Heavier penalties eyed for crimes vs tourists


Rep. Edmund Villagomez (Ind-Saipan) has introduced a bill that seeks to impose more severe penalties for crimes that occur in close proximity to tourist and recreational sites.

House Bill 19-6 aims to establish higher mandatory sentences for crimes that occur within 1,000 feet of these sites.

The bill noted that crimes against tourists and local visitors alike in tourist attractions such as beaches, hotels, and golf resorts are increasing.

“Existing statutes regarding theft and robbery are not serving to deter violent crimes at tourist and recreation sites. Presently, there are no minimum mandatory penalties for crimes involving tourists or locals who are particularly vulnerable to criminals in remote and unpopulated areas far from police or security guards and close to escape routes in the jungle,” it said.

The bill said in order to enforce this provision in a fair and reasonable manner and avoid claims of vagueness, areas that are affected must be clearly identified and that “the public and law enforcement alike must be placed on adequate notice.”

“Accordingly, this provision shall mandate the erection of clear markers or boundaries such as signage that indicates that an individual is in a regulated area,” the bill said.

The bill further said “all areas regulated herein must be clearly identified to provide reasonable and adequate public notice through the use of clear markers or boundaries, signage, or other means that indicate that an individual is in a regulated area and the extent of the one thousand feet zone of applicability.” (Joel D. Pinaroc)

Joel D. Pinaroc Dayao
This post is published under the Contributing Author. He/she does not normally work for Saipan Tribune but contributes for a specific topic or series.

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