SBA POLICE SERVICE
The Sovereign Base Areas Police Service was established at midnight on the 15th of August 1960 and was constituted in accordance with the 1960 Treaty of Establishment and Sovereign Base Areas Ordinance. Its purpose is to maintain law and order across all of the Sovereign Base Areas by the prevention and detection of crime, the apprehension of offenders and the operation of HM Prison, Dhekelia.
The Sovereign Base Areas cover approximately 98 square miles of land surface and they are located in the south coast of the island of Cyprus. The Akrotiri Base (Western SBA) covers 47.5 square miles whilst, some 60 miles to the east, the Dhekelia Base (Eastern SBA) covers 50.5 square miles and contains three Republican enclaves. WSBA abuts the Republic of Cyprus, whereas ESBA additionally abuts the north of the island and the United Nations buffer zone. The territory of the Republic of Cyprus separates the two parts of the Sovereign Base Areas.
Some laws of the United Kingdom are also applicable to the Sovereign Base Areas or have been extended by Order in Council. These laws are mainly in the field of external relations, such as giving legal effect to sanctions imposed by resolutions of the United Nations.
The SBA Police provide a civil policing service across the Sovereign Base Areas including inside the military garrisons and the RAF station. The Cyprus Joint Police Unit (the Royal Military Police and the RAF Police), has concurrent jurisdiction over military offences committed by Service personnel within the garrisons and stations and other retained military sites outside the SBAs. Both work in full cooperation with each other and any jurisdiction issues are managed through an agreed Memorandum of Understanding.
Although funded totally by the Ministry of Defence, the SBA Police are an independent Police Service with jurisdiction under Sovereign Base Areas law and are not connected with the Ministry of Defence Police. With the exception of the Chief Constable, Deputy Chief Constable, and the two Divisional Commanders, all remaining officers are locally employed Greek and Turkish Cypriots who are trained and equipped to UK policing standards to deal with the range of investigation, prevention and detection responsibilities The Service is regularly inspected by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary.
The Chief Constable, subject to any order or direction from the Administrator, has overall command of the SBA Police and is responsible to the Administrator for good order throughout the SBAs and for the efficient administration and governance of the service. This includes the production of a Strategic Business Plan in consultation with the local community and an Annual Report on the work of the SBA Police.
The Chief Constable is also the Superintendent of SBA Prison at Dhekelia, and has responsibility for its management, security and effectiveness as well its staffing by SBA Police Officers. The Service has a current establishment of 241 officers, comprising four Senior British Officers, with the remainder of the force being recruited exclusively from the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities in accordance with the Treaty of Establishment. Currently 16.80% of the total posts within the SBA Police are held by women. The Service is supported by 14 members of civilian police staff.
The Police workload is affected significantly by large numbers of holidaymakers, over 10,000 daily on the most popular tourist beaches at the height of the season, and by substantial through-traffic, there being no controlled borders between the SBAs and the Republic.