~ Tint is not a high priority to fight crime or to get revenue for government coffers ~
PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten – Members of the public took to social media to express their views on the execution of the tint law. Some noted that many police officers’ private cars have tinted windows, as well as their companions or friends, and questioned who would control those officers.
On Monday, March 20, the Prosecutor’s office had a meeting with police and other government departments who will be executing and controlling vehicles with a certain percentage of tinted windows.
The police management team has followed and read the public’s concerns on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
On Tuesday, March 21, police issued a press release stating that they will take serious steps against officers and civil servants, who don’t abide by the law. However, it’s not only the tint law, officers are breaking. A good example is people who double park in front of Subway on the Pondfill and obstruct traffic by doing this.
In addition, a member of the public told 721news that on E. Camille Richardson Street, detective / patrol cars park in the spaces and on the road, in front the police station, and makes the two-lane into one-lane for traffic.
Government took a decision some years ago to change the parking situation in front of the Police Station, and added multiple parking spaces for police patrols. However, over the years, Police would double park and use the right traffic lane for parking. At the back of the police station, they will usually park on top of the pedestrian sidewalk.
In addition, police constantly tow vehicles that are wrongly parked, with an illegal tow truck, which is not even inspected. However, they fail to tow their fellow coworkers’ private cars, or the blue and white patrols that are double parked in front of the police station.
Some members of the public also expressed on social media that the Prosecutor wants to strictly implement the tint law, however, in the meantime a fugitive has been on the run for over 1 year, and is allegedly involved in some seriously violent crimes that resulted in a loss of life.
The public is concerned that the Prosecutor is focusing on the wrong things, when a strategic plan is needed to combat daily criminal activities like daylight robberies.
A suggestion can be house searches based on reliable information obtained by the intelligence-gathering department of law enforcement. However, removal of tint is not a priority at this time, where fighting crime is concerned. Releasing information of stolen cars to the public via the local media, can also help to fight crime, because most of the time these cars are stolen to commit robberies.
The Prosecutor also released data on traffic fines that were issued in 2016 and 2015, but what is lacking is the true amount of the outstanding fines that have not been collected in the last five years, what still needs to be collected and who will be assigned to collect those fines.
It will be wiser for the Prosecutor and Police to control every driver and see if their names show up on this outstanding list.
These traffic offenses have a verdict from a judge, and are conducted in a public court hearing, so the Prosecutor can easily publish a list of names with the sum owed, and encourage those persons to voluntarily go to the Receiver’s Office to pay the fine. If that is not done, then they will be arrested, and remain detained until the fine is paid.
Authorities are again prioritizing the wrong thing. To fix the issue of collecting outstanding fines, a massive collection drive needs to be started.
Below you can read the press release issued by police:
The Chief of Police is informing the general public that he has taken note of the press release that was sent out by the Public Prosecutor’s Office on March 20, regarding the controls on motor vehicles with dark tinted windows to be conducted by police.
This information was immediately communicated internally to all officers as well as other civil servants working within the department, and that they should immediately have the tint removed from their vehicles if that is the case.
The Chief of Police will not condone the breaking of the law by any member of the police force, and does not believe that anyone is above the law.
The measures that have been taken are to improve the safety and security of everyone.
Disciplinary actions will be taken against those officers or civil servants who do not comply with these instructions with possibility of that officer or civil servant receiving a fine.