The Budget 2024-25 provides for an increase in funds for national security, taking the allocation to Rs 12.6 billion. However, voices are being raised to criticize the proposed measures. They are skeptical about their effectiveness.

The 2024-2025 Budget contains a series of measures intended to strengthen the maintenance of order and the fight against crime (see box). Funds allocated to national security increased from Rs 10.8 billion to Rs 12.6 billion. But are the measures announced enough to strengthen national security?

Voices are being raised to question the effectiveness of these provisions, notably that of the former Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) and former director of the National Security Service (NSS) Dev Jokhoo. He believes that the 2024-25 Budget does not contain any concrete measures to promote “Law and Order”. “I’m disappointed,” he said bluntly.

The former senior police officer criticizes the absence of provisions for the acquisition of sophisticated devices and effective redeployment of personnel. “Trained police officers should not be confined to administrative tasks. Their place is in the field, not in the office. There is poor use of personnel within the police,” he explains.

For him, the solution lies in hiring civilians for administrative tasks, thus allowing police officers to concentrate fully on fighting crime. In addition, Dev Jokhoo proposes a reorientation of the police force. “We must separate the Special Mobile Force, the National Coast Guard and the regular police. The police commissioner must only be responsible for the regular force,” he recommends.
“We need to clean the stable”

The former assistant superintendent of police and former head of Adsu, Hector Tuyau, is delighted with the amount granted for the management of the police force, and especially for Adsu. “I hope that the allocated funds will be used wisely,” he said. Such a sum, he continues, is reasonable to initiate actions to combat drug trafficking. However, Hector Tuyau insists on the need for internal reforms to restore order and security to the country. “We need to clean the stable first. In other words, we must bring order within the police force,” he emphasizes.

At the same time, a senior police officer shared with Le Défi Plus the importance of strengthening scientific capacities to improve national security. “One of the measures that should have been put in place to strengthen national security was the creation of several scientific laboratories across the country,” explains this anonymous source.

Scientific laboratories

According to this senior officer, these infrastructures would make it possible to better respond to contemporary challenges in terms of crime and security. He believes that by developing scientific and technical analysis capabilities, police could improve their effectiveness in combating organized crime, drug trafficking and other threats.

“Well-equipped laboratories would allow us to process evidence faster and more accurately, which is crucial for complex investigations. It is important to invest in technological and human resources to strengthen security systems. The establishment of scientific laboratories strategically distributed across the territory could become a key element in the modernization of law enforcement and the protection of citizens,” he added.

Global approach

Sam Lauthan, social worker and assessor of the commission of inquiry into drugs chaired by former judge Paul Lam Shang Leen, expresses measured satisfaction with the funds allocated to the police force in the 2024-25 Budget. “The fight to restore security and order in the country goes beyond the police. We need everyone’s help,” he says.

While he acknowledges that the Budget provides for a significant increase in funds for the police, he nevertheless insists that “these additional resources alone will not be enough to solve the country's security problems.” For him, society “has deteriorated to a point where in-depth work is more than necessary”. He believes that this requires a broader and inclusive approach in order to restore a climate of security and trust.

Sam Lauthan recognizes the importance of strengthening artillery and police numbers, but he stresses that this cannot be the only solution. “Security is not limited to the presence of police on the streets. We must develop an integrated strategy that includes prevention and family protection,” he says.

For him, the fight against violence and insecurity must take into account a wide range of factors. “Certain forms of violence are not drug-related and have their origins in complex social and family issues,” he explains. He emphasizes the importance of prevention through education, awareness and support for vulnerable families.

textDrugs, violence and database

The 2024-25 Budget provides for a significant injection of Rs 12.6 billion to strengthen the police force, including the recruitment of 1,000 police officers by the end of 2024 and an allocation of Rs 350 million for the Anti-Drug and Smuggling Unit ( Adsu). These measures aim to intensify the fight against drug trafficking.

The Budget also provides for the installation of an additional Whole Body Scanner and two Luggage Scanners at the cruise port, as well as new drug detection devices. for police units based at the port and airport. In addition, the Rodrigues Parcel Post will be equipped with two scanners.

The Finance Minister also announced the creation of a Survivor Support Scheme, offering a one-off grant of Rs 5,000 to victims of domestic violence. Another measure announced: the establishment of an Automated Biometric Identification System by the Central Barracks of Port-Louis, connected to the existing database.

Shiva Coothen: “There is reason to be satisfied”

The funds allocated for the police force in the Budget 2024-25 have increased by around two billion rupees. “There is reason to be satisfied,” the Police Press Office said. “Within the police force, we are in favor of these measures. We will do everything possible to ensure the safety of the population because the important thing is to make Mauritius a secure country for not only its inhabitants but also for expatriates,” declared Inspector Shiva Coothen, head of the press unit. of the police.

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