Police say Eurostat figures showing Cyprus has the highest number of police officers per capita in the European Union give an incomplete picture as they include personnel which in other countries is assigned to other units.
The police announcement followed publication of Eurostat figures which showed that Cyprus has the highest number of police officers as a proportion of the population with 573 per 100,000 people.
Comparisons with other EU states are ‘questionable’, they said because Cyprus’ figures include units and services which in most other EU countries constitute different bodies and are not included in statistics on the size of the police force.
As examples the announcement cited the immigration service, the coastguard, airport security, the air operations unit, the presidential guard and departments charged with the security of government buildings/embassies and the enforcement of regulations on noise pollution, smoking and alcohol.
According to the announcement, these units represent 20% of the island’s police force.
Moreover, police in other EU countries are supported by civilian staff, which is not the case in Cyprus, the announcement added.
Cyprus also hosts some 4 million tourists a year, which requires an increased number of police officers, it said.
Finally, the announcement noted that the average drop in the number of police officers in the EU over the period 2009 to 2016 was 3.6%, whereas in Cyprus the number was down by 14.7%.