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CoP Matthews on vacation 'in the middle of a war'- Skelton-Cline

- RVIPF boss under fire for taking leave in height of COVID-19 pandemic
Commissioner of Police at the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force (RVIPF), Mr Micheal B. Matthews has come under fire from radio host and social media commentator, Mr Claude O. Skelton-Cline for heading off to vacation, even as the territory has experienced a spike in COVID-19 infections. Photo: VINO/File/Facebook
In order to minimise risk of transmission of COVID-19, the East End/Long Look and the Road Town Police Stations will be temporarily closed for deep cleaning and disinfection. Photo: VINO/File
In order to minimise risk of transmission of COVID-19, the East End/Long Look and the Road Town Police Stations will be temporarily closed for deep cleaning and disinfection. Photo: VINO/File
BAUGHERS BAY, Tortola, VI - Commissioner of the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force (RVIPF), Mr Michael B. Matthews has come under fire from radio host and social media commentator, Mr Claude O. Skelton-Cline for heading off on vacation, even as the Territory has experienced a spike in COVID-19 infections.

"I'm getting complaints from some of your officers, telling me that the Commissioner is on vacation," Skelton-Cline said on the Tuesday, September 1, 2020, edition of his 'Honestly Speaking' radio show livestreamed on Facebook and broadcast on ZBVI 780 AM.

"They don't know how the commissioner could be on vacation while we in the middle of a war," Skelton-Cline remarked.

The man of the cloth alleged that with a large number of police officers possibly impacted by COVID-19 and with several police stations having to be closed at the time, "and the leader is on vacation, I find this curious myself," he questioned.

A number of police officers have tested positive for COVID-19 and have been placed in quarantine.

Meanwhile, Mr Matthews confirmed to VINO last week that he was on leave; however, it remains unclear when he will return to the job.

VI @ war with COVID-19 - Skelton-Cline 

"We at war, the Generals can't be on vacations while we at war, you know what we would do with Premier Fahie if he takes a vacation right now?" Skelton-Cline said. 

He called also on Commissioner Matthews, the RVIPF and other facets of VI law enforcement to do their jobs, gather people facilitating human smuggling and make sure they are prosecuted.

"We at war with a force... it's not a traditional war, we are at war with a demon that you can't see with the naked eyes and this is the time for us to come together," he said.

'Short recharge of batteries not unreasonable'- CoP

Meanwhile, CoP Matthews said his vacation was approved by the National Security Council and that it was a flexible leave.

Further, he said he just started "a short break" as of Monday, August 31, 2020, having not had any break including working virtually every weekend since March.

"I think a short recharge of the batteries is not unreasonable," Mr Matthews told Virgin Islands News Online today, September 2, 2020.

"Of course it had to be agreed with the authority of the National Security Council hence why Alwin James is Acting Commissioner. We also agreed at this unpredictable time that Alwin and I should work apart to ensure command continuity in the face of Covid risk hence Alwin took leave and returned on Monday to take over."

Mr Matthews said he remains in contact with Mr James and Governor Augustus J. U. Jaspert and has not left the Territory.

"My absence from the office remains flexible. Not sure what this has to do with Claude and indeed if it is newsworthy at such a time when we all need to be pulling together not looking to be devisive," Mr Matthews added.

59 Responses to “CoP Matthews on vacation 'in the middle of a war'- Skelton-Cline”

  • Because (02/09/2020, 11:49) Like (17) Dislike (43) Reply
    The man isn't a General...he probably thought this assignment was going to be one long vacation and there was no real work to be done in the BVI. I do believe he's not equipped for the Caribbean. Different set of politics than he is used too. And, he definitely doesn't have what it takes to deal with a pandemic.
    • Typical Responses (02/09/2020, 18:18) Like (8) Dislike (8) Reply
      @Because. Great point. I'm very interested seeing the negative responses to your opinion. Whilst to each his own, it's clear as a BVI sunrise in East End that the COP has been grossly incompetent thus far. I wonder if he were a local, a "real local" catch my drift and he performed in the exact as Mr Michael Matthews, what would be said over him? Leave that one to the wise to answer.

