Comprehensive Police Reform in Cyprus

police reform modernization

The comprehensive police reform in Cyprus aims to modernize and upgrade the police force, strengthen their independence, implement technological advancements, and establish a corruption prevention and integrity policy. The reforms are influenced by GRECO’s recommendations and seek to enhance effectiveness, independence, and transparency within the police force, addressing both the need for technological improvements and the importance of integrity measures.

What are the key aspects of the comprehensive police reform in Cyprus?

  • Modernization and upgrading of the police force
  • Strengthening police independence
  • Technological advancements and digitalization
  • Implementing a corruption prevention and integrity policy
  • Increase in police personnel to meet current demands

The reforms are influenced by GRECO’s recommendations and aim to enhance effectiveness, independence, and transparency within the police force.

Cyprus is poised to embark on a significant transformation of its police force, aiming for modernization, upgrading, and reorganization. The driving force behind these changes are the recommendations provided by the Council of Europe Group of States against Corruption, commonly known as GRECO.

GRECO’s Influence and Recommendations

Justice Minister Anna Procopiou highlighted the influence of GRECO’s guidelines in a recent discussion with the House ethics committee. GRECO has put forward a total of 22 specific recommendations. Nine of these pertain directly to the police force, signaling a significant impact on law enforcement strategies and administration.

Modernization and Strengthening of Police Independence

One of the key aspects of the proposed reforms focuses on the autonomy of the police and the fortification of their intelligence services. Procopiou stressed the importance of the police’s independence, an aspect that is paramount in maintaining a just and unbiased law enforcement agency.

Technological Advancements and Digitalization

The transition to digital record-keeping and improvements to the call center infrastructure are among the top priorities. These technological upgrades are expected to streamline police operations and enhance their ability to respond to the community’s needs effectively.

Enhanced Policing and Integrity Measures

GRECO’s recommendations extend beyond technological improvements, suggesting a need for a comprehensive integrity and corruption prevention policy. This policy would be risk-assessed, with focused mitigation strategies and regular monitoring to ensure its effectiveness.

Voices from the Committee

After the committee meeting, Disy MP Demetris Demetriou expressed optimism about the productivity of the discussion. The implementation of GRECO’s recommendations is seen as crucial to the country’s progress.

Conversely, Akel MP Andreas Pasiourtides warned of overly idealistic expectations in an organization with thousands of employees. He insists on the necessity for continuous improvement while acknowledging the existing strengths of the police force.

Diko MP Zacharias Koulias pointed out that the number of police personnel has stagnated since 1960, despite the growing demands. He advocates for an increase in the workforce to meet the present and future needs of Cyprus’s policing.


The dialogue between the justice minister, the police chief, and members of the House ethics committee lays a foundation for a sweeping reform of the Cyprus police force. With a nod to GRECO’s recommendations, the focus is on modernization, digital transformation, and a robust policy towards integrity and anti-corruption measures. This comprehensive approach looks to reshape the police into a more effective, independent, and transparent body, ready to face the challenges of the 21st century.

Lessons Learned

The comprehensive police reform in Cyprus highlights several key lessons that can be learned:

  1. The importance of external guidance: The influence of GRECO’s recommendations on the police reform in Cyprus underscores the significance of seeking external guidance and expertise. By leveraging the expertise and experience of international organizations, countries can benefit from best practices and recommendations to drive effective reforms.

  2. Balancing independence and accountability: The reform’s focus on strengthening police independence while also implementing integrity measures emphasizes the need to strike a balance between independence and accountability. It is crucial to ensure that law enforcement agencies have the autonomy to carry out their duties without interference, while also maintaining mechanisms to prevent corruption and misconduct.

  3. The role of technology in modern policing: The emphasis on technological advancements and digitalization highlights the role of technology in modern policing. By leveraging digital tools and infrastructure, police forces can streamline operations, improve response times, and enhance their overall effectiveness in serving the community.

  4. Continuous improvement and adaptation: The differing opinions expressed by members of the House ethics committee highlight the need for continuous improvement and adaptation in police reform. Recognizing the existing strengths of the police force while acknowledging the need for growth and development is crucial in ensuring that reforms are effective and meet the evolving demands of society.

Overall, the comprehensive police reform in Cyprus serves as a valuable case study for countries seeking to enhance the effectiveness, independence, and transparency of their law enforcement agencies. By learning from the experiences and lessons of Cyprus, other nations can implement reforms that align with international best practices and address the unique challenges they face.

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