There was an interesting story in Saturday’s paper about the presentation of the newly-printed Summons Booklet to Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transport and Telecommunication (TEATT) Minister Stuart Johnson. It allows officials qualified as extraordinary police to issue a fixed fine on behalf of the Prosecutor’s Office.
This was already done for violations in public transportation and among vendors. Conducting these commercial activities without the required permit carries a fine of respectively 500 and 100 Netherlands Antilles guilders.
Some may not find that enough to be a strong deterrent, but these aren’t exactly the types of illicit businesses where one normally earns a fortune either. In addition, the amounts regard only first offences, as repeat-offenders will be dealt with directly by the prosecution.
Important is that this enhances the capacity to act against illegalities. More serious crime obviously has the greatest priority for the regular Police Force, which remains understaffed and already has its hands full.
Effective law enforcement is anyhow not just an issue for justice authorities, but in the best the interest of the entire community. When frequent infractions – no matter how seemingly small or insignificant – are tolerated too often by society, they tend to become common practice.
The periodic controls especially by government’s multidisciplinary teams, while perhaps not always convenient or even pleasant, are therefore highly necessary to help safeguard the rule of law. However, the assistance persons in a boat gave to catch a suspect who tried to escape by jumping into the water, as reported in the same edition, is also a good example of the right kind of public involvement.