The Police Family Protection Unit (PFPU) was set up in September 1994 to provide assistance to children and women victims of violence and abuse who were soliciting police help. It was then named as Children and Women Protection Unit (CWPU) and was operational in Line Barracks as a Central Unit.
Regular In-House Training of police officers specially Woman Police Constables, was the back bone of the newly born unit to enhance motivation, knowledge, skills and capacity building in the field of Child Abuse and Domestic Violence.
The CWPU operated under the following objectives and a set of guiding principles.
- To provide a mechanism in the Police Force to develop policy and programmes to enable staff to act effectively in the area of Child Abuse and Domestic Violence and to fulfill their legal obligations and social responsibilities.
- To co- ordinate and develop the whole Police Force in the area of domestic violence
- To ensure that Police are deployed properly to protect the community.
- To advise on resources, training requirements and deployment of staff.
- To enhance the Police Force role in this area of significant social concern
- To provide a focus to work in co- ordination with other agencies in the Government and Non Government sectors.
- To provide capacity to collect data to monitor the incidence of reports and police actions and the effectiveness of future preventive strategies; to evaluate and constantly improve.
The personnel working at this unit observe the following set of principles in their day to day activities:-
Treating all information obtained from victims of domestic violence as confidential. Such information is only disclosed with the authority of the Commissioner of Police to a party or authority concerned.
Considering each case of domestic violence to be unique, having its own specificity and sensitivity and requiring particular intervention/response/service.
- Purposeful expression of feelings
Respect the dignity and uphold the right of victims in given circumstances
- Non judgmental attitude
Being open minded and not being partial to any party involved in the case. No stereotyping.
Accept victims as they are, with their strengths and weaknesses, positive and negative characteristics and feelings
- Controlled Emotional involvement
Understanding victims’ sufferings from their perspective without being engaged emotionally
- Clients Self determination
Believing in the decision making capacity of victims to resolve the conflict and overcome the aftermath of the abuse to reconstruct themselves mentally, psychologically, emotionally and spiritually
The enactment of the Protection from Domestic Violence Act (PDVA) in 1997 empowered the police to further protect victims through the application of restraining Orders viz. Protection Order, Occupation Order, Tenancy Order, and Ancillary Order, as prescribed under the PDVA. The coming in force of this piece of legislation broadens the scope of the CWPU which afterwards, by its very appellation was considered to be limited in providing protection to women and children only. Hence, in 2003, the unit was renamed as Police Family Protection Unit (PFPU) encompassing all members of the family. Over the years, PFPU has emerged as a ‘specialized police unit‘ giving priority attention to victims of domestic violence.
The PDVA was successively amended in 2004, 2007 and 2011 to meet the diverse needs of victims, empowered Court actions and made provisions to further protect both spouses and persons living under the same roof. The latest amendment brought to the Act in 2016 (Protection from Domestic Violence Amendment Act 2016) criminalized domestic violence with harder penalties leading up to 5 years of imprisonment and to a fine not exceeding up to one hundred thousand rupees (Rs. 100,000/-) in case of subsequent conviction. Police has also been vested with powers of arrest.
Besides the Legislation and most importantly the Protection from Domestic Violence Act 2016, the operation of PFPU is guided by Standing Order 84 and guidelines set by the office of the Commissioner in CP Circular 12/2016.
In line with the vision and mission of the Mauritius Police Force, the PFPU has set its own vision and mission, to help the unit moves towards excellence with redefined objectives:
Quality Service for the promotion of peace and harmony in families
Making our families safer by providing expedient response and appropriate support to protect and empower victims and collateral victims of Violence and Abuse
- To deal with all cases of domestic violence diligently
- To identify needs of victims of domestic violence and provide support services for their protection and that of collateral victims
- To adopt multi agency approach
- To design and implement community education programmes, to create awareness as well as to encourage early reporting
- To maintain a database on domestic violence
- To develop and conduct capacity building programmes to improve police response in cases of domestic violence
The Police Family Protection Unit operates under the supervision of Central Criminal Investigation Department (CCID) with its Headquarters situated on the 9th Floor Sterling House Port Louis. It has eleven sub units operational at police divisional level in Mauritius and Rodrigues.
PFPU CONTACT INFORMATION
Police Family Protection Unit, Head Quarters
9th Floor, Sterling House
Lislet Geoffroy Street,
Telephone: 210 2116, 210 2122
Police Family Protection Unit
9th Floor Sterling House Port Louis
ROSE HILL PFPU
Compound of Western Division HQ
Compound of Vacoas Police Station
IKS Building Fanfaron Police Station
Compound of Northern Division HQ
Triolet Police Station
Goodlands Police Station
ROSE BELLE PFPU
Compound of Southern Division HQ
Compound of Eastern Division (Flacq) HQ
ST PIERRE PFPU
St Pierre Police Station
BELLE MARE PFPU
Belle Mare Police Station
- Registration of complaint
- Counselling between parties involved
- Placement in shelter/place of safety
- Assist victims to apply for Protection, Occupation or Tenancy order
- Maintainfollow up action
- Referral to other agencies for other services (e.g. psychological, Legal, social aid)
- Organize awareness and informational campaigns
- Maintain Community Support through community oriented policing
- Organize Reconstruction and Recovery Programme
- Collaborate with other agencies on couple empowerment and enrichment programmes
- Training program for front liners, Station Managers, Station Commanders and other agencies
- In house Training and Induction course.
- Awareness for Pre married couples/ newly married couples (LOVE Project)
- Collaboration with Police Training School and NGO Pedo Stop to improve police response in handling child abuse cases
- Participate in Citizen Support Unit (CSU) Awareness Program ‘Ansam avek CSU’
- Participate as member of the panel in forum on Stop Violence against women and girls organized by European Union
- Philanthropic Activities
- Outdoor Training
The Police Family Protection Unit Headquarters is ISO certified MS ISO 9001:2008 and in 2016 migrated to ISO 9001:2015