Acting Chief of Police of the Dutch Caribbean Police Force KPCN Jose Rosales, presented the 2015 Saba Crime Figures. The report stated crime is continuing on a downward trend on Saba.
With a current population of 1,811 people, including Saba University School of Medicine staff and students, Chief Rosales feels the nine full-time police officers on Saba are doing a good job.
Some of the notable improvements were: car accidents are down from 41 in 2014 to 21 in 2015, and violent crime reports are also down.
Fifty-six per cent of all crimes on Saba are considered violent crimes, and many traditionally occur after local drinking establishments close down. Despite the decrease in numbers, there is concern about the ongoing violence, which the general public would like to see decrease even more significantly.
Chief Baker said the police department does its best to deal with as many issues as possible, but cannot be in two places at once (e.g. Windwardside and the Bottom), so he called on the public to help stop issues before they become serious. He said, “We have a responsibility to all look out for each other” and suggested everyone look out for their friends, and if they’ve had too much to drink, or are getting rowdy, help them avoid trouble before it starts by diffusing the situation without violence.
There were no robberies on Saba, but battery at 8 reported incidents, threats at 13 reported incidents and domestic violence at 14 reported incidents, led the way. Unfortunately, there was also one unsolved murder, one reported attempted murder/manslaughter, one act of public violence and two sexual offenses reported in 2015.
Theft from vehicles is on the increase and Chief Baker warned everyone to be cautious and not leave valuables in plain sight in a locked or unlocked vehicle.
Local recruitment was also a hot topic with the fact that no Sabans were hired during the last recruiting drive, despite applications. Chief Rosales advised one of the main challenges is the Dutch component in Saba’s policing; reports and communications are required to be submitted in Dutch, so reading, writing and speaking Dutch are mandatory at this time.
Chief Baker suggested that interested applicants take advantage of the available Dutch language classes offered on Saba to put themselves in a better position to become a police officer.
In addition to the usual concerns for noise and parking issues, the epidemic of reckless driving was also addressed. Chief Rosales said there will be further conversations within the police force to come up with viable solution, but some of the suggestions to slow people down on dangerous stretches of road include adding more speed bumps.
Government also announced the plans to distribute a card with all emergency phone numbers to everyone on Saba, to make contacting emergency services easier for everyone, and advised anyone wanting to contact the police anonymously to call +599- 717-7251, and assured any calls to that number would be investigated and remain anonymous.
Government and Police felt that the presentation brought forth fruitful discussion and warrants further conversation on a number of issues.
The Daily Herald.