Habour and Police prepare for high season

St. Maarten Harbour Group of Companies started preparations on a structural working relationship with the Police Department for the high tourist season to make sure it is a safe one for visitors and residents and to preserve the country’s standing as a top destination in the Caribbean.


Harbour Group CEO Mark Mingo and Harbour Security Chief Roberto Levenstone met with Police Chief Peter de Witte, Police Commissioner Carl John and other police officials on Monday about an approach for increased patrols to a police substation at Dr. A.C. Wathey Cruise and Cargo Facilities.

The harbour group has met in the past on the same subjects with Harbour Affairs Minister Romeo Pantophlet and Justice Minister Roland Duncan. The results of those meetings led to the recent session with the police department.

Coming out of the meeting is that Captain Hodge Wharf in Philipsburg will be manned by police to ensure improved security along Boardwalk Boulevard, the placement of signage and support staff to assist visitors.

One of the areas emphasised by Mingo was increased visibility of police during the high season, especially from the cruise and cargo facilities to Philipsburg where there is the highest concentration of cruise passengers and stay over visitors.

Mingo said the harbour looks forward to further building the working relationship between the harbour security and police.

The harbour will make resources available to support police including adding more surveillance cameras in key locations and providing support staff.

The police department is "still very much interested" in establishing a police substation at the cruise and cargo facilities. The substation, when established, will serve cruise passengers and the Pointe Blanche community.

The harbour has again proposed that a protocol of cooperation be signed between the police and the harbour as was done in the past.

"We are working from a structural approach based on harbour security plan. The harbour fully supports the police efforts, but more must be done on medium and long term basis in terms of improvements and suggestions," the CEO said.

St. Maarten is still safer than many other Caribbean islands based on crime statistics. "However, despite being a leading tourist destination and surpassing US Virgin Islands in passenger spending, more must be done for safety of our guests," Mingo said.