Police team heading to St Maarten

Dutch police officers are to help out with police duties on St Maarten. A squad of 49 officers left for the island on Thursday morning, 14 September. The police mission was requested jointly by St Maarten’s government, police force and Public Prosecution Service.

‘We’ll be providing basic police services on the island and will slowly take over public order tasks from the military. The goal is to get the situation back to normal again for the local people,’ said team leader Jan Boersma. ‘Connecting with the residents, working on the ground and maintaining contact, that’s what we’ll be doing.’

Home front

The mission members have been drawn from various police units and have experience of foreign missions or were about to be sent on one. ‘They are enthusiastic and eager to work for the people who have been affected,’ Boersma added. ‘We have to thank the members’ home fronts and colleagues for making this mission possible. The rapid departure will have a big impact on their families and on the police units that now have to work with reduced capacity.’

The team leader cannot say how long his people will be working on the island. ‘It’s difficult to say. It will depend on the circumstances.’

Other police officers on St Maarten

Three police officers have already been sent to St Maarten to pave the way for the mission. Members of the recently assembled USAR.NL (Urban Search and Rescue) team and the members of the Joint Criminal Investigation Team (RST) are also present on the island.