a year, it emerged on Monday.

Parents reported their children were covered in bruises, while the babysitter appeared to not have a proper licence.

Police spokesman Christos Andreou told the Cyprus Mail the latest report was made in October, when a six-month-old baby suffered a hematoma and had to be treated at Makarios hospital.

A year earlier in October 2022, a mother gave a statement to police in the presence of social workers after her 19-month-old baby was covered in bruises.

“Investigations for this case only finished recently,” Andreou said, justifying the delay by saying such cases are hard to substantiate. “The baby is too young to speak or make a statement, there’s no CCTV.”

Asked about concerns that in the year that elapsed, the babysitter may have continued to carry out potentially abusive behaviour – as it appears she may have – sources said police were under the impression the social services would have had a cap on it.

Currently, police are exploring the details over the babysitter’s licence. It appears she currently does not have one but had applied for one.

The first time police were made aware of issues about the specific babysitter was in June 2022. In a similar pattern, the seven-month-old baby had marks all over its body, but ultimately, the parents refused to make a formal report or consent for the child to be investigated.

According to Andreou, the police chief has since ordered a special team is set up to investigate the allegations.

He urged any parents to come forward, including those who had previously refused to give a statement.

Andreou did not rule out more cases coming to light.