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Alarm over knife crime in Cyprus

By Paula Manoli-Gray

  • August 14: Larnaca man stabbed in the back at a Paphos campsite by a 22-year-old Nicosia man over arguments about loud music.
  • August 13: Three men in Limassol beat and stab a security guard because he won’t let them into an event they don’t have tickets for.
  • August 7: 17-year-old boy stabs two other teenagers in Nicosia in a churchyard in the early hours of the morning.
  • August 4: Limassol man stabs his girlfriend’s ex after he breaks into her home.
  • August 1: 25-year-old Nicosia man stabs his ex-girlfriend during an argument.
  • July 24: Sri Lankan man in Limassol stabs a compatriot to death.
  • June 27: Five Limassol men beat and stab another man at a tavern.

Knife crime is on the rise and it is terrifying to see how easily people on the island view the use of a knife as justified if they don’t get their way or lose their temper.

The seven incidences this summer are not isolated; there have been more that I haven’t listed, and we have been seeing knife crime increasing in the last three years or so.

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I am not privy to what the police department and government feel about the situation, or what is being said or done behind closed doors, but it doesn’t seem to be causing alarm or prompting tougher action.

I could be wrong and plans are being drafted as we speak, but I just don’t get that message coming through.

I want to see deterrents; I want to hear strong language and condemnation; I want to know that this is going to be dealt with and nipped in the bud, before the new school year starts and kids think there is no big deal in carrying a knife and ‘taking revenge’ on those who they perceive have wronged them.

Pro-gun advocates in America are often heard saying that ‘guns don’t kill – humans do’. I don’t necessarily agree with this, but the same can be said of knives, too, after all, everyone has knives in their kitchen and access to them, but not everyone will pick one up and use it to hurt another person.

But pocket knives and hunting knives are very easy to buy in Cyprus, and the youth and younger generation adults seem to be in a trend of carrying them around. For what purpose? You don’t have a knife on you unless you believe that there will come a time when you will use it, and the average person does not consider having to use a knife in this way.

Not all the stabbings involved knives – other sharp objects at hand have also been used, which points to a society that is increasingly taking on an attitude primed to defiance and defensiveness.

Stuck behind a slow vehicle? Revenge ‘must’ be exacted. Given bad service? ‘Obviously’ this slight must be met with violence. Not happy with your parents or teachers’ rules? ‘Naturally’ the only solution is to show this through aggression and harm.

I don’t have the answers, but it says a lot when the family of a murdered, young Larnaca man have tried to petition the government for a knife amnesty, a proper juvenile crime system and tougher knife laws for the past three years, but whose ongoing efforts have just been met with deaf ears and seeming indifference.

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One comment

  1. Excellent Article Paula, we have not given up !