New Justice Minister Marios Hartsiotis pledged to strengthen the police force during his first visit to their Nicosia headquarters on Monday.

He said frontline police services will “inevitably” be strengthened during his term as ministry.

One of the ways this will be achieved, he said, is by “fully utilising” the police’s existing workforce and “disengaging them from clerical and other secondary duties” to cover the gaps in existing frontline services.

“People must be able to see frontline police officers every day, the police must be there with them, and people must be able to feel that, so that grandfathers with their grandsons and fathers with their children can walk around freely,” he said.

He added that it is his “first priority” to restore people’s “sense of security”, and that he will do everything in his power to achieve that goal.

“There are no magic wands, simply through the information I received and through the exchange of suggestions and opinions with the police force’s leadership, I will soon strive for the citizen of the Republic of Cyprus to feel and see the difference,” he said.

Additionally, he said the strengthening of internal security is a “main pillar” of the government’s programme.

“I have also set this goal as the highest priority, and the planning of its implementation begins today and will continue in the next few days,” he said.