Frans: Prosecutors attempt to change its role a positive step


PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten — Leader of the United St. Maarten (US) Party MP Frans Richardson on Thursday complimented the Public Prosecutors office for realizing that it had to change its role in the community.

“I have always said that if the prosecutor wants to solicit the cooperation of the public, it had to get closer and be more accessible to the public. For too long they have acted like supreme overseers, an entity that the public do not trust. So this step is a positive one,” Richardson said.

The prosecutor’s office last week announced that it would have to re-invent themselves to make progress beyond their classic “vertical” role of the magistrate who steers criminal investigations and decides about prosecution in a case-oriented manner. A new “horizontal” role has to be developed aiming at the realization of broad, sustainable effects.

In this new role, the Prosecutors want to be accessible safety partners who, as equal parties, strive after consultation and cooperation with relevant parties to arrive at joint strategies for intervention and prevention.

Richardson, who has always said that the prosecutor’s office should be closer to the public, welcomed the news.

Essential to that are aspects like legitimacy, acceptance, visibility openness, contact, accessibility and exchange of information, partnership, solidarity and an external orientation. There is a direct relationship between these issues and overall effectiveness of the implementation of the Offices’ task. Whether these elements are there or not is crucially determined by the culture of the Offices and the behavior and attitude of their staffs.