Minister Richardson looks at foreign best practices for St. Maarten Victim Support 

Minister Richardson looks at foreign best  practices for St. Maarten Victim Support 

Minister of Justice Anna Richardson (right) and Unit Coordinator Marki Mosley.

PHILIPSBURG--Minister of Justice Anna Richardson recently visited the New Castle County Police Crime Service Unit in the state of Delaware, United States of America, where she met with Unit Coordinator Marki Mosley. The purpose of the visit was Richardson’s wish to be informed about the Victim Service Unit (VSU).

  Richardson seized the opportunity to meet with the New Castle County police during a short family vacation. She took notice of an advertisement of the New Castle County  Police Crime Service Unit. Its VSU provides help to victims and witnesses affected by crime in the form of support, information and referral to community agencies and services to help reduce the impact of trauma.

  Richardson met with Mosley, who explained that the VSU is staffed with five specialists in the field of victim support. Specialists undergo special training to handle matters of domestic violence, homicide, suicide, sexual assault and other high-impact crimes, Mosley said.

  The unit has been assisting victims since 1989 and continues to devote itself to helping victims of trauma.

  Richardson is currently overseeing the selection of staff for the recently established Victim Support Services (VSS) unit for St. Maarten. “In March of this year, the positions to outfit the VSS were published and a healthy number of reactions were received,” Richardson said. “The resumé packages of the applicants are being reviewed and interviews are currently underway to identify the most qualified persons for the positions.”

  During the discussion Richardson had with the New Castle VSU, she enquired about training courses and seminars. Mosley confirmed that seminars and information sessions are constant and since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, much is administered online. “These online training and seminar platforms grant a great opportunity for VSS St. Maarten to have a broader-based network of information sharing,” said Richardson, noting that she sees opportunities for cooperation.

  A memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the United States Department of Justice and the four Ministries of Justice in the Kingdom of the Netherlands was established on June 2, 2016, to enhance the existing cooperation and to strengthen law enforcement and the criminal justice systems in the Caribbean parts of the Kingdom of the Netherlands by rendering each other assistance. It is determined in the MoU that this assistance can be provided through the training of personnel and the exchange of experts.

  During her visit to the VSU, Richardson referred to the existence of this MoU between the US and the Kingdom. She intends to explore how this MoU can be utilised more efficiently to actively participate in international and Kingdom training and seminar platforms, as this can be a viable opportunity for VSS.

  “As Minister of Justice, I am always seeking to improve and strengthen the Ministry,” Richardson said. “Though I was on vacation, I thought it imperative to contact this agency and request a meeting with its director to learn more about their operation.

  “As such, I’d like to thank Ms. Mosley for receiving me so positively and taking the time out of her busy schedule to meet with me. I am elated for the opportunity and look forward to the sharing of information and best practices between VSU and other similar institutions globally in the interest of providing the best support to those in need of it the most: victims, witnesses and their families.”

The Daily Herald

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