National Assembly approves motion for increased police visibility |12 April 2023
The National Assembly has approved a motion calling on the government, through the Ministry of Internal Affairs, to intensify police patrol and their presence in the community, especially in districts not equipped with a police station, to eliminate thefts and other criminal activities, which are on the rise.
It was only members of the National Assembly from the Linyon Demokratik Seselwa (LDS) who were present for the afternoon session, and all 24 present voted in favour of the motion presented by their colleague, the elected member for Au Cap, Hon. Kelly Samynadin.
In her motion, Hon. Samynadin said it was a person’s right to feel safe at all times and despite their hard work, there were various weaknesses and challenges faced by the police force on a daily basis, meaning not all districts were getting the due attention especially since crimes were on the rise.
She stated that 103 crimes were recorded in her district last year, which include robberies, at homes and in vehicles, drug possession, damage to property, violence, and abuse of minor and involuntary manslaughter, among others.
At national level, 3009 cases were recorded last year and already 954 cases have been reported for 2023.
“With a population of around 4000 residents, the situation in Au Cap is an alarming one considering the types of crimes being committed. It shows that police visibility in our sub-districts is a major concern and this is being brought to my attention by the residents on a regular basis, leading me to table such a motion. I am sure that my other colleagues will agree since their districts have not been spared,” she stated.
Ms Samynadin said to find concrete solutions to address crimes she recently held a meeting with stakeholders in her district including the police, tourism establishments, the residents and the Neighbourhood crime watch, where they came up with several recommendations.
These included increasing police visibility in the community, including on beaches to deter crimes, re-inforce the law against repeated offenders, review the Misuse of Drugs Act, and that a Neighbourhood Crime Watch group should be created to assist the police and ensure they have a better relationship with the public.
All the twelve LDS members who intervened on the motion spoke in favour, highlighting the various challenges faced by the police force and the need for the public to work alongside them, instead of supporting criminal activities or turning a blind eye.
The elected member for Bel Ombre, Hon. Sandy Arissol, stressed on the positive work being done by the police, which included solving crimes in short period of time compared to past years while the elected member for Les Mamelles, Hon. Bernard Georges, saluted the police officers considering the demanding nature of their work.
The respect for police officers was also highlighted by the elected member for Glacis, Hon. Regina Esparon, and this was echoed by proportionately elected member, Naddy Zialor, who talked about the need for the public to be more friendly and respectful towards police officers.
In her concluding remarks, Hon. Samynadin thanked her colleagues for understanding the importance of community policing and for backing her motion.
She stressed on some key points highlighted by her colleagues such as the need for insurance and a risk allowance for police officers, the need to promote the profession and educate young people while still at school on the benefits of a career in policing.
She also pointed out the need for revision in certain laws including the Criminal Code and Misuse of Drugs Act to allow the officers to better deliver their work, for government to invest in resources to raise the standard and level of performance of the officers, and for the community to have a better working relationship with the police officers.
Hon. Samynadin also pointed out the need to establish police box systems in districts not equipped with a police station and for each district to adopt the Neighbourhood Crime Watch initiative, to assist the police and reduce illegal activities.