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Community Policing collapsed in aftermath of 2017 hurricanes- CoP Matthews

- RVIPF bemoans slothfulness in restoring CCTV capabilities
Commissioner of the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force (RVIPF), Mr Michael B. Matthews (left) revealed in the Report on the Deliberations for Standing Finance Committee (SFC) to examine the Draft Estimates for 2019 that there is no functioning Community policing unit in the Virgin Islands. Photo: VINO/File
CCTV cameras, positioned mostly across the capital city, Road Town, were destroyed during the hurricanes of September 2017. Photo: VINO/File
CCTV cameras, positioned mostly across the capital city, Road Town, were destroyed during the hurricanes of September 2017. Photo: VINO/File
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI- Community policing, or community-oriented policing, is a strategy of policing that focuses on building ties and working closely with members of the communities.

While one would think this should be top priority of the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force (RVIPF), it was revealed in the Report on the Deliberations for Standing Finance Committee (SFC) to examine the Draft Estimates for 2019 that there is no functioning Community policing unit in the Virgin Islands.

Community policing collapsed after hurricanes

Minister for Transportation, Works and Utilities Hon Kye M. Rymer (R5), during the SFC in April 2019 had inquired about the effectiveness of community policing and asked how many communities were being patrolled in.

Commissioner of Police (CoP), Michael B. Matthews responded that there is no community police unit at the moment as it had collapsed in the aftermath of the hurricane to focus on other greater needs.

Mr Matthews noted; however, that the aim is to have four (4) community officers per district so there will be 34 officers over the nine (9) districts.

Slow process to restore CCTV capabilities

Meanwhile, the then Deputy Premier and Minister for Education, Culture, Agriculture, Fisheries, Youth Affairs and Sports Dr The Honourable Natalio D. Wheatley (R7) inquired about the resources to restore the CCTV capabilities and asked how effective CCTV has been in helping the RVIPF to detect crime.

CCTV cameras, positioned mostly across the capital city, Road Town, were destroyed during the hurricanes of September 2017.

CoP Matthews responded that CCTV is a critical crime-fighting tool for the RVIPF and he could list many occasions in the past where the cameras were used to convict persons of serious crimes.

The CoP added that the RVIPF is rebuilding their CCTV capabilities through a project that is funded by the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) but admitted that the process had been far too slow.

He added there were ongoing discussions regarding obtaining the CCTV cameras and the process and procedures that are in place with the CDB in order to obtain the moneys to purchase the equipment.

10 Responses to “Community Policing collapsed in aftermath of 2017 hurricanes- CoP Matthews”

  • wize up (09/06/2019, 14:00) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
    where is that 2 million plus all the other monies given to the department of police: who is accountable to the people for how it is spent...
    • Outlaw (10/06/2019, 19:33) Like (0) Dislike (2) Reply

      @wize up. The w**** UK officers gone back UK with it with all smiles. Somebody needs to bell the cat or all the cheese will disappear. No joke about that.

  • qc (09/06/2019, 17:42) Like (0) Dislike (1) Reply
    Thing to talk
  • Solutions (09/06/2019, 18:00) Like (0) Dislike (1) Reply
    Hope in the case of another hurricane, these equipment will be temporarily removed!!!
  • Ah ha (09/06/2019, 18:58) Like (0) Dislike (1) Reply
    And one of the Officers that was trying to keep Community Policing alive in Anegada was reassigned because of one malicious D1$ Tr1(+ 0ff is ah and playing may Er and a bad minded manageress. The Queen husband was doing an awesome thing wid de community. I call on Mr CoP to do the right thing and return the Queen husband to de islan.
  • legal team (09/06/2019, 20:23) Like (4) Dislike (1) Reply
    I am pleased that my government is showing an interest in the fight against crime and violence.We must protect the citizens from these lawless entities in our society..
  • Looters (09/06/2019, 20:37) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    When are you going to bring them to justice?!?!
    • wize up (09/06/2019, 20:50) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
      @ looters: are you ask the commissioner responsible for law enforcement in BVI; when will those under his command suspected of looting during 2017 hurricanes will be arrested then charged and brought before the court(keep waiting on that process; your grandchildren will have children before any of those police men faces any criminal prosecution)...will the real criminals kindly stand up!!!!
  • fact check (10/06/2019, 08:13) Like (5) Dislike (4) Reply
    No one held the white cop and GOVERNOR accountable for looting and breakdown in law and order after the hurricanes

    Both should have lost their jobs
  • Rastafari live (10/06/2019, 12:07) Like (3) Dislike (1) Reply
    @ fat check: the white “chip” already have local real estate under his portfolio not much can be done about the occupant of the white house but if we keeping it real had law enforcement been under one of we all the talks shows, blogs and online news will have been calling for their head


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