9 Nov 2016

New Caledonia leader says crime is a political problem

9:10 am on 9 November 2016

A former New Caledonian president Harold Martin says the Paris talks with the French government have failed to deal with the territory's youth crime problem.

Former president of New Caledonia Harold Martin.

Former president of New Caledonia Harold Martin. Photo: AFP

He said it is a major issue that has to be seen as a political problem.

Paris has committed to posting another 53 police officers to New Caledonia in response to last month's clashes near Noumea that left five policemen with gunshot injuries.

A special unit is also to be set up to curb youth crime, but Mr Martin said what is needed is a debate with the pro-independence politicians.

He said what is happening is a political delinquency which he fears is only getting worse and putting a policeman behind every coconut tree is not a solution.

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