PHILIPSBURG — In a recent correspondence to the Honorable Minister of Justice, Anna Richardson, Member of Parliament Akeem Arrindell has voiced his concerns regarding the alarming rise in armed robberies plaguing Sint Maarten. With the impending high season, MP Arrindell stressed the urgent need for immediate attention by the Justice Minister to address safety concerns and safeguard the well-being of residents and tourists to maintain the island’s reputation as a welcoming destination.
MP Arrindell asked Minister Richardson to shed light on the current status of armed robberies in 2023 and the strategic measures to counteract these criminal activities. According to MP Arrindell, his concerns resonate with the broader anxieties expressed by citizens who have shared their worries concerning the surge in criminal incidents.
Among the inquiries made by MP Arrindel are requests for information on the number and types of offences in 2023, specifically focusing on robberies and assaults, as he believes understanding the locations of these incidents is deemed crucial for devising targeted safety measures.
MP Arrindell is also inquiring about the collaborative efforts between the Ministry of Justice and the Police Force of Sint Maarten (KPSM) and the general public to tackle the surge in armed robberies. MP Arrindell seeks an overview of existing and contemplated initiatives.
“The role of the police involves crime protection as well as detection of crimes in progress and apprehension of suspects, amongst other things. I am concerned that the police may not be getting the support they need to do what they must to protect our country effectively, and if that is the case, the Minister must say so. Identifying and acknowledging a problem is the first step to solving it,” explained MP Arrindell.
MP Arrindell asked whether there are measures to address the concerns Front Street store owners highlighted regarding targeted robberies. “One store owner inquired about the possibilities of installing a barrier or boulder to prevent vehicular traffic in an alley to mitigate his store from being targeted,” said MP Arrindell. In his letter to Minister Richardson, the MP seeks urgent assistance on the necessary steps to address this security concern and says it is a problem that can permanently and negatively impact the tourism economy.
MP Arrindell’s proactive engagement underscores his commitment to the safety and well-being of the community. As the island anticipates an influx of tourists in the upcoming high season, addressing these safety concerns becomes paramount to preserving Sint Maarten’s image as a friendly and secure destination.