Today’s confirmation that Dutch police won’t have autonomous authority or tasks in St. Maarten (see related article) should have a reassuring effect on officials in Philipsburg following recent reports indicating some sort of “hostile takeover” in this regard by the Netherlands. Placing the officers being dispatched to the island in the Kingdom Detective Cooperation Team RST under the existing legal framework hopefully will minimise the risk of conflict especially at the command-level.
After all, it’s hard enough to fight today’s crime in a united manner, let alone if there is division within the highest echelons of law enforcement. The “men and women in blue” need to know their backs are covered to do their job effectively in defence of the community.
Contrary to what had been stated earlier, the objective remains to work with local partners “where the nature of the investigation allows this,” members of the Second Chamber of Parliament in The Hague were told. Practice will have to show what that qualification entails, but at least the idea is to keep working together.
Again, the latter is highly necessary, because criminals will try to exploit any chink in the armour of uniformed services, including discord among the ranks. Understandably, there may be occasional tension and misunderstanding between authorities from either side of the ocean due to differences in approach and culture, but these should be resolved internally and in a decisive manner so that people with bad intentions don’t benefit from whatever confusion otherwise could arise.
It might not always be easy, but everyone involved must do their best to make the upcoming joint policing effort a success in the interest of a “Friendly Island” that is also safer and more secure.