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Cyprus

General Information

Admission to the OSCE: 25 June 1973

Policing overview: National Police is the only organization responsible for policing in Cyprus.


National Police

1. General information
1. Functions and missions
2. Structure and organization
3. Staff data
4. Education / Training

1. General information
The National Police in Cyprus, the only organization responsible for policing, reports to the Ministry of Justice and Public Order.

2. Functions and missions
The functions of the National Police in Cyprus are divided into four principal areas: education, administration, operations and support services. Its main responsibilities are to:

  • maintain public law and order;
  • preserve the peace;
  • prevent and detect crimes; and
  • apprehend offenders.

3. Structure and organization
As far as administrative and functional arrangements are concerned, the National Police comprises five (5) Departments, five (5) Services, four (4) Units, one (1) Directorate and seven (7) District Divisional Police Headquarters.

The five Departments are:

  • Department A´– Administration Department, responsible for the overall organization of the Police, on administrative and personnel issues;
  • Department B´– Traffic and Transport Department with overall responsibility for all traffic related issues, such as prevention and investigation of traffic accidents, reporting of driving offences, etc;
  • Department C´– Criminal Investigation Department, responsible for the investigation and detection of serious crimes;
  • Department D´– Scientific & Technical Support Department, responsible for providing telecommunications, scientific and technical support to the Police. It also exercises the administrative control of the Police Air Wing Section.
  • Research and Development Department - responsible for the promotion and implementation of procedures and methods  to enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of the Police. The I.T. Branch of the Police is under the administration of this Department.

Police Services and their responsibilities are the following:

  • Aliens and Immigration Unit -  to implement the Aliens & Immigration Law and Regulations;
  • Drug Enforcement Unit - to prevent and combat drug use and drug trafficking;
  • Criminalistic Service - scientific examination of exhibits and crime scenes, as well as the presentation of scientific police evidence before the Courts;
  • Audit and Inspection Service - to inspect all Police Departments, Units, Services, and Divisional Police Districts;
  • Central Information Service - to collect information regarding national security and public order issues. It is directly answerable to the President of the Republic, and  for administrative issues to the Chief of Police.

The four Police Units and their respective responsibilities are:

  • Cyprus Police Academy - considered a Higher Academic Institution, which aims at providing academic and professional training to all members of the Police;
  • Mobile Immediate Action Unit - responsible for the immediate response to and management of high risk incidents, organized acts of violence, natural disasters, and terrorist activities;
  • Presidential Guard Unit - responsible for the security of the President of the Republic, his family, his residence and the Presidential Palace;
  • Port and Marine Police - responsible for the patrolling and surveillance of the coastal line and territorial waters of the island.

The European Union & International Police Cooperation Directorate is responsible for handling all issues of police nature related to the materialization and implementation of the provision of the acquis communautaire, and in promoting the development of international cooperation and police relations.

4. Staff data
As of 2006, the total number of police staff was 4771 (including specialized posts and special constables), 11.76% were female and 88.24% male.

5. Education / Training
The Cyprus Police Academy, established in 1990, has the status of a Higher Educational Institution. The idea of having an Academy rather than a just a training school was to educate, not just train, meaning inclusion of topics such as sociology, psychology, languages, etc. to develop police officers with a broader vision, prepared to carry out their duties in a continuously changing and increasingly demanding modern society.

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Criminal Justice System

1. General information
2. Prosecution

1. General information
The Cypriot Constitution ensures free access to justice, the right to a fair trial and the right to recourse to the courts against public authority measures. In criminal cases, the accused is presumed innocent until proven guilty. No one can be tried twice for the same offence and punishment must be proportionate to the severity of the offence. Arrest and detention are judicially controlled.

The court system is organized on two levels: First Instance Courts (i.e. District Courts, Assize Courts, Family Courts, Industrial Disputes Courts, Rent Control Tribunals and Military Court) and the Supreme Court. Criminal jurisdiction is exercised at first instance by the District Courts, which oversee summary trials before a single judge for offences punishable by a term of imprisonment not exceeding five years and/or a fine not exceeding C£ 50,000, and by the Assize Courts (i.e. trials on information before three judges) for offences punishable with imprisonment exceeding five years.

All appeals are tried by the Cypriot Supreme Court. Upon successful appeal, a sentence may be reduced if considered either manifestly excessive or erroneous in principle. The sentence may also be increased if held that it is grossly inadequate.

The jury system is not followed in Cyprus. All judges are professional.

2. Prosecution
Criminal proceedings for any offence against any person in the Republic of Cyprus are conducted by the Attorney General, an independent officer who holds office under the same terms and conditions as judges of the Supreme Court.

All offences trialable on information are instituted and conducted before the Assize Court by, or on behalf of, the Attorney General. Prosecutions for offences trialable summarily are conducted by members of the police who are qualified lawyers.

Criminal Courts may handle international requests in accordance with the multilateral and bilateral treaties ratified by Cyprus.

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Links

Ministry of Justice and Public Order - Cyprus  Ministry of Justice and Public Order - Cyprus http://www.mjpo.gov.cy/mjpo/mjpo.nsf/index_en/index_en?OpenDocument
Official website of the Cyprus Ministry of Justice and Public Order

National Police - Cyprus  National Police - Cyprus http://www.police.gov.cy/police/police.nsf/index_en/index_en?OpenDocument
Official website of the National Police

OSCE/ODIHR Legislationline - Cyprus  OSCE/ODIHR Legislationline - Cyprus http://www.legislationline.org/topics/country/36/topic/12
Legislationline is a gratis internet-based legislative database published and maintained by the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR).

Last Updated: 29 May 2007

Also see: Greece, Turkey

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