Police clarifies and rectifies press release

In connection with the press release from the Police Force of Sint Maarten (KPSM) dated August 16th and published August 17th 2016 in the local newspapers and social media outlets, which reported that there is an increase in armed robberies on Sint Maarten, which unfortunately created some unsafe and insecure feelings among the community, the Police Public Relation Department wants to have this press release which has been taken out of context totally clarified and rectified.

Reading the press release as it is written may lead one to assume that there is indeed a major problem on Sint Maarten where armed robberies are concerned and that the situation is becoming worse than in the past. This assumption however is totally false.

The press release in question consists of two parts which is; the information regarding the armed robberies. The release did not mention the period in which the increase had taken place and the figures to how much it had increased. To compare and clarify these parts of the press release note the following: In the period of January 2015 until August of 2015 the Sint Maarten Police Force registered 89 armed robberies. In comparison to 2015 the police force has registered 57 armed robberies over the same period in 2016, which shows a decrease of 32 armed robberies in total and which is at least 35 percent less than in 2015.

Generally armed robberies on Sint Maarten have been on the decrease since 2011 and continue to decrease to date. The Police Force in collaboration with other partners in the justice chain has invested tremendously in decreasing and solving this criminal act.  A slight peak in the number of armed robberies was noticed in the first two weeks of August 2016. A peak as such is possible.  A total of nine armed robberies have been recorded over the period of August 1st to August 16th 2016, which is higher in comparison to the other months of this year. This situation should not raise any alarms and have the fullest attention of the police force. These cases are all under investigation.

The second part of the press release is a list of pre-cautionary measures that the police department offers to the public and the business community as a tool to help them from possibly becoming a victim of robbery. The use of these safety tips totally remains at the discretion of the public and business community to make use of them or not. These safety tips are in no way intended to create any type of panic or unrest in the community.