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Zero tolerance for illegal guns to rise

page3a111PHILIPSBURG--Intensifying the zero tolerance strategy against illegal gun possession was one of the measures discussed when representatives of the Prosecutor’s Office and members of the Police Force held an urgent meeting on the recent increase in robberies and other gun-related crimes.

In a joint press release on Friday, the police and Prosecutor’s Office said they were working on additional joint measures that were expected to be executed “as soon as possible.”

Parties expressed concern during the meeting about the incident on Thursday in which armed bandits wearing bulletproof vests shot at police responding to a home invasion on Poinsettia Road in Betty’s Estate and the shooting of Police Bike Patrol leader Officer Gamali “Benji” Benjamin, who was gunned down responding to a robbery on Front Street on August 5.

Benjamin died at St. Maarten Medical Center (SMMC) three days later and was the first officer in St Maarten to be killed in the line of duty.

Parties said in a joint press release that the increase in gun crimes “cannot be tolerated” and “every effort needs to be made to protect the people of St. Maarten.”

Present at Friday’s meeting were Chief Prosecutor Ton Maan and Police Chief Peter de Witte, amongst other persons. The meeting was held at the Philipsburg police station.

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