Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Cyprus: Church warning

Expand Messages
  • Bill Samsonoff
    http://www.incyprus.com.cy/en-gb/Blogs/4324/36516/church-warning Church warning 08 August 2013 18:13 PAPHOS - Police are advising churches to bolster security
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 12, 2013
    • 0 Attachment
      http://www.incyprus.com.cy/en-gb/Blogs/4324/36516/church-warning

      Church warning
      08 August 2013 18:13

      PAPHOS - Police are advising churches to bolster security measures after
      a string of ecclesiastical thefts in Paphos this week.

      Deputy police spokesperson Nicoletta Tyrimou confirmed yesterday that
      the authorities were advising churches to take measures against thefts
      after investigations were launched into six new break-ins.

      “In each case the thieves swiped icons and any other items of value they
      could find,” said Tyrimou.

      Father Stylianos Iacovos reported to police on Tuesday that the Ayia
      Anastasia Church in the Kilinia community had been burgled after
      noticing the front entrance had been forced open.

      Thieves took €800 from the collection box, two silver chalices, a gold
      plated cross, a silver cross, and three small icons.
      Police said the burglars most likely struck during the early hours and
      used a crowbar to pry open the door.

      On Monday, police received a report at around 5.00am that Ayia Eirini
      church in the Timi community had been burgled. Thieves took an icon
      worth €3,000 as well as two silver chalices and a number of candle
      holders. Within the space of a few hours, the authorities were alerted
      about burglaries at the churches Ayia Marina, Ayios Demetrianos, Ayia
      Eirini, and Ayios Panaretos.

      Tyrimou said the authorities were extremely concerned and were taking
      measures to prevent them.

      “We have held several meetings with representatives of the church to
      discuss how security can be improved and we are also increasing police
      patrols near small and remote churches which are most at risk.

      “Other preventative measures are also being taken but we cannot discuss
      them in detail at this point.”
      The spokesperson added churches were generally targeted because they
      lack sophisticated security systems.

      Speaking to The Cyprus Daily, Paphos Bishop Georgios described the
      recent surge in thefts against churches as “unacceptable”.
      “We have taken on board the advice from the police and in some cases
      CCTV systems and alarms have been installed in churches.”
      The Bishop questioned why thieves would target remote chapels when there
      is hardly anything of value for them to steal.

      “Even though these isolated places of prayer contain few valuables we
      are asking priests to do shifts so that there is someone awake and in
      the church around the clock.” He added that the church had noticed a
      distinct increase in thefts during the summer period.

      “Cyprus is a tourist destination and it is very busy during the summer.
      Because we receive many visitors during this time it makes it easy for
      thieves to come in and look around before they decide to steal something.”

      The phenomenon of church theft has been an ongoing issue islandwide and
      has been on the rise for the last two years, with some of the larger
      churches turning to elaborate security systems to protect their valuables.

      Unsurprisingly, icons and artefacts made of gold and silver remain the
      most popular targets for thieves.
    Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.