Residents of Lefka on Tuesday demanded that the town’s courthouse and police department be reopened.

The demand was made by the Lefka Civil Society Organisations Platform, which asked that arrangements be made for their reopening “as soon as possible”.

Lefka was separated from Morphou as a ‘district’ in the north in December 2016. As such, it would ordinarily have its own district courthouse and police department, as all the north’s other five ‘districts’ do.

However, the town’s court building was declared “unsafe” in 2018, and operations were moved to Morphou. Six years on, the north’s authorities have made no concerted efforts to bring court proceedings back to Lefka.

Lefka’s police department was transferred to Morphou, the bigger town, in 1977, with the Turkish Cypriot police having made no move as yet to re-establish a Lefka police department since Lefka’s separation from Morphou over seven years ago.

The Lefka Civil Society Organisations Platform said they had visited the north’s police chief Kasim Kuni in March, and that Kuni had said “efforts were ongoing” regarding the establishment of a new Lefka police department.

“However, although more than nine months have passed, we have not seen any steps taken in this direction,” they said.

They added, “in recent days, incidences of violence against women, stabbings, thefts, and damage to public property have increased, and other important crimes continue to be daily occurrences.”

“A Lefka police department should be established immediately before more serious crimes are committed in our district,” they said.

On the matter of the courthouse, they said “the increasing number of crimes seen in our district in recent days has once again brought to the fore the importance of the Lefka district court holding sessions in the courthouse building in the centre of Lefka as soon as possible.”

“Trying those who commit crimes in the place where they were committed sets an example, and this is a serious deterrent, and aids in preventing crimes,” they said.

They added that the authorities should “fulfil their duties without wasting any time.”