PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten — The Attorney-general has issued a new guideline to the Public Prosecutor of Curaçao, Sint Maarten and the BES islands regarding “robbery with violence”.
It will be in effect as of June 1st 2015. Robbery with violence is considered a very serious crime, often with severe consequences for those who are victims of it. The communities on Curacao, Sint Maarten and increasingly on Bonaire are unfortunately regularly severely shaken by these violent crimes.
On Saba and St. Eustatius thefts with violence has seriously impacts on these small community.
Also, the Attorney-general noted that on some islands the increasing number of violent attacks and also that the seriousness of the cases, in particular increasing the applied force. The overall level of security within the society decreases and the call for appropriate action by Justice increases.
The adaptation of existing guidelines related to thefts with violence and extortion is a reaction of the Attorney-general on the strong call from society to the penalties for committing violent robberies heavier punitive to give.
The new guideline includes the following points:
- lf a suspect within five years after a verdict is guilty again to extortion/robbery with violence than another requirement is increased by 1/3
- Robbery and/or extortion committed by two or more persons counts as an aggravating circumstance in sentencing
- The use of any weapon counts as an aggravating circumstance in sentencing.
- If the robbery was committed in a house/home, then the above mentioned punitive measures to increase
- lf the robbery was committed in a more vulnerable victim, such as an elderly person, a disabled person, a juvenile or a pregnant woman, the above criminal sizes are increased by 1/3
- lf the robbery was committed on a tourist, the above mentioned punitive measures increased by one third
The entire guideline can be found on the website: http://www.openbaarministerie.org/en/st-maarten/publications