Unclear whether police actions will affect safety during Carnival – StMaartenNews.com – News Views Reviews & Interviews

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PHILIPSBURG — Will the go-slow action by employees of the police force affect safety and security during the Carnival celebrations? That is not clear at the moment. Attorney Cor Merx, who represents employees of the justice department in a conflict over payment arrears and the settlement of legal positions, announced in a brief press statement that the justice workers will “slow-on.” At the same time the police force issued a warning against committing offenses during the Carnival season. That press release does not contain a word about the possible impact of a go-slow on police presence during Carnival-events.

Merx stated that he received a letter from Peggy Ann Brandon, the lawyer of the minister of justice, and that a member of parliament also became involved with a number of proposals. “Emergency meetings were held on Easter Sunday, which led to the rejection of the proposals.”

Merx repeated that the justice workers stick to the position they formulate on February 18.

“The meeting was without a significant result,” Merx reported. “Today’s letter to the minister indicates that we are ready for a consultation, but only about the content of the letter and not about all kinds of jokes about it. So, business-wise.”

The justice workers are for the time being not prepared to give up, Merx wrote: “We are now awaiting further action and in the meantime we slow-on.”

A press release from the police department warned revelers to behave during the Carnival celebrations. The police will apply its pay-or-stay policy, meaning that those who commit an offense can choose between paying a fine or spending a couple of days behind bars.

The police published a transaction list, that makes clear which fines will be apply to certain offenses. The fines vary from $95 for an offense like fighting in public to $400 for for instance resisting arrest, and the possession of weapons or drugs. The highest fine of $480 is for ill-treatment.