The gendarmerie installs a nautical antenna in Saint-Pierre

The gendarmerie installs a nautical antenna in Saint-Pierre
The gendarmerie installs a nautical antenna in Saint-Pierre

The town of Saint-Pierre officially has a nautical branch of the gendarmerie. Equipped with a semi-rigid boat, it was inaugurated this morning in the presence of elected officials and law enforcement. The gendarmes will crisscross the North Caribbean coast in order to reduce delinquency and trafficking of all kinds.

The gendarmes will notably have an eye on the illegal immigration networks which have targeted Le Prêcheur as a gateway for several years.

This installation was a strong desire of the General William Vaquette, the commander of the Martinique gendarmerie :

Without waiting for the creation of the nautical brigade in a year and a half, I wanted to create this nautical branch now. We could not leave the North Caribbean without security forces for another 18 months. This is quite unusual since we have been closing units for 10 years. We are reopening them. A month ago I reopened the temporary station at Anses d’Arlet. On August 1, we will reopen the Carbet mobile territorial brigade. Last year it was Morne des Esses. I have reopened public access to Morne-Rouge and Case-Pilote

This nautical branch will not have a specialized unit but trained personnel from surrounding brigades.

We bought a second-hand boat. With the help of the Sea Department and the soldiers of the Marin nautical brigade, we passed the military boat license to the gendarmes of Morne-Rouge, Saint-Pierre and Case-Pilote so that they patrol without engaging specialized units

A strong signal

Christian Rapha, the mayor of Saint-Pierresees very favorably the establishment of this antenna in his municipality:

It is first of all a signal of reinvestment of the territory by the State which, unfortunately, for budgetary or other reasons, had, around fifteen years ago, withdrawn the sub-prefecture, the customs. We lost cash flow more recently. There, the State sees that there is a real need. It’s not just a question of principle or image. We are faced, and this is the purpose of this nautical brigade, with being a gateway to all kinds of potential trafficking by sea.

Trafficking that the mayor observes helplessly until now

We have a superb harbor, but which, unfortunately, is not necessarily very secure. We have already had to concretely observe that traffickers had simply anchored on buoys which identify underwater remains. It’s even worse than we imagined. They stayed in the harbor for 15 days or three weeks, certainly trafficking arms or something else.

Christian Rapha also hopes for the return of customs in the town.

It is also customs that we are waiting for, because there are more and more boaters there and then there are the tourists that we welcome. The harbor is very lively. And there is also everything that can pass through Saint-Pierre, since we are not very far from Le Prêcheur, which is also a gateway, unfortunately, to all kinds of traffic

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