Road security remains a preoccupation for the Gendarmerie.
MARIGOT–The Préfecture has noted it is preoccupied with clamping down on road delinquency and has taken measures, including implementing automatic testing for alcohol and drugs, even in the absence of an offence, and will finance a film made by Jeunesse Soualiga to create more awareness of road safety among the youth.
Controls will be reinforced to prevent high-risk driving (executing “wheelies,” reckless overtaking, etcetera) and regular and thorough checks of scooters and motorbikes will be carried out.
An overview of crime figures and statistics was released from 2018 and the trend for the past three years. Of 1,500 infractions registered for all vehicles in 2018, two-wheel vehicles represented 100 per cent of fatalities.
Two-wheeled vehicles accounted for 54 accidents in St. Martin, 63 persons were hospitalized, and three were killed. In St. Barths there were 23 accidents, 22 hospitalised and four deaths. The Gendarmerie noted 80 scooters were seized since August 2018 and some destroyed for not being roadworthy.
On the positive side, there has been a marked decrease in armed robberies over the past three years, a drop of 75 per cent and a 58-per-cent decrease in burglaries. Thefts of possessions dropped by 27 per cent.
The rate of vehicle theft, however, increased by 16 per cent. In 2018 there were 48 more incidents than the preceding year. The Gendarmerie indicated at one point in July 2018 vehicles were being stolen at a rate of 10 per week. However, it was noted a resident from St. Maarten had been apprehended and admitted to stealing 25 vehicles.
In 2018 controls were carried out on construction sites to identify fraud and illegal work by Police aux Frontières (PAF), and with the services Direction Régionales des Entreprises, de la Concurrence, de la Consommation, du Travail et de L’Emploi (DIECCTE) and Unions de Recouvrement des Cotisations de Sécurité Sociale et d’Allocation Familiale (URSSAF). Some 28 procedures were opened against foreigners residing illegally in the territory. Procedures for controlling the legality of construction will continue.
In addition, the State is continuing to combat illegal immigration at Grand-Case Airport, at the ferry terminal in Marigot, as well as Princess Juliana Airport in partnership with the Dutch side.
Concerning domestic violence and violence against women, there has been a sharp increase in reports of assault and battery of children under 15 years of age. This includes child abuse and abandonment. It should be noted that particular attention is now being paid to the fight against domestic violence and violence against women, a major objective of President Emmanuel Macron’s five-year term.
The objectives for 2019 focus on combating crime and road safety on two wheels. Vehicle theft and network dismantling is also a priority for authorities and law enforcement.