Evaluation-report flexpool: Marechaussee hardly used to combat drugs criminality

POSTED: 06/18/13 11:53 AM

St. Maarten – Former Justice Minister Roland Duncan was “extremely positive” about the contribution of the Royal Dutch Marechaussee flexpool to the general investigation capacity of the police force in St. Maarten. This appears from a just published evaluation report about the protocol for the flexible deployment of the marechaussee in the Caribbean part of the Kingdom. The report contains criticism about the way St. Maarten deals with integrity issues, and about the fact that the marechaussee is hardly used to combat organized drugs criminality.

The 55-page report, written by Oberon Nauta and Jolien Terpstra of the DSP-group in Amsterdam furthermore notes that, according to Duncan, the knowledge and skills of the Marechaussee could be used at the airport for training and upgrading of personnel at the Immigration Service that are conducting border controls.

The report also contains thinly veiled criticism from members of the marechaussee that are, or have been, stationed in St. Maarten. “Several members of the flexpool have reported integrity-problems in the organization they contribute their efforts to,” the report states. “In some cases local teamleaders do not consider reported irregularities as such. Currently the agreement is that marechaussees report these irregularities to their own supervisor, who reports to the organization and, if necessary, to the Public Prosecutor’s Office.”

But the Marechaussees that were interviewed for the report indicated that they are not happy with this system.”They have difficulties to accept that there are no sanctions for the irregularities they have reported.”

The report does not give details about the nature of these irregularities.

On the upside, Justice Minister Duncan expressed his appreciation for the knowledge in the field of document analysis and other control skills at the airport.

Duncan indicated that the added value the marechaussee brings lies primarily in the transfer of knowledge and skills. He also hoped that the flexpool would produce trainers who could take care of a more systematic transfer of knowhow.

Another critical note in the report concerns the way St. Maarten deals with drugs criminality. “That St. Maarten puts little effort in combating drugs criminality does not tally with the protocol,” the authors write. “Especially because the crime analysis of St. Maarten shows that the transshipment of drugs on the island had been made a priority in tracking down criminality.”

The authors question whether the way the marechaussee is being deployed meets the optimum the Ministry of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations has in mind. “From the flexpool there is no capacity for financial-economic criminality, while there is capacity for solving sexual crimes and for recording complaints. The back office in St. Maarten is well-staffed, but the flexpool hardly participates in large-scale investigation projects designed to combat the organized drugs trade.”

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