Published On: Wed, Jan 9th, 2013

Serious concern about police and prison remains

THE HAGUE, WILLEMSTAD — Also in the period July up to October Curaçao booked little progress in reorganizing the police and professionalizing the prison. The Progress Committee reported this on the Plans of Approach based on the implementation report from former interim-premier and minister of Justice, Stanley Betrian.“The implementation report repeats that the financing of the plans of approach to the account of the national budget by the Ministry of Finance has not nor will be approved and that even previously selected personnel cannot be employed, this in combination with strict procedures to make means available, have a disastrous impact on the progress of often already started projects”, according to the committee.

The committee believes there is a real danger that the number of police officers and assisting personnel will drop below the minimum required number, while as from the beginning of this year the prison is without a manager facility matters, nor will other management vacancies be filled. The committee therefore advises in any case to abandon the current reorganization plan with the police and produce a new plan once the problems with the budget and personnel have been solved. The committee further suggests calling in an independent third party with the negotiations between the unions and the minister of Justice, and points out the necessity to appoint managers at the prison in the short term.

In an explanation to the Lower Chamber, Minister of the Interior, Ronald Plasterk, wrote he had discussed the problems with Betrian last month. “Mr. Betrian indicated it regards a protracted course considering the law on Curaçao dictates consensus must be reached on this point with the unions. As regards the prison, Curaçao spoke with employees from the Ministry of Safety and Justice to see if the Netherlands could assist in recruiting new personnel”, Plasterk wrote. The minister didn’t elaborate on financial support by the Netherlands, on which agreements were made last week. It regards a financial injection of 8 million guilders for the Police Corps and the prison. The amount will be used to start several projects regarding personnel, training and infrastructure.

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