New Caledonia's youth crime prevention squad has been officially launched although the team has been active since April.
The squad was set up after last year's spate of violence in St Louis near Noumea which also prompted the French government to deploy dozens of extra police.
According to police figures, youth delinquency has been rising in recent years, accounting now for 27 percent of crime.
They also showed the age of offenders has been dropping, with almost half the crimes committed by teenagers fifteen years old and younger.
The unit's launch coincided with a one-day strike at professional training schools in protest at a 16-year-old student last month stabbing a teacher.