A four week seamanship training course developed by EUCAP Nestor for the newly created Marine Police Investigation Unit (MPIU) kicked off on 23 June.
The course is part of a tailor-made Basic Training programme for the MPIU, specifically made to ensure that the MPIU officers receive the necessary skills and knowledge to carry out their tasks, EUCAP Nestor said.
The MPIU will be a core unit within the National Crime Service Division of the Police Force focused on law enforcement and the detection of illegal activities along the shoreline of the Seychelles.
The Unit will also assist the Seychelles Maritime Safety Administration in enforcing the law around the coastlines. This includes policing reckless and dangerous activities on the near shore areas, a practice which is becoming increasingly of concern.
The Unit will work closely with other maritime agencies, notably the Seychelles Coast Guard, for example in the search for drowned persons or for persons in vehicles that have fallen into the sea and that the circumstances require a criminal investigation.
“We are very grateful to EUCAP Nestor for providing this training,” said Police Commissioner Ernest Quatre. “Getting the Unit up and running is a major priority for us.”
Eight police officers from the MPIU are taking part in the course. It will cover topics such as navigation, boat handling, safety at sea, and maintenance. The course will also include practical exercises on board boats.
An EUCAP Nestor expert from the Spanish Guardia Civil, José-Luis Manzanares Segura, has been sent specifically to the Seychelles to develop and deliver the training for the MPIU.
“Following a request for support from the Seychelles, EUCAP Nestor has stepped up to the plate and is providing direct support in setting up the MPIU,” said Fredrik Wesslau, the acting Head of the EUCAP Nestor Office in the Seychelles, at the opening of the training in the Police Academy.
“The MPIU is an important part of the Seychelles’ maritime security architecture,” said Wesslau.
EUCAP Nestor will also assist the Police with further training modules covering policing and legal aspects of marine law enforcement. There will be further assistance relating to the Unit’s institutional set up and other forms of essential support such as equipment.
EUCAP Nestor is a civilian EU mission, under the Common Security and Defence Policy, which assists countries in the Horn of Africa and the Western Indian Ocean in strengthening their capacity to ensure maritime security and in particular to fight piracy. EUCAP Nestor is supporting the creation of the MPIU as part of its mandate to strengthen maritime security in the Seychelles.