Today’s Editorial: And now to sustained and structural approaches

POSTED: 04/20/11 12:26 PM

Commendations continue to pour in for the task force that has caught the men responsible for three of the five people, who were murdered earlier this year. It also does not miss our attention that the national group from which they come has made it quite clear that this is not how the vast majority of Dominicans living here behave.

Both these statements on their own and together are important, because they represent a continued national coming together around the matter of crime repression and prevention. It also sends a clear signal to the outside world that St. Maarten is pulling together the power to act quickly and decisively, despite the challenges with the budget.

However it must be stressed again that the key here is sustaining the response and keeping criminals on the run. It also means investing more time in making sure that every measure put into policy or law be done thoroughly and that enforcement mechanisms are in place, so that things improve.

For example, the announcement has been made that Justice Minister Roland Duncan will implement his Gun Policy as of May, if he does not hear vehement objections from parliament. There’s just two lingering questions: Will the police be attempting to get the illegal guns off the street before the legal ones get registered and has an arrangement been made with the French side, where people can already acquire guns?

Secondly, the matter of visas. Ensuring that the controls at the border are tighter is a good move, but has and will the minister move to expel those from Guyana, Jamaica and other places who are living and working here illegally, by implementing sustained immigration controls.

From our perspective the approaches must blend and there must be complete strategies. What we see at the moment still does not signal a structural approach.


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