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Safety and Emergencies for Expats in Cyprus

Author: Jim Newham
Submitted: August 2017

Safety – Natural Hazards

Natural disasters are very rare in Cyprus. The main problem is from earth tremors, though these are infrequent and almost always of a minor magnitude.

 

Safety – Human Hazards

Crime

Crime levels in Cyprus are lower than most other countries in the EU and low on a global scale. The highest crime levels are in some areas of Nicosia and in the major tourist areas such as Paphos and Ayia Napa.

Petty crimes such as pick-pocketing and bag-snatching do occur, and you may be unlucky enough to become a victim. These crimes are most likely to happen in major tourist areas and on public transport. You can help to prevent them by being aware of belongings such as mobile phones and laptops at all times and keeping items out of sight as much as possible.

Serious crime is very rare, though somewhat more common in tourist areas. Cyprus is generally safe for women, as the incidence of sexual assault is very low. Nevertheless, it is important to avoid situations where you are vulnerable. If you are on a night out, make sure someone knows where you are at all times. Also, make sure there is always one person who has an eye on your drinks and do not accept unattended drinks from strangers. When using a taxi, ensure that it is licensed and travel with friends when possible.

Law and Order

Although there has been peace for 43 years now, tensions remain high in Cyprus. There are occasional protests which you should avoid. Although there have not been any terrorist incidents in the country, there is still a high level of alertness. It is therefore prudent to be vigilant and report any suspicious activity.

Be aware that possession of any illegal drug will lead to your arrest and a fine or imprisonment. There have been reports of police harassment and even brutality against immigrants in recent times. Nevertheless, the rule of law is in full effect in the country.

 

Emergencies

For all emergencies – police, ambulance and fire brigade – you can dial either 199 or 112 (the EU-wide emergency number) from any phone.

The emergency operator will answer in Greek, though English speakers are readily available. All calls are free of charge and can be made from any phone, even a mobile phone without a SIM card. Be aware that these numbers are only for serious or life-threatening situations that need immediate attention.

 

 

 




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