Businesses shut down by police on New Year’s Eve | THE DAILY HERALD


PHILIPSBURG–Visitors and residents ringing in the new year on Tuesday morning were surprised and disappointed by the actions of police shutting down night clubs, 24/7 gas stations and restaurants that are open 24/7 at 4:00am on January 1.

The Police Force reported that the opening of the New Year was quite busy when it comes to rendering assistance for minor disputes. There had been a number of traffic accidents, four of which with non-life-threatening injuries that were handled by the Traffic Department.

The other traffic accidents (fender-benders) were handled by Caribbean Accident and Road Services (CARS).

Police said in a statement on Tuesday that the police were definitely visible on Boardwalk Boulevard and in those areas where large crowds gathered to open the New Year as the regular patrolling of all neighbourhoods continued.

“Several businesses such as nightclubs that did not have the necessary permits to stay open after the regular closing hours were asked to close. The police at one point around 4:00am requested cooperation from the 24/7 gasoline stations not to sell alcoholic beverages until 6:00am due to the numerous calls regarding the misbehaviour of intoxicated persons on the road at the time,” according to police.

A number of residents displayed their disappointment with the way officers and government handled the New Year activities. One resident wrote on her Facebook page, “How can we talk about being open for business and invite people to come experience our island while we close down the Dutch side at 4:00am while on holy days such as Easter and Christmas we grant exceptions and are encouraged to stay open because we have X amount of ships at port. Get serious, St. Maarten, St. Barths did not close at 4:00am,” the resident posted on social media.

One visitor posted online that she will not be returning to the island again. Refuge party-goers who expected to be entertained until 6:00am complained about the sudden stop by officers who shut down the event at 4:00am. Promoters apologised to those at the event and said the call was beyond their control. Gas stations re-opened at 6:00am and were allowed to conduct business as usual while dinner-spot Cappuccino was also closed until 7:00am.

Source: The Daily Herald