Financial Mirror (Cyprus)

Bases police take delivery of armoured vehicles

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British Bases Police have received a huge capability upgrade after taking delivery of six new armoured vehicles, with an additional set to arrive before the end of May.

The new BMW-made vehicles can be used by the force’s fully-trained armed police officers during regular patrols but will be deployed for ‘critical high-risk incidents’ when needed.

Trained officers have been able to carry firearms since 2006, and the delivery of the armoured vehicles has ensured both training and equipment are now fully aligned in the Bases police.

Speaking after taking delivery of the vehicles this week, Superinten­dent Mustafa Kemal, based at the SBA Police Headquarte­rs in Episkopi, explained why this latest upgrade is so important to the police capability.

“The purchase of the armed response vehicles is a hugely significan­t step forward for the SBA Police because not only does it offer more support and protection to the communitie­s that we serve, but it, of course, also offers all of those things to our officers too.

“We ask our armed officers to put themselves in harm’s way during what could potentiall­y be a life-threatenin­g situation, and now we know they can use these vehicles for their own protection should it ever be required.”

But despite the vehicle upgrade and the new capability, Superinten­dent Kemal was keen to stress they would not be kept in reserve in anticipati­on of a serious incident.

“Although firearms officers will use the vehicles, they will still be used for regular police work, undertakin­g patrols, community visits and anything else that our officers undertake when going about their day to day duties.

“The only difference is that we can call on them should a serious incident occur.

“I would also like to reassure our communitie­s that the threat has not changed but that this is yet another demonstrat­ion that the SBA Police will be there to protect them if called upon to do so.”

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