Editorial: A safer environment for all

POSTED: 02/18/13 12:24 PM

The story we publish today about the effect of crime on economic development may not contain any references to St. Maarten, but this does not mean that what Caribbean Council Director David Jessop has to say about this issue does not affect our island.
If things get bad enough, crime will result in capital flight, a brain drain and a dent in the perception of a country’s investment climate that is hard to repair.

The example of Jamaica Jessop refers to say it all. Had Bob Marley’s country had a normal crime rate, gross domestic product would have been between 3 and 10 times higher.
One could argue that it’s not all that bad in St. Maarten but that does not mean that we have to be vigilant and that we have to come up with smart solutions that are preferable better than the ill-fated measure to punish crimes against tourists with a 25 percent higher penalty.
The effort has to go not towards harsher punishments but towards creating a safer environment for all.

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