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Police announce special task force for disappearances, improved measures

June 11, 2019 at 1:15pm

Police have enforced a series of measures for the better handling of reported disappearances, Chief Kypros Michaelides announced during a conference on Tuesday.

The measures include the creation of a task force responsible to investigate disappearances, which will be under the jurisdiction of the combating Domestic Violence department.

For this reason, the department has been staffed with two additional officers, Michaelides said.

Other measures:

  • A new protocol on how to handle disappearances.
  • Police teams have been formed in all cities to examine current cases and identify possible gaps.
  • Police will submit suggestions to improve the legal framework around disappearances.
  • Further training of officers who work in such cases.
  • Officers will examine previous disappearances as case studies.
  • The force will study the conclusions of an existing probe into how the disappearances linked to the serial killings were handled.
  • Upgrade of existing computer software.
  • Strengthening ties with the public and vulnerable population groups in order to aid investigations.
  • Upgrade of the Hope for Children protocol.

The force has come under fire over their failure to properly look for women and children, who were later found murdered by a suspected serial killer. Friends and relatives who contacted police regarding their search for the missing women were told that they had probably crossed the Green Line.

Justice Minister Ionas Nicolaou resigned over the serial killings case and former police chief Zacharias Chrysostomou was dismissed by the President.

Police have launched an administrative inquiry into how the cases were handled. Chrysostomou has said if there had been dereliction of duty, those responsible would be held to account.