On March 11th, the Metropolitan Police Service shared an image of the flag of the illegal regime occupying the northern part of Cyprus, which appeared on the official uniform of a police constable. This was done, despite the Metropolitan Police Service (“MPS”) and UK Government, having a clear policy of non-recognition of the illegal regime.

Moreover, the Metropolitan Police has a fundamental obligation to uphold the rule of law, which it has, sadly, failed to do by allowing this flag to be repeatedly displayed on its public communications. The flag is a clear violation of UN Security Resolutions (which calls on Member states not to “facilitate” secession) as well as British Government policy. It is also a symbol of hurt and pain for our community, many of whom were forcibly evicted from their homes following the Turkish invasion of Cyprus in 1974.Sadly, this is not the first time that the MPS has displayed the secessionist flag in its communications. In May 2019, following an investigation, Superintendent Mehtab, assured our community that this would not happen again saying: “I will offer an apology on behalf of the MPS. In relation to this incident there is a clear need for Learning & guidance to be given by the MPS in relation to displaying of the said flag by police whilst on duty with MPS”.

The Baroness Casey Review has brought into sharp focus that work needs to be done to build trust between the MPS with London’s communities. The Report makes clear that “Public respect has fallen to a low point” and that “The Met has yet to free itself of institutional racism.” The MPS turnaround plan highlights the need to “raise standards & show communities we care & respect them”. To raise standards and to show respect and care, the Met Police must, first and foremost, uphold international and domestic law, as well as its own and British Government policy. Sadly, the repeated displays of this secessionist flag demonstrate that the MPS is failing to show our Cypriot community that it cares for, and respects, it.

Join us, by signing our open letter to the Metropolitan Police Commissioner, making it clear that our Cypriot community wants to see concrete actions that will not allow these mistakes to happen again.

Take action here: #ACTIONNOTWORDS – National Federation of Cypriots (cypriotfederation.org.uk)