Country Listing

Ivory Coast Table of Contents

Ivory Coast

Police Response to Increased Crime

In July 1987, the minister of internal security estimated that the Ivoirian police required about 800 recruits a year--nearly three times the recruitment level at that time--to cope with increasing crime. In the 1980s, law enforcement officials conducted periodic large-scale crime sweeps and law-enforcement crackdowns to deter and disrupt illegal activities. In July 1983, for instance, police detained more than 3,500 people during a ten-day sweep of Abidjan that involved both directed and random searches of people, vehicles, and homes. Special police units were formed to counter the increasingly sophisticated and brazen tactics used by criminals. In July 1984, the minister of internal security formed a new "antigang brigade" with special training, equipment, and weapons. In early 1987, in response to the proliferation of bank robberies in Abidjan, the ministry established a bank surveillance brigade with fifteen vehicles donated by the Professional Association of Banks.

In the 1980s, the government stepped up drug enforcement efforts to prevent the production, smuggling, sale, and use of illegal drugs, such as marijuana, amphetamines, barbiturates, heroin, and cocaine. In 1986 the police narcotics squad handled 718 drug cases. Nevertheless, the government failed to make a serious dent in an alarming problem that continued to outstrip enforcement resources. In May 1987, Cte d'Ivoire hosted a two-week international symposium on the prevention and treatment of drug abuse and alcoholism. At the insistence of the United States Federal Aeronautics Administration (FAA), the police instituted strict new security measures in October 1987 at the Abidjan-Port Bout International Airport to meet international standards. The measures included personal searches, metal detectors, baggage xrays , access cards for airport service personnel, and strict access controls for persons and vehicles seeking to enter the airport.

Data as of November 1988