Prime Minister Presented with SER Report on Crime Prevention Programs

The Social Economic Council (SER) submitted an advice entitled "The Need for Community Based Crime Prevention Programs" to the Prime Minister of St. Maarten the honorable Sarah Wescot-Williams on Wednesday.


The unsolicited advice describes the development of petty and violent crime within the community of Sint Maarten and analyzes the social and economic costs related to the current crime level. Based on these costs the SER advises to implement a community based crime prevention program called "Communities That Care" in the communities that have a Community Help Desk such as St. Peters, Cole Bay and Dutch Quarter.

The SER also advises to make sufficient funds available from the relevant Ministries to implement the full program for a period of at least four years and during the program to reimburse members of the Community Boards to secure sustainable investment and cooperation amongst all stakeholders.

The Prime Minister commended the initiative by the SER making use of its role as advisor to Government on request or on its own initiative: "This initiative fits in government’s overall vision of community building and outreach, and fighting crime remains a high priority on the national agenda," commented the Prime Minister.

"Crime prevention takes time and an involved community," read a statement from the SER. The SER further recommends seeking additional funding from the European Development Fund to guarantee the prevention program "Communities That Care" and strive for a safe and secure Sint Maarten.

The Minister of Education, Culture, Youth and Sports, the Minister of Healthcare, Social Development and Labor and the Minister of Justice also received copies of the report.

Chairman Mr. Rene Richardson and staff member Mr. Bas Peters represented the SER.

The SER was established in May of 2011and has as its main goal the advising of government on policies and draft laws in the social and economic field. The Government of St. Maarten requests advice from the SER on matters of a social and economic nature and the SER in turn offers advice to Government on draft laws and policies that fall within its mandate.

The Prime Minister initiated the Social Economic Council in May 2011 and conducted the first official meeting of the council at the AC Whaley Legislative Hall that same month.