The Daily Herald writes that the Dutch Government is looking into the possibility of establishing a safe house in the Caribbean Netherlands for victims of violence. Dutch Minister of Safety and Justice Ivo Opstelten stated this in a recent letter to the Second Chamber of the Dutch Parliament in which he provided an update on the developments, improvements and measures in the justice system in Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba during recent years.
Opstelten stated that State Secretary of Safety and Justice Fred Teeven will look “with a positive basic approach” into the possibility of setting up a Safe House Caribbean Netherlands. The minister referred to the recent report of Regioplan, which determined that domestic violence on the islands was a “real problem”. “That is why priority is being given to increasing the capacity of organisations that provide assistance and the competence of social workers, as well as promoting the abilities of the police,” stated Opstelten. According to the minister, now that the islands have been public entities of the Netherlands for almost four years, it is time for the partners in the justice and social system to invest more in cooperation. He added that professionals felt the need to cooperate more and that consultations within the system have started. Opstelten said there was much benefit to be had from cooperation in the (family) system. The small scale of the islands is a contributing factor for integral cooperation. Organisations are not “bastions” as yet, and personal contacts can result in solid relations between the organisations.
The minister further announced that an “exploration” has started to expand the Compensation Fund Violent Crimes of the Netherlands to the Caribbean Netherlands. The Compensation Fund Violent Crimes and the justice partners on the islands are jointly looking into this matter. The results of this exploration are expected late this year. State Secretary Teeven had pledged during a general debate with the Second Chamber in December last year to look at the possibility of extending the application of the Compensation Fund for victims of violent crimes to Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba. The Second Chamber had asked for this.