A woman who is in police custody in connection with a suspected deliberate hit and run in Coral Bay which led to the death of one Briton and the injury of another is a victim and should not have been arrested, a family violence prevention committee says.
In a written statement, the Advisory Committee for the Prevention & Combating of Violence in the Family expressed indignation at the woman’s arrest and eight day detention and called on the Justice Minister to intervene immediately for her release.
It said that evidence in police hands shows that the two Britons had tried to defend the woman from the suspect hit and run driver after he assaulted her in bar.
“Whereas it was known that the woman was a victim of violence from the perpetrator and there was a history of reports to police on the issue, Paphos CID not only did not protect the victim of violence, as they should have done under the law, but instead arrested her as an accomplice with the suspect and took her to Paphos District Court which issued an eight day remand,” they said.
The committee said it was well known that the woman was a partner and victim of violence, therefore under the law police had the responsibility to recognise her as such and offer her the necessary protection.
It called on the Justice Minister to intervene for her immediate release and protection as a victim of violence and as a witness. The committee said a disciplinary inquiry should be held into the way Paphos CID handled the issue.
Both the woman and the man are in police custody since Sunday. Charlie Birch, from Powys, Wales, was struck by a car as he walked along a road with a 32-year-old man at about 2.30 am on Sunday. Police are investigating a case of premeditated murder.