Police frequently use structural observation

POSTED: 06/26/13 12:36 PM

St. Maarten – Since the BOB-law on special investigation competencies went into effect on August 31, 2012 police frequently use the now legal method of structural observation. During the last four months of 2012, investigators received 18 times permission for structural observation of crime-suspects, the prosecutor’s office writes in its 2012 annual report.

During the last four months of 2012 investigators also obtained approval for 95 phone taps. There were 120 orders to Telecom providers to release historical print data of phone traffic; 37 orders to release video images were given, and 43 times an order was given to provide investigators with data like bank account records.

When the parliament approved the legislation in 2012, the decision was taken to evaluate it after 3 years. “Already now it is possible to say that the prosecutor’s office and the police find it enormously reassuring that they are able to work with a good set of instruments that also have a legal basis,” the annual report states.

The introduction of the new legislation put such pressure on the work load at the prosecutor’s office that it needs an employee that is specifically tasked with producing the BOB-orders.

The prosecutor’s office is satisfied with the BOB-law. “Internationally it is expected of the Antillean islands that they are able to tackle organized crime fully-fledged and well-equipped. Sometimes surrounding countries call on the local police and the judiciary for help with their investigations. We must be able to provide that help with state of the art resources.”

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