PHILIPSBURG–Justice Minister Anna Richardson said during the live virtual Council of Ministers press briefing on Wednesday that the St. Maarten Police Force KPSM has implemented the first phase in its post-COVID-19 de-escalation plan.
“This plan was created in anticipation of a possible increase in crime, given the financial impact the pandemic has had and continues to have on our island.
“Our country’s main source of income is tourism, and with the implementation of travel bans, border protections and port closures all over the world, including in St. Maarten, many businesses had to close doors and as a result several persons have lost their jobs.
“With this in mind, we regretfully anticipate an increase in crime, and as such, the management team of KPSM created a de-escalation plan,” said Richardson.
According to her, the plan focuses on uniformed patrol officers and the Detective Department. It also incorporates the Immigration Department.
Patrol officers have been instructed to prioritise preventing burglaries, car theft and armed robberies, said Richardson. They are also tasked with preventing unauthorised movement across the border, controls at strategic checkpoints and maintaining public order during curfew hours.
The Detective Department will prioritise domestic violence cases, as well as open cases of targeted killings and other violent crime, said Richardson.
She also said the Immigration Department will engage partners at Princess Juliana International Airport (PJIA) and Port St. Maarten on how to proceed with their post-COVID-19 operations.
Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/police-force-implements-first-phase-in-de-escalation-plan