Published On: Tue, Sep 13th, 2016

Safety and Security

Dear Editor,

Since 10-10-10 our “Country” has been plagued with all kinds of lawlessness. We have witnessed a spate of choke and rob, constant hold ups, break-ins, carjacking and the insane gun violence. We have heard time and time again of the plans of approach and the many options government is contemplating to address the scourge plaguing society. A gentleman once told me that the greatest threat to our economy and livelihood is not the risk of pricing ourselves out of the market but the sense of insecurity. People have a need to feel safe and when they don’t they move on. We are all aware of the catastrophe that will ensue when those huge behemoths no longer call A.C. Wathey pier because of lack of safety and security on this island.

It would seem that our government no matter how they struggle just can’t get it right with the infrastructure necessary to ensure this important and cardinal prerequisite to instill a sense of confidence in local population and visitors alike. As in all democratic societies when someone is condemned to atone for whatever crime they were accused and convicted of. They and their families also have a right to believe that they will be kept safe being in the custody of government. Since we don’t have a death penalty no one expects their loved one to be assassinated in the care of government. We have all read the reports of the justice supervisory committee and the continued calls for more to be done for the police and the prison but alas these reports don’t seem to have the effect of moving a government of the people.

When one visits the Point Blanche prison there is a screening regime you must pass through to get in. I have seen and read of the lockdown of the facility looking for cell phones. However, we have lost a son, a father, a husband and a beloved family member to a shooting at this facility and no one has an idea how a gun got into the hands of the culprits. While government was not the perpetrator they are culpable for not providing the standard of care and vigilance to prevent the incident. We believe government to be negligent and incompetent in the provision of minimum standard of care at the facility. They have failed and failed miserably and again a family mourns.

We will be pursuing the options we have to hold the Prosecutor General, the Minister of Justice, “Country St. Maarten and the Netherlands who likes to say they have the guarantee function accountable for our loss. I hope this warning will be taken in the light it is given but I can foresee that a parliamentarian with whom someone might disagree or a minister takes an unpopular decision might fall victim to their own incompetence and negligence in prioritizing the provision of safety and security. The unfortunate soul(s) who carried out the act would be left to God. A heartfelt thanks to all of you who have called or sent your condolences and words of comfort we are truly moved and grateful.

Elton Jones,

Father in mourning