Opinion: Working with criminals

POSTED: 09/27/11 1:16 PM

No manpower? Make deals with criminals, the way it used to be back in the nineties. That’s the way to curb crime. No this is not another idea of Justice Minister Roland Duncan, but the opinion of Cyrille Fijnaut, one of the most influential police researchers in the Netherlands.

In the nineties it happened often that police and the prosecutor’s office worked together with top criminals. They received lesser sentences for their cooperation. But after a number of controversial cases, whereby the criminals got the better of law enforcement, the deal-making became history.’ According to Fijnaut things went wrong because there was not a lot of knowledge about the criminal world. That has changed. Elsewhere in the world law enforcement agencies are using the know-how of criminals on a large scale. Fijnaut claims that this works well to eliminate large criminal gangs.

Currently investigators manage only to put one out of every five criminal networks out of business. New investigation methods must help the police to bring this number to a higher level, Fijnaut says.

So how would that work in St. Maarten? Somehow we get the impression that criminal gangs are already taking care of business. Just look at what happened with the Snowflake case; two of the main suspects have been killed, and most certainly not by the police. They were put out of business by, most likely, competing criminals, or by criminals who were peeved because the victims had managed to lose 170 kilos of cocaine.

Okay, that is not the way to solve crime in an above board manner. But the result is the same, even though it is tough to identify two murder victims as criminals because they never went to trial. But it is fair to say that those bullets went their way for a reason, and as we all know, this is how stuff goes down in the drugs scene.

Having law enforcement work together with criminals to catch other criminals is just one step away from hiring criminals as cops. Isn’t there some truth in the old saying, it takes a thief to catch a thief? Well, then. What are we waiting for?


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