Cyprus Police new Chief Kypros Michaelides when assuming command on Tuesday, apologised on behalf of the force to the families of a serial killer who claimed the lives of 5 women and two children.
In the first public apology from the police, Michaelides said the force failed in its duty to protect the victims.
Michaelides, previously second in command, was appointed by President Nicos Anastasiades after sacking his predecessor Zacharias Chrysostomou over police incompetence and negligence in the case when the women were first reported missing.
Michaelides said that previous efforts to ensure a good level of operational readiness and responsiveness to society’s demands for security and wellbeing proved to be insufficient.
The loss of defenceless innocent women and children who had come to our country in search of a better future have greatly damaged the prestige, honour and reputation of the Cyprus Police, bringing forth weaknesses, gaps and omissions, said Michaelides.
That is why, on behalf of the Police Force, I want to express our regret and our sincere condolences to the families of the victims, apologising for not being able to protect these innocent and defenceless souls who so tragically lost their lives in this hideous way,” added the new police chief.
Michaelides said that fighting organised crime is a priority and the force will seek to attribute responsibility for mishaps and mishandling of the case, which led to the force being discredited, both locally and internationally.
President Anastasiades said his decision to appoint Michaelides was “based on your academic training and qualifications, but above all on your character, the professionalism and impartiality you have exhibited since joining the Police Force in 1977.
Anastasiades asked Michaelides to be impartial and exhibit zero tolerance towards any criminal element and any negligence or failure to impose the rule of law.
The President said he was compelled to take action in order to preserve the integrity of the police.
Michaelides joined the force in April 1977 and has served as Assistant Police Chief (Operations Division), Commander of the Nicosia Police Division and Commander of the Limassol Police Division. He holds a postgraduate degree in ‘Police Management’.
President Anastasiades has also appointed Stylianos Papatheodorou, as the new deputy police chief. He was recruited to the police in 1990 and has served in various departments.
Papatheodorou holds a law degree and a Master’s in Public Administration and is also a graduate of the FBI Academy.
Source: The Financial Mirror