Minister Boasman: criminal issue is becoming a social issue

Minister of Justice Rafael Boasman


PHILIPSBURG – Minister of Justice and Acting Prime Minister Rafael Boasman addressed members of the media in Wednesday’s, April 19, Council of Ministers Press Briefing.

First, he expressed sincere condolences to the family, management and staff of The Daily Herald on the passing of the paper’s Founder Roger Snow. “He has contributed greatly to the Free Press community of our country. May his soul rest in peace,” Minister Boasman said.

Then the Minister addressed the two robberies recently committed. “The police, as was reported in the media, managed to catch one of the culprits involved, and hopefully that would lead to the apprehension of the others,” Minister Boasman stated.

“What is amazing in this situation is when we see the youthful age of those involved. In general it all pertains to very young males in our community, which should be besides the act that is committed and the effect that it has on its victims, should also be a sign of concern for the community at large. We should start asking ourselves what is happening, why are so many of our youngsters going astray and committing these acts. And when I said to ask, I don’t mean for us to answer and saying ‘yeah, what you want them to do, because they don’t have jobs,’ which has often been the response that you would get,” the Minister continued.

“We need to all seriously reflect on what is happening in our community and get together and see what more we can do to avoid so many of our young males from going astray. So I think it would be a community effort and together for sure with the Ministers of Education and VSA, we’ll be looking more into this problem. It’s become, besides a criminal issue, to becoming a social issue,” Minister Boasman noted.

Also, the Minister mentioned the just-concluded celebration of Justice Day. “During that event we honored a number of employees in the justice chain, who celebrated 25, 30, 35 and even 40 years of service to their community. Unfortunately, as is often the case, one or two people were not mentioned, forgotten, or not on the lists. Others could not attend because they were busy doing their job of serving the community,” he said.

“As you know that last robbery took place just at a time when a lot of the police officers were busy doing their job, but why am I saying this? Because we are looking to make sure that the list is complete,” the Minister explained.

He recognized Head of Immigration Robert Barbij for 42 years of service. “I can’t think of a more sincere and hardworking dedicated service than Mr. Barbij. So when I heard that he was not mentioned immediately, I had to correct this. Maybe that happened in order for Mr Barbij to be able to get this separate recognition now,” Minister Boasman said. In conclusion, he wished Barbij well in his upcoming retirement later this year.