The Press Office is under the direct command of the Chief of Police. It is the office which deals with a wide spectrum of organized proceedings and activities, thus contributing to the continual effort that is made to improve the relationship between the Police and the Public and address citizens’ need for direct, valid and objective information.
The importance of having a Press and Public Relations Office was recognised from the early years of Cyprus Police, at a time when few organizations were concerned with public relations. One of its primary aims was to improve the public image of the Police which unfortunately at the time wasn’t very good, as the British colonial rulers had used the police to serve their own interests. The Public Relations and Press Office was thus set up in 1966.
The Press Office at present
Many years have passed since the establishment of the Police Public Relations and Press Office and the important changes which have taken place in the field of Mass Media, and Public Relations, have affected it to a great extent. The Office is now divided into two sections - the Press Office and the Public Relations Service. The development of privately owned, commercial broadcasting in Cyprus in the 1990’s, generated a series of rapid changes, mainly in the field of electronic Mass Media. Besides this, historical changes in the field of communication were also brought about by the introduction of the Internet and e-mail. Nowadays all organizations, private or public, profit making or not, regard the continual improvement of the operational capacity of public relations and organized communication in general, as absolutely essential. The Press Office has adopted modern methods and technical communications, not only in the field of Mass Media Communication but also in the area of Public Relations in general.
Other tasks of the Press Office
Another important task of the Press Office is to review, on a daily basis, the daily Press, and electronic Mass Media programmes, and then inform the Leadership of the Police and the Ministry of Justice and Public Order.
Moreover, citizens can have direct access to the Press Office through the central E-mail, sending information which may help the police in their work. Citizens can also make suggestions, complaints or requests for help or assistance by the Police. Where possible, the police respond to e-mails immediately. If however an immediate response is not possible, then the matter is passed on to the responsible Police Department/Service/Unit for further action.
Finally, the Press Office plays an important role in training Police members on issues of communication, the relationship between the Police and the Public and the relations between the Police and the Mass Media. Members of the Press Office give lectures on a continual basis within the scope of courses at the Police Academy, but also in co-ordination with the Divisional Headquarters, Services and Units.