13 Sep 2018

France accused of ditching security responsibilities in New Caledonia

10:46 am on 13 September 2018

The president of France's centre-right Republicans has accused the French state of abdicating its responsibilities in terms of security in New Caledonia.

Laurent Wauquiez, who is on a visit to Noumea, said there were no longer any efforts to try to arrest those causing trouble.

French police officers stand guard on a road in Mont-Dore, a suburb of Noumea, in New Caledonia, on May 28, 2014, while a tow lifts the wreckage of a burned car. Angry residents from the Saint Louis tribal group burned cars creating roadblocks on May 24, 2014

Photo: AFP

He said the initiative has to be taken before it's too late, citing the overseas department of Mayotte where he said every window now has bars.

Another party stalwart Eric Ciotti, who is travelling with Mr Wauquiez, said there were issues with jail sentences because of a lack of prisons and a lack of centres to hold delinquent minors.

The incarceration rate in New Caledonia is twice that of the European average.

The French High Commission said the number of burglaries has dropped by 9 percent over last year while assaults are up by 9 percent.

The two French politicians are urging New Caledonians to reject independence in the referendum in November.

Get the RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs