Country Listing

Cyprus Table of Contents


Organization of the Greek Cypriot Police

The chief of the Cyprus Police Force was responsible to the minister of the interior. He was aided by a deputy chief and, below him, two assistant chiefs who supervised activities at police headquarters. Headquarters consisted of four departments: administration; traffic; criminal investigation; and planning, training, and public relations. Beneath headquarters in the chain of command stood seven division chiefs, each of whom supervised a police district; beneath them were station chiefs. Directly under the national headquarters were five special units: the Police Training School, the Aliens and Immigration Service, the Fire Service, the Cyprus Information Service, and the Mobile Immediate Action Units. The latter two services, although administratively responsible to the chief of police, were operationally controlled elsewhere. The Cyprus Information Service, a small intelligence unit concerned with both security matters and common crime, received its directions from the president of the republic. The Mobile Immediate Action Units, a reincarnation of the Tactical Police Reserve of the early 1970s, were elite forces to protect high-ranking officials and foreign embassies and to provide special weapons assault teams in the event of terrorist attacks. The units' training and operational control were in the hands of the National Guard, and their commander was an officer of the National Guard

Personnel needs of the police were met through recruitment of career officers from the Greek Cypriot population. Unlike the National Guard, the police force contained no mainland Greeks. New recruits attended a twenty-one-week course at the Police Training School in Athalassa, southeast of Nicosia. A few high-ranking officers received training in Britain, Greece, and other countries.

The police force was armed beyond the requirements of ordinary police work; its arsenal included armored cars and light artillery acquired in the 1960s, when the police played a central role in the intercommunal struggle. In 1989 orders were placed for the purchase of a helicopter with sophisticated surveillance equipment and two coastal patrol boats, as part of stepped-up antinarcotics operations.

Data as of January 1991