Law enforcement bodies hailed for drop in crime


Mr Michel said order, peace and security are the foundation of all modern societies and a country cannot progress if order, peace and security do not reign.

“A citizen who does not feel at peace, in security, is in a permanent state of anxiety. He or she cannot enjoy life or be productive,” he said.

“I have always accorded greatest importance to these three key elements. I have listened to the people of Seychelles, their fears and apprehension,” he said.

“And I have taken appropriate measures to address the problem of insecurity. We have put more resources at the disposal of the services responsible for order and peace. We have given them more training. We have improved their conditions of service. We have redoubled our vigilance. Police presence is much more visible. There have been big improvements in their performance and results of their work.

“The judiciary, too, has listened to the public calls for more severe sentences. 

“Today, we see the fruit of our effort. I cannot say that everything is perfect. But I can confirm that we have recorded a considerable reduction in criminality and delinquency. Statistics show a reduction of 15% overall in criminality in 2012, compared to the trend of 40% increase between 2006 and 2011.

“The National Drug Enforcement Agency, too, has achieved much success in its mission. Last year it seized drugs which had a total street value of over R100m, and put behind bars several traffickers who are rotting our society.   

“Our strategy is working! Our communities feel more secure. But we are not going to stop here. We will continue to intensify our struggle against criminality and delinquency, in all their forms.”

He said at the same time we will offer possibilities of rehabilitation to young people who have fallen astray, and to prisoners who are not a major risk to society.

“The open prison on Coetivy is functioning well. Detainees on the island get the opportunity to learn a trade which will be useful to them when they return into society. Work will start soon on another detention facility on Coetivy for young people in need of detoxification and rehabilitation from substance abuse. Work will also begin on an incarceration centre on Praslin for minors convicted of criminal activities. The centre will be equipped with facilities and other resources to help the minors to retake control of their lives.”

Mr Michel nevertheless said that for drug traffickers, hardened criminals and those who molest children and abuse their innocence, we will never have any compassion or pity, for them.

“They will continue to serve their sentences on Marie-Louise. At the end of March this year there will be 124 criminals and drug traffickers on this island. While there they will learn the values of hard work in an environment where they are unable to hurt our communities and poison our children and our youth.

“We will never lower our guard. I said last year that we have to retake our society from the hands of bandits and delinquents. We are doing it!
“Thanks to our vigilance, thanks to our relentless fight, thanks to the concerted international effort, we have been able to put piracy in our waters under control. The threat has not gone away completely. There are less risks but we have to remain vigilant.”

He said a bigger threat weighing down on us presently is drug trafficking, which, like piracy transcends all boundaries.
“It affects all countries in the region. All our efforts to eliminate drug trafficking will be useless if determined actions are not taken against organised crime, against traffickers, who continue to conduct their dirty trade in neighbouring countries. We need a concerted effort, we need to coordinate our actions to combat this scourge which threatens the security, sovereignty, wellbeing and prosperity of all the countries in the region. It is a grave danger which threatens the health and future of our youth. We will continue to fight it with determination, with the mobilisation of all the necessary resources, and with the assistance and expertise of our foreign partners.”

Noting that we are commemorating 20 years of existence of our Third Republic this year, he said it is a memorable milestone in our history.
“The Third Republic rests on certain symbols and fundamental institutions which distinguish us as a people. One of these is the Constitution of the Third Republic of Seychelles. It contains a chapter that inspires us and will continue to inspire future generations. It is the Seychellois Charter on Fundamental Human Rights and Freedoms. It guarantees the fundamental rights and freedoms of all citizens of Seychelles. The charter is a pillar of our society, a pillar of our modern State. It is the foundation of the three branches of the State: the Executive, Legislative and Judiciary. It is the basis of the rule of law.

“Today, on the eve of the celebration of this great historical event, we reaffirm fervently and unequivocally, our profound commitment to the Seychellois Charter. We recognise and respect the rights and freedoms it guarantees us, but at the same we also recognise and accept our obligations towards our fellow human beings, towards society. The Charter will continue to guide us in the evolution of our state as an institution, in the strengthening of our democracy, good governance and on the road of progress and prosperity. The Charter remains the basis of the New Seychelles – a democratic society, free, tolerant and united in strength – a country united, a people proud and hardworking.  A country that is open to itself and to the world.”

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