Armed robbery does not go unpunished!

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The Public Prosecutor of Basse-Terre and the Commander of the Gendarmerie invited the press on Tuesday, September 20 to provide a current update on a subject that particularly affects Saint-Martin, namely armed robbery (VAMA) .

Xavier Sicot, the Public Prosecutor of the Basse-Terre public prosecutor's office, which includes the Northern Islands in its jurisdiction, was accompanied by Lieutenant-Colonel Maxime Wintzer-Wehekind, commander of the gendarmerie company of Saint-Martin Saint-Barthélemy, the Captain Mickaël Lecointre, commander of the Research Section detachment in Saint-Martin, and Christelle Bellet, deputy prosecutor at the Saint-Martin public prosecutor's office. Aware of the lack of follow-up of files relating to numerous armed robberies (BAMA) having recently taken place in the territory and dealt with by the Basse-Terre public prosecutor's office, Mr. Prosecutor Xavier Sicot wanted to inform the press and the population the progress of these files. The VAMA/BAMA phenomenon has certainly experienced an exponential increase since last May, but the investigation services and the judicial authorities have worked hard to reduce it. 33 robberies with weapons were listed on September 14, which created and still creates a strong feeling of insecurity in Saint-Martin. The gendarmerie has put in place a lot of means to ensure that these facts do not go unpunished and the results are satisfactory: of these 33 robberies, 12 individuals were arrested, 10 of whom were placed in detention. A minor was worried, a young person who was removed from the island of Saint-Martin and placed under judicial control with the obligation to respect a placement in a closed educational center. In summary, 14 facts have been resolved out of the 33 VAMAs recorded over the period from May to the end of August 2022. The Prosecutor firmly declares: "Let the people who are capable of committing these facts understand that at some point , we will have to settle accounts with justice and the judicial authority because obviously, there is a good chance that they will be discovered and put in the only place that seems necessary to us, detention. If the population and the media can sometimes have the impression that VAMA's business is not progressing since most of the files go to Basse-Terre and that the information is not always relayed, Xavier Sicot assures the opposite. and is committed to improving communication between all stakeholders. 

Zero armed robbery since the end of August 2022

September 2022 has already seen a great lull in VAMA resulting from incarcerations, hopes Xavier Sicot. Lieutenant-Colonel Maxime Wintzer-Wehekind returned to the work of the gendarmerie during the interview with the press. During the flight of the VAMAs during the summer, the gendarmerie rearticulated its system on the ground. As of August 12, 2022, new guidelines and operational instructions were given to cover the terrain more in depth, with 30 gendarmes deployed each evening in official or civilian clothes. This led, on August 22, to an arrest in flagrante delicto of an armed robber. The follow-up of the victims remains a priority for the commander of the gendarmerie, the action continues after the facts with advice to improve the protection and the security of the traders (by installing video surveillance cameras). The research section had about ten full-time investigators for the work of cross-checking and investigating the VAMAs, an issue taken very seriously. 

Mr. Prosecutor urges the population not to intervene if they are the victim or witness of an armed robbery, the firearms used are not fake and their lives are therefore at stake (continuation and end in our edition of tomorrow)._Vx

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