Police crackdown following crime wave in North Cyprus

Police chiefs have launched a summer-long crackdown on crime amid growing public concern following a number of incidents and fears that the TRNC’s image as a safe country could be damaged.

The announcement was prompted after police and immigration officers came under fire for letting slip two men wanted for the violent robbery of a jewellery shop in Girne earlier this month.

The pair were able to fly out from the TRNC to Turkey just hours after their attack, even though detectives had sent wanted notices including their descriptions and CCTV images to Ercan airport officials.

It is believed the suspects, thought to be Iranian nationals, used fake passports to slip out of North Cyprus.

Elsewhere dozens were involved in a street brawl during the Bayram holiday within Lefkoşa’s walled city, where restaurant and bar owners claim they have been targeted by protection racketeers, local media said.

The new police push will see riot police, plain clothes officers and other special units take part in operations and investigations across North Cyprus.

They will target nightclubs and other venues and carry out random spot checks of vehicles and their occupants.

The extra police activity will continue until 15 September, a document issued by the TRNC police headquarters marked as “urgent” said.