PHILIPSBURG – The United People’s (UP) Party says the crime situation is getting out of hand and will have serious repercussions for our already stagnant economy if the Government does not take action.
Armed robberies are taking place on a weekly basis terrorising residents, customers and businesses. The people and business community feel at a loss that Government is not doing anything to deal with armed robberies and fears that the country will be labelled as ‘unsafe.’
On Saturday in broad-daylight with four cruise vessels in port, four armed bandits robbed a Front Street jewellery store in front of hundreds of cruise ship passengers. Several armed robberies have been recorded on a weekly basis throughout the country.
Is Government waiting for somebody to be killed? What measures are being taken to tackle the armed robbery problem that the country is facing?
If Government allows this to continue unabated, the UP Party fears that the Florida Caribbean Cruise Association and its member lines will start to label the destination as unsafe due to security issues whereby Government is not able to protect its residents, business community and visiting cruise passengers and crew.
The UP Party fears that the destination could receive a negative advice from the United States State Department if armed robberies continue to go unchallenged. The perception is that Government does not have a strategy in place to deal with this issue.
The U.S. Embassy in Barbados has advised U.S. citizens in Dominica of demonstrations potentially planned to occur on that island on Tuesday, and have advised U.S. citizens to avoid areas of demonstration and exercise caution if in the vicinity of any large gatherings, protests or demonstrations. This is an example of the U.S. advising its citizens. Sint Maarten could be next in line.
Last week another gun was found in the Point Blanche Prison among a wealth of weapons, cell phones and other items. What is Government doing to revamp the prison system? We hear about so-called budget surpluses in 2016, if this is indeed the case, re-invest in our law enforcement and prison system. It seems that Government is leaving our prison system to fend for its own and that the problem will sort itself out.
The UP Party would like to commend our Police Force for the quick apprehension of two armed robbers who robbed a supermarket in St. Peters on Saturday. At the same time we appeal to the community and all law abiding citizens to speak out and provide our local Police Force with any information that they may have to apprehend those who have taken away our sense of safety and security due to the crimes that they are committing.
Our people feel unsafe and don’t feel like going out to the supermarket for the fear of an armed robbery taking place. The UP Party and parliamentary fraction is calling on the Government to present a strategy to the nation to fight this scourge. The country is heading in a downward spiral and once cruise lines and American authorities issue negative advices, our economy will further decline creating a very difficult cycle of decline that we will not be able to get out of anytime soon.