NewsLocalFully-armed special constables to help stem migrant flows across buffer zone

Fully-armed special constables to help stem migrant flows across buffer zone

The House plenum has passed legislation allowing the police force to hire 300 fully-armed special constables to be deployed along the divided island’s buffer zone to help stem migrant flows.

A last-minute attempt by main opposition Akel to amend the bill so as to provide that the special constables  should be equipped with anti-riot gear only was voted down  by majority,  Philenews reported on Friday.

The special constables will be hired on a contract basis and will be used for patrolling possible crossing points for irregular migrants.

As well as help with migrant checks, support the transportation of irregular migrants, guard migrant reception centres and assist in deportation processes.

Justifying their objection to Akel’s proposed amendment, ruling Disy MP Nicos Georgiou said that such an eventuality would kill the institution itself in its infancy.

“The police should carry fire-arms so as to ensure their own safety and consolidate their sense of security,” he said.

“It is well-known, afterall, that smuggling and drug trafficking activity takes place along the buffer zone and no one can be certain which this special police body will be confronted with,” he added.

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