Joint police exercise boosts hostage negotiations

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A specialised British Bases Police negotiator team completed a week-long joint training exercise alongside Cyprus Police Special Forces officers last month.

The annual CyPol-led exercise, which aims to test multiple assets within the Special Forces, saw the SBA Police involved for the fourth year in a row.

The training culminated with a large-scale exercise in Paralimni. It utilised several specialised teams to tackle a simulated bank robbery, an attack on a university accommodation block and a hostage situation.

SBA Police Chief Constable, Chris Eyre, said his team’s involvement was beneficial for several reasons.

“As a police force, we feel privileged to work with the Cyprus Police in training our officers in some of the most complex areas of policing.

“This type of exercise, working alongside the Cyprus Police, ensures our skills are current, but it also prepares us to work better together in the event of any real hostage siege situation.”

Chief Inspector Maria Atalioti, who headed up the negotiating team, reinforced those words.

“It was extremely valuable to both forces.

“We currently have a team of three qualified hostage negotiators, and CyPol has a team of 37 negotiators.

“For the last four years, we have established a very close cooperation with their Hostage Negotiator Team, and our aim is to strengthen our capabilities in hostage negotiation in an effort to make Cyprus safer for all.”