PHILIPSBURG – Deputy Prime Minister Raphael Boasman made two announcements in Wednesday’s, February 22, Council of Ministers Press Briefing.
The persons who have been assigned to take charge of the day to day running of the prison in the phase of restructuring are: Inspector of Police Stephen Carty, and former Prison Official and Instructor at the Justice Academy Wilfred Williams.
“These two gentlemen both have experience in prison. They are of good sound integrity. They are very dedicated and I think together with the support that they’re entitled to, we can bridge this initial phase where we are trying to normalize the situation back at the prison to move forward on the recommendations that the different reports mention,” Boasman stated.
Boasman will also be following up with installing of the task force that would comprise of different departments and agencies that have to do with the daily functioning of the prison.
“The tripartite meeting, between the Minister, Public Prosecutor, and Police, which normally takes place every 6 weeks would be held this afternoon, and one of the agenda point is the prison, so we would further elaborate on the plans moving forward. I hope we can continue to get the support and understanding of the public that we are busy and that we are taking this issue seriously and working on it,” Boasman said.
The Minister also announced the increased police presence on the roads. “It would be hard not to notice the increased activity of the police on all fronts. And that increased activity has been booking tremendous success. I cannot go into further details. So I would just refer to the announcements that both the Police Press Officer, or the Prosecution Press Officer will be making,” he said.
Boasman met with the association of St. Maarten Insurance Association, Chamber of Commerce, and Merchants to discuss the situation of the robberies. “The police were also in that session. We asked them to work together and come up with a solution. Not everyone doing their own thing. But let’s work on solutions,” he said.
The Minister also updated on the bike patrol. “The bike patrol has been expanded and some of the members of the bike patrol are doing their follow-up training at the Academy, and in the discussions, a task force has been formed between these groups, and some results have been booked already in the sense that the Chamber of Commerce has agreed to finance all of the servicing and repairs of the bikes of the bike patrol,” he explained.
In addition, the St. Maarten Association of Insurance would fund the bikers’ new uniforms.
The Minister also warned persons removing barricades when there are cruise ships in Philipsburg. “Sometimes people just come and they move them and they drive through going forward. Those barricades would be manned so anyone not having any reasons to be on Front Street cannot just come out and move the barricades. They would have to state why you need to be on Front Street, and that way you have a better control during those periods,” Boasman stated.
Minister Boasman also announced that the camera project phase one was not finalized yet, “but the Chamber of Commerce are considering financing phase two of the camera project.”
“The Police Department, besides expanding the bike patrol, will also be providing awareness training to the different businesses because, business is not just a matter of open your door, and sell your products, but the risks that go along with certain types of businesses. You should be able to be aware of what those risks are and how best to act in such situations,” Minister Boasman concluded.