Monday, September 20, 2010

The Monegasque Police Force

The Principality of Monaco is known as one of the safest countries in the world, due in part to having the largest police force for its size and population than any other country. In the old days, as with most of the rest of Europe, military forces ensured internal security and crime was never really a big problem for Monaco. However, as the country modernized and became more of an attraction for outsiders, some formal police force became necessary and the driving point behind the formation of the Monegasque police force was Commissioner Yves-Marie Lucas who was appointed to that position in 1858 by HSH Prince Charles III. As the establishment grew a greater level of organization was required and in 1877 Prince Charles III appointed Antoine Angeli Director of Police, followed 10 years later by Napoleon Delalonde. Finally, on June 23, 1902 HSH Prince Albert I signed Sovereign Order No. 971 which put the police force under the jurisdiction of the government Department of Public Safety.

In the ensuing years the police force continued to grow, adapt and modernize, especially with the establishment of the gaming industry and the rise in wealthy tourists coming to Monaco which obviously posed a real temptation to criminals. The greatest expansion came during the reign of HSH Prince Rainier III who was determined that Monte Carlo not become a playground for organized crime as so many other gaming resorts in the world had done. He greatly increased security and ensured that the mob elements of various countries were never able to gain a foothold in Monaco. New branches were also added to provide security in other areas, particularly on the water and so much of Monegasque life revolves around the port. Prince Rainier III also did not neglect to look for some divine protection for the protection of his people and dedicated his police force to the safekeeping of St George as their patron saint. Recently of course, HSH Prince Albert II also named his niece, Charlotte Casiraghi, the “godmother” of public safety in Monaco on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Maritime Police Force of Monaco.

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