Improved insurance for islands’ officers looked at

Police officers and other civil servants working in Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba may in the future be better insured in case of a work related fatal accident.

Authorities are looking into ways to arrange a fitting employer’s provision for Caribbean Netherlands civil servants who have a fatal accident at work, announced Dutch Minister of Security and Justice Stef Blok on Friday.

The Minister addressed the issue of insurance for police officers and other civil servants working on the three islands in his response to written questions of Members of the Second Chamber of the Dutch Parliament Jeroen Recourt and Roelof van Laar of the Labour Party PvdA.

Recourt and Van Laar, who both left Parliament, last week, asked the Minister clarity on March 14 in relation to the shooting in Bonaire on August 18 last year which left police officer Ferry Bakx dead. This shooting was the reason for the Members of Parliament (MPs) to inquire about the insurance of members of the Caribbean Netherlands Police Force KPCN.

The MPs wanted to know whether it was correct that police officers dispatched from the Netherlands were better insured than their local colleagues. They asked about the justification of these differences and inquired whether the Minister was willing to erase these differences.

Minister Blok confirmed that the legal position of civil servants working for the Dutch Government in the Caribbean Netherlands, including the police officers, was different from the one of those working in service of the local governments. There are differences in salary and working hours, while the employers’ provisions are not equal either.

The Minister said that he was “very much familiar” with the tragic death of officer Bakx while on duty and the broader effects that this fatal incident during an armed robbery had on the community of Bonaire and the local police force in particular.

The Daily Herald.

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