Attorney-General Guus Schram paid a brief visit to Saba this week, writes The Daily Herald. He met with Island Governor Jonathan Johnson and Chief Basic Police Care Durk Hiemstra. Schram is Attorney-General of Aruba, Curacao, St. Maarten and Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba.
His enlightening visit was described as”very informative and useful,” the Prosecutor’s Office said Friday. It was stated that Schram, who is based on Curaçao, was able to get an impression of what working on a small island entails. Saba has similar problems as the larger islands of the Dutch Caribbean, such as poverty, domestic violence and alcohol- and drug abuse, but initiating a standard approach similar to the larger islands was not deemed a solution.
Schram started his visit to Saba with a meeting at the Prosecutor’s Office, which is alternately manned by a legal secretary and a Prosecutor. The role of the Prosecutor’s Office was discussed, as well its relations with the local population. The Prosecutor’s Office is not only playing an official role in the prosecution of crime, but is also an important source of general legal advice to the public, it was noted.
During his visit to Governor Johnson, the Attorney-General discussed the challenges of a small-island community. It was deemed necessary for decision makers to visit the island and reach tailor-made solutions in conjunction with local authorities. It was also noted that a small and tightly-knit community also has its advantages, enabling partners within the legal system to work more closely together than on the larger sister islands, for instance where precautionary measures are concerned.
Schram also held talks with Chief Basic Police Care Durk Hiemstra. Despite a small staff and the limitations of the island, the police are not only working on repression, but are also making efforts where the prevention of crime is concerned. In the near future, district police officers will be appointed to handle less urgent cases. They will also be available as conciliators in the districts.