Half less robberies from the previous year on the French side

On Wednesday, authorities presented the record of delinquency in 2016 in Saint Martin.

“The means implemented by the gendarmerie and police services to combat delinquency have demonstrated their results”, said the Prefect as an introduction to the press conference on the record of Wednesday morning.

"We had a decline in all areas.

Numbers are pretty good, even if they remain high in proportion to the population", says Anne Laubiès.

“In 2016, we notice a decline of 12.6%, which represents 434 fewer offenses compared to the previous year, knowing that in 2015, 3,400 offenses were reported”, says the Commander of gendarmerie Sébastien Manzoni. “This is essentially due to a strong mobilization in the field and to strengthening workforces,” he says.

In July 2015, eighteen additional military personnel have been assigned to Saint Martin and positioned in Nettlé Bay.

“This allows us to have four patrols on the field every day,” says the Commander. The investigation unit also welcomed five new judicial police officers (OPJ). “A detached research section was also created, which increases the quality of our resources”, says the Chief of squadron. “The technical means of investigation are the same as in mainland France”, insists the Prosecutor of Basse-Terre, Samuel Finielz.

Out of nine homicides committed in 2016, six have been resolved, welcomes the Commander. “However, nine is not a great number, these are three more homicides than in 2015,” he acknowledges.

The number of attempts has decreased from 17 to 8.

51 armed robberies, i.e. a decline of 55%       

The authorities displayed a great deal of satisfaction regarding armed robberies. “We have a 55% decline in one year with 51 armed robberies committed in 2016, against 114 in 2015”, details Commander Manzoni. This is due on the one hand, to the greater presence of the military personnel on the field, and on the other hand, to a severe criminal justice response. Over the past two years, many teams of robbers have been stopped and the perpetrators were sentenced severally, most of them - three or five years in jail with committal warrant.

Also, car thefts declined by 17% and burglaries by 44%. "We now have a delinquency that is similar to the level of 2003", noted the Prosecutor Samuel Finielz. “However, it must be consolidated and confirmed in 2017”, agrees the Commander of gendarmerie.

Estelle Gasnet