This is the finding out-lined by the law Enforcement Council in their final report on the state of law enforcement on St. Maarten.
At the end of April 2023, the Law Enforcement Council (the Council) presented its most recent State of Law Enforcement (the State) – focusing on the year 2022 – directly to both the Minister of Justice and the Parliament of Sint Maarten.
The report shows areas of weakness and the lack of progress in the Justice Ministry and the rule of law. If the Ministry of justice can, commit itself to HR-Related matters, inter-ministerial and Kingdom cooperation, and the relaunching of electronic surveillance, it will enable the Public Prosecutor Office, (OM) to restorative justice and mediation; effect successful investigation, prosecution and convictions, and also the collection of fines.
The Council lists in detail the main highlights and bottlenecks of the Ministry of Justice in each of the various departments. Some of the bottlenecks mentioned, as discovered by the National detectives; are the lack of financial, personnel, and material capacity which seriously hinders the proper execution of tasks. The Council points to the lagging behind of investments for years, in the local organizations by the Government, in particular the pre conditions needed for the justice staffing to carrying out their tasks, and as a result, it creates a waterbed effect (back and forth).
The Council also draws attention to the financial difficulties of St. Maarten and the implemented cuts as a consequences for not being able to strengthen the rule of law and criminal enforcement. If Sint Maarten wishes to have a professional judicial chain and thus law enforcement that can combat crime together with other relevant partners, a substantial investments must be made.
The current crime problem requires not only a criminal law approach, but an integral approach, which must include prevention and an administrative approach. The Council sees increasing attention for this at the national level as well as within the Kingdom. to strengthen the rule of law requires strengthening the criminal enforcement of the rule of law. and this can only be achieved by the necessary attention and investment made in this regard. Although all Justice personnel are committed on a daily basis, the lack of necessary investments hinders the professionalization of various organizations. If this does not happen, it will be at the expense of the effectiveness of law enforcement, and it will compromise the security of St. Maarten.