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British Bases ‘privileged’ to work with Cyprus police

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The British Bases police chief, Chris Eyre, has described working alongside his Cyprus Police counterparts in this week’s hostage negotiation exercise as a ‘privilege’.

The annual week-long CyPol-led training saw the SBA Police’s negotiator team involved to test multiple assets within the MMAD – CyPol Special Forces for the third year in a row.

The training culminated with a large-scale exercise on October 6.

According to the SBA Police Chief Constable, his officer’s involvement is key to keeping their training up to date and further strengthening the working understanding between the two forces.

Chief Constable Eyre said: “The SBA Police is privileged to work with Cyprus Police in training our officers in some of the most complex areas of policing.

“The involvement of our qualified hostage negotiators in major hostage siege exercises with Cyprus Police not only ensures our skills are current, but it also ensures that we can work together in the event of any hostage siege situation.”

SBA Police Chief of Staff, Chief Inspector Maria Atalioti, who headed up the team attending, reinforced the chief’s words.

“As always, the exercise was extremely valuable to all those involved.

“For the last three years, we have established very close co-operation and liaison with the Cyprus Police Hostage Negotiator’ team.

“We currently have a team of three qualified hostage negotiators that have been trained in the UK, and the Cyprus Police has a team of 37 negotiators, and their team was established about 12 years ago.

“We have exchange visits between our forces to view equipment and exchange ideas and views about the negotiators’ field, and this co-operation aims to strengthen our capabilities in hostage negotiation in an effort to make Cyprus safer for all our communities and visitors.”

In 2019, members of the CyPol Negotiator Unit and various other members of MMAD also took part in a large-scale anti-terrorism exercise within the Bases.

Both forces were required to work seamlessly together during the exercise to ensure they were ready should their skills ever be required in a real-time situation.