PHILIPSBURG, St. Maarten (AP) -- St. Maarten's prime minister expressed concerns Sunday over a recent spate of violent crime that has been making headlines in the tiny Dutch Caribbean country.
Prime Minister Sarah Wescott-Williams said the worsening crime situation has her "full attention" and her administration will do "all that is within its power" to ensure that residents are safe.
A rise in violent incidents has caused concern among people on St. Maarten, a constituent country of the Netherlands that shares a small island with the French dependency of St. Martin.
One case last week involved a 9-year-old girl who was attacked by a neighbor. He tied a rope around her neck and dragged her on the pavement while kicking her. The child was hospitalized with a serious eye injury. Police say the motive for the attack is unclear.
Wescott-Williams said issues of mental health and violent crime deserve more attention.
"The limited data available to us suggest that there is a worrisome number of persons who have to cope with effects of poor or unbalanced mental health," she said.