The Tourist Police Strike Again!

Once again, the recently formed Tourist Police were able to prevent a major crime from occurring in the Seychelles...

A friend of mine was on the beach at Beau Vallon earlier today. She has two daughters under the age of ten who were playing, as children are wont to do, with a small ball. They were stopped from their harmless tossing the ball to each other by two ladies from the new Tourist Police. Granted, they apologized for having to stop the children from playing. They were only doing their duty and were being watched by another Tourist Police Officer who cruises around in a car making sure the cops are doing their duty. (Sound familiar? Shades of 1939? 1984? Or, more locally, 1983?) It seems it's now against the law to play any kind of ball on the beach. The officers were a little unsure upon being questioned if it was allowed to play frisbee. One said yes, the other said no. But then again, neither of them knew what a frisbee was.

This incident didn't even occur in front of a hotel, but a good kilometer down the beach on the "local side" by the pizzeria.

A couple of other kids I know were stopped from kicking a football around on the beach, and the local evening football games which are a Seychellois tradition have been stopped. Even tourists aren't allowed to play ball anymore. I haven't really seen any tourist being stopped, but there aren't many tourists here now. Let's see what happens when the "hordes" arrive with their children in July.

This tourist certainly wasn't stopped from camping even though she describes two Tourist Police Officers being around. "The funniest part about the whole trip was the
strange reactions we received when telling the local people we were
camping. Apparently people don't really camp in the Seychelles." That's because they aren't allowed to. Camping is, and has been for a long time, illegal in the Seychelles.

Well-behaved dogs with collars and in company of their owners are no longer allowed on the beach without a leash. The owners are told to leave the beach or face penalties. (I was with a friend a couple of months ago, when we were very rudely told off by a couple of officers puffed up with self-importance.) The beach dogs that hang around the hotels and actually harass tourists are left to their own devices. They, it would seem, are not a problem.

Basically, the idea of a tourist police patrolling the beaches is not a bad idea. Seychelles is not as free of crime as it once was and there have been a few incidents of bags being stolen off the beach and even a couple of muggings. Here's a happy story where the criminal was caught and the bag returned to the tourist a day later.

I just wish they'd concentrate on turning Seychelles into a crime-free haven and not a fun-free haven.


  1. Why can't people play ball on the beach? Is it more that tourists can't play ball on the beach? I know in some countries the beach police are there to protect the tourists (or at least tend to protect the tourists more than the locals). Is that the same situation in the Seychelles? I mean, are the tourist police protecting tourist or are the policing them?

    Very interesting.

  2. The tourist police are here to protect the tourists. I don't know who came up with these new laws (if they even are laws and not just some new idea from the Tourism Board).

    They seem to think that playing ball and other fun activities may be annoying to the tourists. Which might be true if people were playing right in front of where tourists are sunbathing, but this isn't the case. Beau Vallon Beach, for instance, is 2 kilometres long and the tourists tend to stay in front of the three hotels.

    I haven't seen them hassle any tourists yet.

  3. If you keep building up your blog and making it famous and particularly a "famous" resource for Seychelles, think of the influence you could wield.

    You could be like a "seychelles resident rights advocate" - oh girl! go nuts!

    ridiculous? homeless dogs on the beach not a problem. but the ones restrained with a leash and with their companion [some call us owners] they are a problem.

    ::shakes head at the inanity of it all::

    guess we won't be vacationing there because we need a dog friendly area.

    keep up the great reporting/writing/blogging dear. You do great!

    EC Dropping by,

  4. Power is mine... muahahaha... Seriously, I like the idea and I seem to be the only one blogging about living here, so my blog might yet turn into a resource. I hope so and shall work towards it.

    Thanks for the words of encouragement!

    It would probably be difficult to "transport" your dog here anyway. Endless hours of flying...

  5. I stumbled on to your post via Sandra Hanks Benoiton...I
    loved it. I will be back. It looks like I have a lot of catching up to do!

  6. Pretty sad. Such a great place otherwise!
    Christian Loriau

  7. The tourist police...thats an interesting concept!

  8. Veecee - Thanks. Glad you like it. Catching up on the blog or on the Seychelles? Did you live here?

    Christian - There's quite a bit that's wrong with the Seychelles. There are good and bad things everywhere. The beauty makes up for a lot.

    Kristie - Quite a few places have started up with a tourist police now. Of course, they are supposed to be helping the tourists, not hindering them...

  9. "FREE the BEACH" a world wide movement advocating multi-use beaches for sun bathers and ball players.
    Help dispel the myth, "all ball players kick sand into sun bathers faces" and "all sun bathers make good goal posts".

    Do not let the government take away your freedom or next they will declare a 24/7 curfew - oh yes, they did that once already. lol


  10. Yes, so they did. But Seychelles is now (ahem) a multi-party system and they wouldn't dare do that. Or would they... same gang in charge after all...

    What frightens me is that the guy in charge of the tourist police is called Isnard. The most feared cop (gard bate) in the early 80s had the same name...

  11. i am from the Seychelles and the reason they stopped the ball activites is that some people got hit whilst on the beach by kids playing ball. The beach you have mentioned is Beauvallon beach as you stated the pizzeria and it is there taht an elderly lady was struck by a ball and required medical help as she became unconscious. many more incidents involving ball play and this is the reason - to protect the tourist



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