Merseyside Police Officers who also serve as Army Reservists have met with the Chief Constable of the force during their United Nations peacekeeping mission.
The Chief Constable of Merseyside Police, Andrew Cooke QPM, was among a number of employers visiting British Army Reservists on the island, as they near the end of a six month tour of duty which began in September last year.
Two of Merseyside Police’s 26 Army Reservists are serving with 4th Battalion The Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment. The Reservist unit is currently leading British troops in support of the United Nations Forces in Cyprus (UNFICYP), a UN peacekeeping mission which first started in 1974.
Chief Constable Cooke spent four days with the troops in their main operating base along the buffer zone which separates the Greek Cypriot south of the city from the Turkish Cypriot north. While there he reviewed an honour guard, and witnessed a public order capability demonstration given by the UNFICYP Mobile Force Reserve: a high readiness reaction force that can be deployed to any part of the island’s buffer zone at a moment’s notice.
The Chief Constable also visited the laboratories of the Committee for Missing Persons who attempt to recover and identify the remains of Cypriots killed in 1974.
Chief Constable Cooke said: “The Army Reserve clearly plays a vital role as part of the modern Army and the Reservists here add to the professionalism and skill set of the Regulars. The transferrable skills we contribute to the Army and receive back are immeasurable and surpassed only by the common innate personal attributes our people have as public servants, such as selfless commitment, leadership, good judgement, empathy and discipline. My own officers here have clearly demonstrated a set of ‘soft power’ skills that uniquely fit the operational environment here in Cyprus and which are likely to be in high demand around the world in the future.”
Major Andy Holsgrove, a serving police officer on the Merseyside force, has served 17 years as an Army Reservist and completed multiple overseas deployments – including Cyprus. He said: “It was great to see the Chief Constable here to see what we do. We highlighted what we bring to the Army and what we can bring back to the police in return. It was also an opportunity for him to show his personal and professional commitment to us. I think it demonstrates the close ties that the police and Army have and the benefits to both organizations of cooperating together.”