Netherlands Vs Former Antilles

Progress Committee: Prospects Of Improving the Sint Maarten Police Force KPSM Very Low

The Hague – While the progress committee was optimistic about the Sint Maarten Police Force (KPSM) at the end of 2019, the prospect of improvements is now very low. On the other hand, there seems to be more prospects for the prison system, because money is being made available in the Country Package for the construction of the Point Blanche prison.

This is what the progress committee writes in the 39th report on the implementation of the action plans drawn up in 2010. State Secretary Raymond Knops of Kingdom Relations sent the report to the Lower House yesterday. He had received it himself a month ago.
The progress committee has not had a member on behalf of Sint Maarten for some time now, because the government has not yet made a nomination. The work is also hampered by the corona crisis, because a working visit on site was not possible. Instead, phone and video calls were made to gather information.
This still shows a not very positive picture. Job books for KPSM and Point Blanche have been missing since 2010. “That means that neither of the two services can permanently place personnel and cannot work according to the set-up described in the development plans.”
The government of Sint Maarten has plans for the justice organization, the committee writes. Justice Minister Anna Richardson is aware of the urgency and wants to formalize the job manuals and staffing plans for July 2021. However, the committee notes that the advice on this from the Government Accountants Bureau Foundation (Soab) does not correspond with the adopted action plans.

Regarding the prison system, the committee is pleased with the agreement between the Netherlands and Sint Maarten. This provides for a “substantial contribution” from the Netherlands, not only financially, but also in the cooperation that “should lead to the realization of the Sint Maarten detention plan”. EUR 20 million has been earmarked for new construction and EUR 10 million for other bottlenecks. There will also be personnel support and expertise from the Netherlands. Currently, the staffing at Point Blanche is “extremely meager”.
The fact that the problems at the KPSM have not yet been resolved is not up to the force, emphasizes the committee. It is the successive Justice Ministers who have failed. “The staffing of the force is structurally much too low, which leads to the structural overtime of the people who can be deployed. That is a situation that is undesirable. ” It is necessary to expand the force to the agreed minimum strength. Current forecasts indicate a strength by the end of 2022 of 64.2 percent of the required 394 function units (FTE).

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