President of Parliament Richardson says Naf.300,000 from travel budget to go towards fighting crime


PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten – The President of Parliament Hon. Dr. Lloyd Richardson disclosed on Sunday that one of the measures to enhance the security and safety of the country will be a transfer of Naf.300,000 from the parliament travel budget to the Ministry of Justice.

Close to 70 points were discussed with respect to how to fight crime, and the Government has been requested to present a definitive plan of action to Parliament for ratification on Friday, August 21.

The current financial challenges of the country leads to within the Government apparatus – Executive and Legislative branches – looking at ways and means to address situations of national concern. 

In the recent closed door Central Committee meetings of the House of Parliament with the entire Council of Ministers (COM), a number of proposals in order to tackle crime have been discussed especially looking at the limited financial resources at the disposal of Government.

The Naf.300,000 to be transferred after the House of Parliament passes a motion, will go towards various crime fighting initiatives such as an emergency action plan which has been submitted by the Voluntary Corps of Sint Maarten for the Philipsburg area.

Some of the other points that Members of Parliament discussed with COM were: measures to tackle home burglaries and armed robberies; 24-hour surveillance of Philipsburg; prohibition of motorcycles and quads in particular areas; study root causes behind crime and implement proactive and preventive measures; increased police presence in every district; heightened and stricter immigration controls; intervention programs to deal with anger, aggressive behaviour and other anti-social behaviour; alternatives to incarceration for young people; surveillance camera project; utilizing retired police officers; specialized unit to monitor and investigate social media; regulation for pawn shops; review of laws regarding self-protection; additional street lights in the districts as a crime prevention measure; increased inspections to reduce availability of guns and prevent the illegal importation of weapons into the country; development of neighbourhood watch programs; and targeting of white collar crime.

The three emergency closed door Central Committee meetings were called by the Parliament of Sint Maarten with the COM to discuss immediate and comprehensive measures to fight crime after the August 5th armed robbery incident that resulted in the untimely death of Police Officer Gamali Benjamin.

PHOTO CUTLINE: President of Parliament Dr. Lloyd Richardson