Social Economic Council submits crime prevention report to PM

POSTED: 10/19/12 11:45 AM

St. Maarten – The Social Economic Council (Ser) submitted a report entitled The Need for Community Based Crime Prevention Programs to the Prime Minister Sarah Wescot-Williams on Wednesday.

The unsolicited advice describes the development of petty and violent crime within the community of St. Maarten and analyzes the social and economic costs related to the current crime level. Based on these costs the Ser advised that a community based crime prevention program called Communities That Care be implemented in the communities that have a Community Help Desk such as St. Peters, Cole Bay and Dutch Quarter.

It also advised that sufficient funds be made available from the relevant ministries to implement the full program for a period of at least four years and during the program to reimburse members of the community boards to secure sustainable investment and cooperation amongst all stakeholders.

The prime minister commended the initiative by the Ser making use of its role as advisor to government on request or on its own initiative.
“This initiative fits in government’s overall vision of community building and outreach, and fighting crime remains a high priority on the national agenda,” the prime minister said.

The report states that, “Crime prevention takes time and an involved community.”

The Ser further recommends seeking additional funding from the European Development Fund to guarantee the prevention program Communities That Care.
The Ministers of Education, Culture, Youth and Sports, of Public Health, Social Development and Labor and of Justice received copies of the report.
Ser Chairman Rene Richardson and staff member Bas Peters represented the SER in handing over the report.
The Ser was established in May 2011and has as its main goal the advising of government on policies and draft laws in the social and economic field. The government usually requests its advice on matters of a social and economic nature and the Ser in turn offers advice to government on draft laws and policies that fall within its mandate.

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