Statia detention centre in 2018

St. Eustatius should have a new detention facility by 2018 to facilitate local clients, as well as those of Saba.

Dutch Minister of Security and Justice Ard van der Steur and State Secretary of Security and Justice Klaas Dijkhoff stated this in a letter that was sent to the Dutch Parliament on Thursday, regarding the further development of the security and justice sector in Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba.

The Dutch Government, together with Caribbean Netherlands Police Force KPCN, are working on the realisation of a detention facility with a capacity for twelve persons. The objective is to have the facility ready in 2018.

Detention space will be available for men, women, foreigners, and, in limited numbers with a limited time, young delinquents. In the Windward Islands there is a need for a facility to execute detention sanctions and preventive custody, while taking into account the small scale and the efficient use of government funds.

The new penitentiary facility for the Caribbean Netherlands is being constructed in Bonaire and should be ready in the first half of next year. This new facility will have a capacity for 113 persons, and will have provisions to detain young delinquents separate from adults. The facility will comply with the international norms.

In the letter to Parliament, Van der Steur and Dijkhoff also addressed the developments at KPCN in the past years, and the plans to further strengthen the police force. KPCN has reached the norm of 70 per cent of the staff capacity, or 151 full-time employees.

However, it remains important to dedicate sufficient attention to the recruitment of new employees. The support of the Dutch Royal Marechaussee continues to be needed, especially in St. Eustatius and Saba.

A lot has been invested in KPCN since Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba became Dutch public entities in October 2010. The investments will continue in, among other things, the basic police care, and in investigations, education, integral basic skills training and expert development with regional police forces.

A plan of approach will be drafted to tackle high impact crime in the Caribbean Netherlands. The interests of government, the private sector and the community at large will be included in this plan. Also, possibilities are being looked into to set up a pilot for the anonymous reporting of crime, announced Van der Steur and Dijkhoff.

The strengthening of the regional cooperation with the Police Forces of Aruba, Curaçao and St. Maarten, remains important. The point of departure is that KPCN carries out certain tasks itself, while it makes use of the regional capacity for other tasks. In this context, the Arrest Team and the Confiscation Team were mentioned. The assistance of the Detective Cooperation Team RST will still be needed to combat border-transgressing, organised crime.

The Minister and State Secretary reported that the cooperation between the Public Prosecutor’s Offices of the Caribbean Netherlands and Aruba, Curaçao and St. Maarten will be further strengthened. “This will contribute to a better availability of expertise and to more possibilities for support during busy times.”

The Daily Herald.

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One comment

  1. In a policy statement of the newly constituted Dutch coalition government comprised of the People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy( VVD),and the Labour Party ( PvdA) delivered to the House of Representatives of the States General,0n November,13 2012, Prime Minister Mark Rutte said”Because major decisions are neeeded and painful steps are unavoidable, Dutch society is fully aware of this unpleasant truth” But what really are these decisions,painful steps and unpleasant truths,of which he refers. Are these in any way the reasons planned for construction of new penitentiary facilities on Statia, to jail islanders on Statia and Saba,even foreigners?
    It is near year end 2016,the position put forward then by the new government, was to of realize a package based on cutbacks and taxes amounting to 46 billion dutch dollars. By all indications,with the many financial supervision issues, it does not seem easy an accomplishment, hence the reason to do things which may achieve greater results,one of which is this planned construction by 2018.
    The Golden Rock of Statia is positioned for rapid change,with far reaching consequences, politically,socially and economically.The effects in constructing such facilities at this time, would surely bring about negative change characterized to marginalize and segregate family ties and friendliness on the islands. It is a course which must be halted,by all means necessary. It is a regressive move to the recolonisation of the BES islands.
    The policy of the ministry of Security and Justice should be in seeking ways to greater improve youth empowerment on these islands,with personal development skills, through involvement of the other national ministries such as Infrastructure,Housing,and economic affairs not spending enormous sums in constructing detention centres.

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