Editorial: No law enforcement capacity left

POSTED: 04/10/14 1:10 AM

Chief Prosecutor Rick Noordhoek offers a realistic picture of the situation in the local land of law enforcement in the interview we publish today.

It is an inconvenient truth: there is not enough manpower, not enough expertise and not enough prison cell capacity to tackle crime efficiently on all levels. There is no capacity left to deal with criminal organizations.

The lack of resources is due to political decisions and to the apparently reluctant attitude of the Netherlands. As Noordhoek points out, criticism while staying on the sidelines as the Netherlands is apt to do, will not lead to any improvements.

Holding the mother country exclusively responsible is however too easy. St. Maarten also has to do its part. Criminal prosecution is the ultimum remedium; government departments with a control function also have to do their part and currently this leaves a lot to be desired.

And then there are of course the government’s budget-priorities. The cap on overtime and the virtual block on hiring increase the pressure on the already understaffed law enforcement apparatus. That results in more crime and fewer criminals behind bars.

In this election year, political parties have an excellent opportunity to present their solutions for these situations to the electorate.

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