Today’s Editorial: Justice Tsunami

POSTED: 03/15/11 12:08 PM

As the days go by St. Maarten continues to be buffeted by waves of cares. Yesterday we talked about the need for national focus on the country’s finances. Considering the reports today and in the past weeks there is also a very palpable need to also focus on Justice.

Let us consider that just days ago the nation was worried about a rapid succession of murders that led to the Minister of Justice being called to Parliament. This week we are buffeted with the news that armed robbers are stealing from and violently wounding both residents and visitors. The Modus Operendai aside, the trend is worrisome, and requires a national effort to stop.

Let us also consider that police have to use Hollywood style tactics of blocking the streets with their vehicle, firing warning shots in high speed chases and running cars off the road, all in an attempt to catch criminals. These efforts reveal that our police are pumping more and more effort into catching criminals, but it is worrisome that our police cells and our prison are full. So the consideration still stands, even if the criminals are caught, where do we put them? Our response must be to repress criminal activity, but more importantly we need to prevent criminal activity. Some of the ways we do that – teaching children life lessons like not to steal for example – don’t cost a thing besides some effort.

Finally let us consider that even our authorities break the regulations by expelling people who are following a legal process. This last one sends the wrong message to the law abiding citizen and is a totally unfair application of the innocent must suffer for the guilty, because as some would have us all believe; the foreigners are the criminals.

The time is now to deal with this tsunami as well.


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