MP Sarah Wescot-Williams, Body Searches “sad and unacceptable”.

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Philipsburg, St. Maarten, – MP Sarah Wescot-Williams was appalled by not only the two incidents as described in recent publications regarding so-called search tactics used by the police in Philipsburg against two citizens, but also by the reaction of the police top.

“I cringed at reading how our officer(s) misused their power and humiliated the persons involved.
Especially for the woman and the circumstance in which she found herself, it must have been a most terrifying and humiliating experience.”

“As a woman, mother, grandmother, I can’t but condemn in the strongest possible way that any of our citizens, unless posing a serious and life-threatening danger, be subjected to this type of bodily violation. This cannot be swept under the rug with a simple ‘we are sorry’ or ‘it is in the hands of the judiciary’.” commented MP Wescot-Williams.

“Anywhere else in the world this type of action would have been condemned at the highest level, stated the MP. “Less serious infractions would have caused immediate suspensions, if not resignations.”

Sad is also the fact, considering that we are in the month of November. A month in which strides against gender violence are celebrated and testimonies are given by many as to the long road still ahead in combatting this scourge, the MP stated.

The Minister of Justice herself needs to urgently handle this head on. “I have channeled the following questions to the Minister of Justice via Parliament”, the MP commented during a committee meeting of parliament on Tuesday morning.

Have the aforementioned incidents been reported to you?
If so, when and how?

What are the conclusions and recommendations made, if any?

Do you consider these recommendations, if made, adequate?

Are you conducting your own investigation?
If so, how?

Would you be willing to offer your own heartfelt apologies and report on the steps to be taken? If not, why not?

The MP concluded by stating that she hopes the Minister of Justice will address this matter even before the questions reach her.