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St. Martin Préfet: ‘Weapons amnesty has not been successful’

FRIDAY, 15 NOVEMBER 2013

MARIGOT–Préfet Philippe Chopin admitted this week that the weapons amnesty has been a “semi-failure,” not coming close to the more successful campaign held in Guadeloupe, but has not ruled out repeating the exercise in the future, with a complete revision. An analysis of the campaign is due out in December.

To date, only four weapons have been handed in to the Gendarmerie since the campaign was optimistically launched on October 7 by the Préfet and Prosecutor Flavien Noailles. The last day to hand in weapons is this Sunday, November 17. The campaign assures that those handing in weapons will not be pursued by the Gendarmerie during the grace period, but clearly, mistrust and lack of incentive has prevented more weapons from being deposited.

Chopin told Le Pélican, however, that the campaign was still successful in terms of dialogue, the effort put in to meet with associations and young people, to prick their conscience about stopping violence, and the general dissemination of the message via the media and flyers.

He suggested a second edition would be approached differently, with the campaign advertised in several languages, and would most likely include working on it with the Dutch side.

Source: The Daily Herald, St. Maarten

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