PHILIPSBURG, St Maarten – United People’s (UP) Party Member of Parliament (MP) Maurice Lake wrote a letter to the Acting Minister of the Ministry of Public Housing, Spatial Planning, Environment and Infrastructure (Ministry VROMI) Marcel Gumbs, addressing the concerns of residents of Marigot Hill regarding the placement of a NV GEBE street light at Soursop Road #42.
“In that specific area at night it’s very dark and is well-known for car stripping by criminal elements. This was a public safety and security issue. I commend Prime Minister Gumbs and NV GEBE for their quick action that they took to put a light in that area to enhance the security of the residents.
“During my walk through the districts the residents are very concerned about the number of robberies, burglaries of homes in the St. Peters, Ebenezer and South Reward Area. It has the attention of our Community Police Officer who is doing a fantastic job within the community, but with the assistance of some street lights on the GEBE poles and the assistance of the residents we can make his job a lot easier.
“The Community Councils in the different districts need to revive their Community Watch Programs where every resident watch out for their neighbour(s) and report any suspicious movement in the neighbourhood.
“Every Community Council should appoint one representative of each street in their district for residents to report to and then they can report back to the Council to inform their Community Police Officer of any wrong doing or suspicious acts/movements in their districts.
“Most of these robbers have robbing people homes as a full time job and comes at a time during the day after monitoring you daily routine or early in the morning while you are at sleep. We can only fight crime together where everyone looks out for each other and support your Community Police Officers in the different districts.
“Another issue that needs urgent attention and that I will be looking into are regulations for pawn shops in the country. This issue was discussed in parliament a few years ago when former MP Romain Laville brought the matter up and there was a lengthy discussion.
“I will be looking into this to see what happened and how far he had reached in this process. During that time there were robberies of jewellery stores and homes and the thieves would then sell the jewellery to pawn shops. To fight crime, we need to provide law enforcement with the tools to do so. Everybody who goes to a pawn shop should present a valid ID and fill in a form where the jewellery came from.
“Only together, we will take a bite out of crime on our Friendly Island where the residents should feel safe in their homes,” UP MP Maurice Lake concluded.