Two senior trainers from Liverpool’s Merseyside police have provided for a highly valuable training programme in Nicosia to more than 20 Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots involved in the investigative efforts of the Committee on Missing Persons in Cyprus (CMP).
According to a CMP announcement, the training which took place from 14 to 18 January 2019 was led by senior Merseyside police officers Tim Keelan, recently retired with more than 40 years investigation experience, and John Porter, a serving officer and trainer with more than 30 years’ experience.
The one-week training covered, inter alia, topics such as the conduct of witness interviews and assessments, the evaluation and grading of information, the recording of witness statements and data management.
It is noted that these newly acquired skills will help CMP staff to improve their theoretical knowledge and practical application of investigative skills and assist the CMP to recover and identify the remains of persons still missing across the island.
“This is particularly important at a time when witnesses with knowledge of sites where missing persons may have been buried are reaching very advanced ages,” the announcement concludes.
Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and occupied its northern third. Since then, the fate of hundreds of people remains unknown.
A Committee on Missing Persons has been established, upon agreement between the leaders of the two communities, with the scope of exhuming, identifying and returning the remains of missing persons to their relatives.