GIS – 18 July 2013: The Prime Minister, Dr Navinchandra Ramgoolam, was the chief guest at the passing out parade of 598 trainee police constables this morning at the Gymkhana Sports Complex, Vacoas.
“Now you will have new responsibilities and will be upholding the law of land. This is not like any job. You are conferred authority, but it is vital to be careful not to abuse this authority. You are here to serve the public”, the Prime Minister stated at the outset while congratulating the recruits.
In his address Dr Ramgoolam recalled that in year 1998, he launched a vast reform programme of the police force. The new philosophy now is to be more customer-oriented and at the same time service-oriented.
“Today the public is more demanding and rightly so. It expects more professionalism. The public too must respect police officers”, he said adding that the laws have been strengthened to better protect police officers from insults and assaults.
According to the Prime Minister, the police needs constant training and has to be properly equipped in terms of manpower. He stated his intention to offer more training abroad for members of the police force, so as to enhance their skills.
“You must also have a strong sense of justice and fairness, together with a sense of patriotism and honour. You must always help the helpless and be polite. When you are on an investigation, use all your skills to solve the case”, he said.
The Prime Minister further pointed out that the Police and Criminal Evidence (PACE) Bill will be debated in the next parliamentary session. The new legislation will give more powers to the police and provide for a strict code of conduct so as to protect both the police and the suspect.
“This will eliminate allegations of police brutality with regard to a confession by an accused. Some lawyers must respect their oath and the code of conduct of barristers and attorneys must be strictly adhered to”. He strongly stated that the law must prevail at all costs and every Mauritian is equal before the law.
Dr. Ramgoolam expressed satisfaction that the crime rate has gone down since 2007. Government is determined to stop illicit drug trafficking and underscored the need for better coordination and exchange of information among different units and institutions. The Police must be result-oriented and members of the force must be properly remunerated due to the element of risk involved in their job, he said.
Out of the 598 trainee police constables, including 29 from Rodrigues, who participated in the passing out parade 101 come from the Police Training School of Beau-Bassin; 138 from the Police Training School of Les Casernes, Curepipe; 189 came from the Special Mobile Force Centralised Training Wing; 88 from the National Coast Guard Marine Training Establishment; and 82 from the Special Support Unit Training Wing. All of them have successfully completed the 24-week foundation course before being inducted to the Mauritius Police Force.
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