State of the Law Enforcement 2022 shows mixed picture

June 21, 2023 9:42 am

CARIBBEAN NETHERLANDS, June 20, 2023 —The Law Enforcement Council (the Council) names both positive developments and concerns within law enforcement in its 2022 State of the Law Enforcement for the Caribbean Netherlands islands Bonaire, St. Eustatius, and Saba. The Council advises the Minister of Justice and Safety to give more steering both in the following of recommendations as in a more effective collaboration within the judicial chain. Annually, the Council gives an overall view of the law enforcement in the Caribbean Netherlands in the State of the Law Enforcement.

Increasing pressure on the chain
The Caribbean region and the countries within the Kingdom are increasingly being exposed to transnational crime. The crime development, deteriorated economic situation, and migration issues are putting additional pressure on the law enforcement organizations. The Caribbean Netherlands (CN) is also subject to strong population growth - an increase of almost 40% in Bonaire in 10 years – with still no end in sight. This, also in relation to the small scale and the vulnerability, demands continued attention for the organizations’ capacities, with regard to the primary process as well as for the positioning in the sector collaboration. Due to the lacking of concrete and reliable data, it is difficult to make a concrete estimate of the needed capacity. This results in the reality being different in practice than on paper.

Steering on recommendations
Combating corruption, detention, and youth are current themes within the ministerial policy agenda for the CN 2021-2025. Still, the Council determines that, despite commitments that the Minister of Justice and Safety made to the Second Chamber, insufficient urgency exists with regard to the steering on the following of recommendations from inspection reports. The Council emphasizes the importance of concrete measures where this is concerned.

With the follow-up investigation into the combating of corruption within the CN, the Council mentioned a number of serious integrity risks and made a number of critical remarks about the following recommendations in the area of combating corruption.

The minister of Justice and Safety has – in consultation with the state secretary of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations – indicated its enhanced attention to this matter in two policy responses.

The Council considers it positive that, partly as a result of the regular talks with the Council, the executing organizations are designing their own steering process in consultation with each other and with the involved policy management. An example is the collaboration between the Caribbean Netherlands Police Force KPCN and the Ministry of Justice and Safety.

Steering on cooperation in the judicial chain
The Council also mentioned sector collaboration as a prerequisite for the effective and integral execution of tasks. The Council sees a number of positive developments in this. However, the Council concludes that there is a disbalance in the (steering of) the sector's broad connection, for example where it concerns the (carry-over effect of) investments. The Council calls on the Minister of Justice and Safety and the representatives within the Strategic Consultation Justice Chain to explore how policy, ambitions, planning, and control cycles can be synchronized.

The minister of Justice and Safety has indicated that he will present a policy response to the State of the Law Enforcement 2022 in the latter part of 2023.

The State of the Law Enforcement can be read in its entirety via: