Republic of Cyprus
Cyprus Police

Police Border Marine

A Brief History

In 1956 a special committee, set up by the then British Colonial Government for the re-organization of Cyprus Police, included in its report a proposal for the establishment of a Port and Marine Police Unit in Cyprus. The new Unit was set up the following year equipped with seven boats. It operated as an independent Police Division with its headquarters at Ammochostos Town and 2 permanent stations in Limassol and Larnaca respectively. It also had a sub-station in Kerynia which operated during the summer. In 1960, with the establishment of the independent Republic of Cyprus, the Port and Marine Police became a branch of the Police and the Gendarmerie.

In 1964, with the withdrawal of Turkish Cypriots from the government of the Republic, the responsibility for the management of technical matters concerning the Port and Marine Police was assigned to Department B, while the organisation and training of personnel were under the command of a Senior Officer of the Port and Marine Police. The stations were administered by the Police Division of the district they were located in.

The Turkish invasion of 1974 was a great blow for the Port and Marine Police as its installations at Ammochostos Port were destroyed and five out of its seven boats were seized by the Turkish Army. After this great loss, it continued to operate but only with two boats at its stations in Larnaca and Limassol. Its headquarters were transferred from Ammochostos to the old port of Limassol.

In the years that followed, under difficult and trying conditions, new plans were made for restructuring the Port and Marine Police. In 1975 a Port Station was set up at the new port of Limassol that began operating that year. Another station was established at Paphos and new boats were ordered. In 1980, the Port and Marine Police acquired its two first large and modern - for the time- boats, which could operate at a great distance from the coast line.

The newly acquired boats were important in combating drug trafficking in the territorial waters of Cyprus - a great problem at the time. There was also an increase in the calls for search and rescue, the provision of assistance and protection of life and property at sea. The Port and Marine Police was consequently re-organized. It became a separate Unit with its administrative headquarters in Limassol and taking the responsibility of all Stations for the entire island.

At the same time more boats were bought, new technology was introduced, new stations were set up and specialized personnel were recruited. Furthermore, preliminary investigations started for the installation of a coastal radar system for monitoring sea traffic.

In the 1990’s Port and Marine Police concentrated its efforts on combating illegal immigration. In order to deal with this problem, Port and Marine Police was equipped with new boats and was staffed with personnel with a variety of specializations.

In the new century, Port and Marine Police is called upon to further upgrade its operations so that it can meet the increased demands arising from the accession of Cyprus to the European Union. Consequently, it has installed a Coastal Surveillance Radar System, has added two new large boats to its feet and has made further changes to its structure.

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