In the National Assembly |17 June 2021
Ted Barbé confirmed as new Commissioner of Police
- Promises a more proactive police force
Following a long morning session of questions and answers yesterday, the National Assembly voted in favour to confirm Ted Barbé in the post of Commissioner of Police.
It was Honourable Bernard George, leader of government business, who brought the motion which set out asking the National Assembly to approve Mr Barbé’s proposed appointment made by President Wavel Ramkalawan.
Up until yesterday, Mr Barbe had been serving in the capacity of interim Commissioner of Police since March 15, 2021 following the retirement of former Commissioner of Police, Kishnan Labonté.
Both Mr Barbé and Mr Labonté originally hail from Praslin, meaning that two Praslinois have consecutively held the post of Commissioner of Police.
The new head of the Seychelles Police Force appeared before the National Assembly yesterday where he provided an overview of his background and his qualifications, as well as to answer questions from the MNAs.
Mr Barbé also laid out his plan for policing to the National Assembly, detailing what he hopes to achieve during his tenure as Commissioner of Police.
Not wanting to reinvent the wheel but rather make the most use of present resources, Mr Barbé’s target for the Seychelles police force is to ensure that it becomes more proactive than reactive.
Mr Barbé’s proactive policing approach depends on four elements;
- Location or place-based policing in which officers focus on hotspot areas where crimes are most likely to occur. “We undertake crime mapping exercises to identify where crimes are concentrated, we analyse them and can make predictions from these,” explained Mr Barbé.
- Person focused policing whereby certain demographics are identified who are most often breaking law and order, these are most often based on their social background and environment. Mr Barbe explained that the police force should approach these persons and deter them from getting involved in criminal activities.
- Problem-oriented policing which goes to the root source of a crime. “The police and other partners have to devise a strategy to deal with the problem so that the crime does not reoccur.”
- Community policing which works hand in hand with problem-oriented policing is based on every stakeholder and partners working together with the police to successfully deal with socio-economic issues. “The police have encountered areas where problems continue to persist, particularly during the weekends. These problems involve housing, the environment and although the police deal with the issue, it always sparks up again,” stated Mr Barbé. This multi-sectoral approach will have to involve the district administrator, MNA, relevant government departments among others to work in a concerted effort, much like previous district teams, to identify and assess the problem and provide a multi-sectoral response.
Also to boost the efficacy of the police force, Mr Barbé touted the use of more technology and training of police officers.
In regards to corruption and abuse of power among the force, Mr Barbé remarked: “Corruption exists in the police force, I will not say otherwise ‒ there are officers who are tempted to act in an unethical manner, but rest assured that we have mechanisms to deal with these types of situations and we will come out stronger. There are officers who have been terminated and others who are currently interdicted from duty while their cases are pending. We do not tolerate corruption and we have an internal affairs bureau which people can come to whenever they believe officers have not acted accordingly.”
Mr Barbé undertook his primary and secondary education on Praslin followed by two years at the National Youth Service (NYS) and another three years at the Polytechnic’s School of Art and Design where he pursued a course in art and design.
With his eyes set on becoming a teacher, Mr Barbé had then undertaken educational studies and a teaching programme at the University of Sussex.
Mr Barbé also holds a Master’s degree in criminology and criminal justice from the University of Portsmouth which he gained after joining the Seychelles Police Force.
“I taught at NYS and at Plaisance secondary but I developed an interest to join the police force [...] In June 1997. I decided to quit Plaisance school and join the force as a cadet. I was attached with the criminal investigation division at first and then I followed a 16-month long training at the police academy,” Mr Barbé told the National Assembly.
Mr Barbé rejoined the criminal investigation division (CID) as a sub-inspector ‒ where he spent the majority of his tenure in the police force ‒ and he also was an instructor at the police academy.
He also had spent some time working in the criminal intelligence unit, head of visible policing and officer in charge of the inner islands before leaving the force to take up a lecturing post at The Guy Morel Institute.
“I did not spend much time there after being called back when I joined what was called the NDEA (National Drugs Enforcement Agency) at the time, where I met the former Commissioner of Police Mr Labonté and the current deputy commissioner of police Romano Songor. I was the deputy officer in charge of investigations and after the merger of the police force and NDEA I was appointed the deputy commissioner of police for policing and personal development where I stayed until I became acting commissioner of police,” concluded Mr Barbé.
Mr Barbé noted that he had also successfully headed the negotiations regarding the kidnapping of two Seychellois boats and crew members, and has experience in child protection and fraud among others.
His nomination was approved unanimously by the National Assembly and he will take his oath before President Ramkalawan this morning.