(de Ware Tijd) PARAMARIBO – The police union SPB expects new Minister of Justice and Police Edward Belfort to tackle crime with the same drive as former Minister Chandrikapersad Santokhi, as both Belfort and Santokhi are former police officers. Union chairman Robby Ramdjiawan welcomed the new Minister on his first visit to the police force at the police academy (POC). Ramdjiawan called Belfort’s attention to the shortage of vehicles, which seems to trouble the force. He claimed that if police had sufficient vehicles, crime would drop by thirty to forty percent.
In his speech, Belfort promised a tougher stance against crime, and promised to introduce drastic changes to the police force as well. He also warned policemen who avoid doing their jobs that measures will be taken against them. Acting police chief Humphrey Tjin Liep Shie agreed police mobility is a problem, but said in his speech that in spite of this, police are on the scene of an incident within ten minutes in forty percent of the reports. Tjin Liep Shie is pleased with Belfort as Minister and knows him to possess an enormous drive. Many years ago, Belfort served in the Arrest Team which was headed by Tjin Liep Shie at that time. “And now the roles are reversed, and you are my boss,” the acting police chief joked.