The Police Force of Sint Maarten (KPSM) has taken note of videos of school fights being circulated on social media since the commencement of the school year. Based on this disturbing trend of misconduct and abuse, the police force would again like to inform the public, especially students, parents and guardians, of a ministerial decree issued by Honorable Minister of Justice Ms. Anna Richardson on November 16th2020.
With the issuance of this ministerial decree, the Honorable Minister of Justice has given directives to the Police Force of Sint Maarten to repressively act against misconduct by students and the community at large.
The Police Force of Sint Maarten (KPSM) will like to emphasize that the infractions taken up in the decree will be thoroughly enforced in the districts and areas mentioned in the ministerial decree. Some of the infractions mentioned in the decree are:
- That there should be NO loitering by children or adults in the school districts.
- Fighting and any other types of criminal activities will NOT be tolerated. This includes assault, assault with a weapon, possession of illegal weapons, possession of illicit substances, group fights, threatening, and disorderly conduct that disturbs the peace, among others.
Over the past years, we have strengthened our efforts to prevent misconduct and abuse while working with partners in our response to this type of behavior by putting the victims first.
Based on the fact that fights and related criminal activities are becoming more violent with a high frequency, a rising number of teenagers are actually being arrested for their in/out of school misbehavior and are being brought to court for their role(s) in criminal activity.
The top priorities of the police force are to provide victims with assistance, ensure swift and victim-centered investigations and establish safe and accessible reporting channels. It is evident that repressive actions alone will not lead to long-term solutions. The Police Force will be engaging in more preventive measures, especially at the community level. The Youth and Morals Department and the community officers are committed to working closely with communities and partners to end such abuses and to establish a safe environment for victims.
As an immediate preventative action, the Police Force is requesting the cooperation of parents with the following;
- Talk to your child(ren).
- Make sure that the child(ren) are picked up on time to avoid them loitering around.
- Check their bags often to make sure they are not carrying any illegal items to school. Tips for students on how to avoid a fight:
• One way to cope with a bully is to ignore him or her. If someone is teasing you, just walk away.
• Remain calm.
• Make it clear that you have no desire to fight.
• Tell your parents or the school principal.
The Police Force of Sint Maarten is encouraging all victims of these types of crimes to come forward and make an official complaint at the Detective Department. We would also like to ask anyone with knowledge about any type of misconduct to report these to the police or to provide us with any visual material that can help to further investigate these acts.
Anyone who has information that can help the Police Department suppress these types of infractions should immediately contact the detectives via phone at 1-721-542-2222 ext. 203/204/205, the anonymous tip line # 9300 or persons with information can also send a private message via our Facebook Page – Police Force of Sint Maarten – Korps Politie Sint Maarten or website https://www.policesxm.sx/24/7.
The Police Force (KPSM) is once again are reminding students about the zero-tolerance policy when it comes to school and gang fights and we are also pleading with all parents and the community to get involved in trying to alleviate this rapidly growing problem. Parents of students involved in these fights should also be reminded they are also partly responsible for the behavior attributed to their minor children. The Police Force is urging the community at large to motivate our youngsters to be “Up Standers” and not “bystanders”: Don’t cheer it on!!!!