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Editorial: Tourist police needed

Cyprus government officials constantly point out the recently impressive increase in tourist arrivals. And, despite some freak incidents, the island’s infrastructure appears to be able to contain the much larger than expected numbers of visitors.

Having said that, businesses and pressure groups are demanding marked improvements so that Cyprus can accommodate even larger tourist waves in the future.

Nobody, though, is paying any attention to a significant miss that could easily derail the industry’s plans for further expansion. Cyprus does not have tourist police. A force dedicated to tackling problems that foreign and local visitors face in the various resort towns and villages.

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People have got used to illegal activities taking place almost daily in places such as Ayia Napa. We seem to tolerate the fact that there are not enough police officers on the streets and beaches solely for prevention purposes.

The serious incident at Polis Chrysochou’s campsite seriously challenged this culture of tolerance. A young person staying at the campsite attacked with a knife and badly injured another visitor, because the latter refused to lower the music coming out in high volume from his sound system.

It would be much more difficult for such unfortunate incidents to take place if there was a force of dedicated professionals dealing with any problem tourists have and also frequently checking security in places like campsites.

The police spokesperson told the Cyprus Weekly that setting up tourist police is a political decision. We say that it is a decision needed to be taken as soon as possible. There is no point in bragging about the increase in tourist arrivals if there is no dedicated body to protect them.

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