Editorial: Sooner rather than later

The report in Friday’s edition that local police are unable to access the ACTPOL information software is not good news. Nowadays reliable law enforcement data – in this case within the Dutch Kingdom – plays an increasingly crucial part in fighting crime.

Granted, there is a smaller system currently in operation, but it doesn’t offer the same possibilities. Also taking into account the intensive people traffic between the islands and with the Netherlands, the ACTPOL can hardly be considered an unnecessary luxury.

What obviously makes it worse is that the problem is apparently lack of payment. Information received indicates an outstanding debt of 1.2 million guilders, while another 450,000 guilders is owed so far for this year.

It’s not the first time services important to St. Maarten are cut off due to unpaid bills. The same thing occurred in the past; for example, with marketing representations in Europe and the US as well as certain airlines regarding the promotion of flights to Princess Juliana International Airport SXM.

To the average citizen this is incomprehensible. After all, if he or she fails to pay the rent, taxes, GEBE, bank loans, etc., the consequences are usually quite immediate.

Moreover, crime affects the entire community and its vulnerable one-pillar tourism economy. In addition, local authorities are already at a disadvantage because they must play by the rules while the bad guys don’t.

Effective use of modern information technology (IT) is one of the main tools to counter the latter. The current Justice Minister who only recently took office surely can’t be blamed and the intention here is not to point fingers at anyone in particular either, but this matter needs to be cleared up sooner rather than later.
Source: Daily Herald
Sooner rather than later