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Cyprus has highest number of police officers for size of population in EU

Cyprus has the highest number of police officers as a proportion of the population with 573 per 100,000 people, according to Eurostat figures released on Friday.

Malta came in second with 505, Greece third with 492 and Croatia fourth with 490.

Eurostat said that the number of police officers in the EU has slowly been decreasing in recent years. The EU had a total of 1.6 million police officers in 2016, a reduction of 3.4 % since 2009.

Overall, there were 318 police officers per 100 000 people in the EU in 2016, or one police officer per 314 people.

However, there are big differences between Member States: Hungary (90 police officers per 100 000 people in 2015), Finland (137), Denmark (186 in 2015) and Sweden (203) had the lowest rates, and Cyprus (573), Malta (505), Greece (492) and Croatia (490 in 2015) the highest, it added.

Eurostat noted that countries organise their law enforcement differently, according to national needs, resources and priorities. Another difference between national figures is who exactly counts as police. For example, some special police units may be counted in different ways.

The standard definition of police officers does not include clerks, maintenance staff and other employees who are not directly involved in typical police work.

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