The annual summary of crime statistics in Monaco, provided by the Public Security service at the traditional New Year wishes ceremony on Thursday, January 19, shows an overall decline in crime, a fact that prompted HSH Prince Albert to express his pleasure at the trend.
However, extraordinary demands placed on the Monaco police service, given the international security threat and the need for greater vigilance, have caused stresses and strains during 2016, particularly in terms of manpower. The government has responded by increasing the resources available to maintain a high level of alertness and a very visible police presence in public places, particularly at entrance points to the Principality.
While general delinquency fell, by more than 13 percent, there were some interesting details in the overall statistics. The theft of two-wheelers, which has caused some concern in the past, fell last year by 58 percent to just 10 cases. Sexual crimes also fell, with no rapes reported in 2016 compared to three cases in 2015.
Two categories of crime recorded an increase: Drug possession cases rose from 57 to 64, and drug reselling from two to six; Financial crime increased in terms of fraudulent use of bank cards, from 16 in 2015 to 25 cases in 2016, while money-laundering cases increased from 96 to 127. However, bad cheque cases fell from 29 to 22, and investigations by SICCFIN, the financial services watchdog, dropped from 232 to 220 cases in 2016.
The overall message for 2017 is that Monaco is actively responding to the threat of major acts of violence, partly by increasing its resources. Meanwhile, overall crime is falling.
A challenging year for Security
The Director of Public Security presented his traditional New Year wishes on Thursday in the presence of HSH the Sovereign Prince, HE Mr Serge Telle, Minister of State, Mr Patrice Cellario, Minister of the Interior, as well as other numerous ministers and personalities, which filled Salle Princess Charlotte to capacity.
Mr Richard Marangoni presented his stocktaking of the security policy for the year 2016, which resulted in severe pressures on the day-to-day tasks of public security personnel, given the particularly tense international context.
In terms of crime overall, 2016 was marked by a decline of 13.73 percent for general delinquency, 35.74 percent in the case of delinquency on the public highway, 22.22 percent for burglaries, and 50 percent for car thefts.
Mr Marangoni also addressed the shock theft of Graffe Diamonds at the Monte-Carlo Casino on December 22, stating that the suspect was apprehended by police within six minutes.
Finally, the Director of Public Safety referred to a new strategic project, "Apprehending the Challenges of Tomorrow", entitled "Public Safety 2020", which targets the development of a number of international and technical strategies.
To conclude the ceremony, Prince Albert said in his speech: "I take this opportunity to publicly testify to my satisfaction with the work accomplished. I would add that my government is listening to the service because it has decided to create additional posts to alleviate the constraints on the staff and to maintain, over the long term, a police presence at the various main points of the Principality."
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