      He obviously has his cheerleaders and it hurts as a Caribbean national to see such a lack of accountability being placed on him in the performance of his duties. He's clearly no General. No real military leader will abandon his troops in glorious battle to take a wee nap. These are serious times and whilst "recharging of the batteries" is not a problem, it's seems as if he has been on vacation since his first day on the job.

      In my opinion just a pompous Englishman who feels entitled to a position without doing the necessary things to uphold the office of COP and to enhance the RVIPF in general with aplomb.

      Ask yourselves what real strides has been made in making the RVIPF a more professional, productive, innovative and effective force in his tenure.
  • Ah ha (02/09/2020, 11:54) Like (48) Dislike (2) Reply
    Prevention is better then the cure ....and the police is not the cure if people only listen non of this would have happen.
  • lol (02/09/2020, 12:03) Like (78) Dislike (9) Reply
    Everything the wh!+€ man do is a problem to Y all lol if it was a local in that position that took vacation, I bet Claude wouldn't have said a word. Racism goes both ways
  • life goes on (02/09/2020, 12:05) Like (87) Dislike (1) Reply
    Lord have mervy.... Leave the man alone...If he sick if he dies, Life goes on.... leave the man alone. OMG.
  • Lawless society (02/09/2020, 12:13) Like (93) Dislike (33) Reply
    On my way home today in my neighborhood:

    1. Three different scooters with passengers and no mask wearing except for 1 passenger

    2. Three men in close proximity facing each other speaking, 1 had a mask below his chin the others were not wearing masks

    3. Lady standing by the driver side of a car (no mask on) talking to the driver

    This was in the space of 2 minutes.
    • Norris Turnbull (02/09/2020, 13:58) Like (20) Dislike (63) Reply
      @Lawless Society....You were not wearing your mind your business mask. Sup with that?
      • @ Norris Turnbull (02/09/2020, 16:12) Like (35) Dislike (2) Reply
        You are one ignorant prick.

        The Government has informed residents to report any persons/businesses who are breaking the law.

        It’s people with your mentality who would watch this country go down the drain and do nothing.


      • SMH (02/09/2020, 16:33) Like (8) Dislike (2) Reply
        This Norris character is a keyboard bully. Who drives and doesn't see what's in front of them.
    • Lawless society (02/09/2020, 17:27) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
      Did you call 311, did you take a video and share it on whatsapp? Lack of enforcement goes hand in hand with lack of reporting of BVI general public...
    • Good observation (02/09/2020, 19:18) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      You saw all of that and what did you do???? I hope you called 311 and made a report. Or you came on VINO to blog
    • ? (02/09/2020, 19:30) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
      So who is in the wrong? The people you just mentioned or Matthews.
  • cline (02/09/2020, 12:18) Like (72) Dislike (4) Reply
    Just for one moment Cline. Stop bashing expats. Jesus man. Wish you would take a break!
  • NICK (02/09/2020, 12:30) Like (68) Dislike (1) Reply
    ??? Is the commissioner an medical expert, is not his role to provide security for the country and are you saying that his deputy and staff cannot provide the necessary and efficient service during his absence???. As a man of God your faith seems to be lacking. You should be more optimistic. It is the duty of every citizen and resident to assist the authorities amidst the spread of this pandemic by being obedient and taking seriously all the necessary safety guidelines.
  • Gangsta Summit (02/09/2020, 12:44) Like (53) Dislike (0) Reply
    Police commissioner
    Chief Fire Officer
    Chief Immigration
    The Sheriff that Bob Marley shot

    All these people have deputies that are suppose to be able to run the outfits in the absence of the chief.
    • Norris Turnbull (02/09/2020, 14:00) Like (4) Dislike (7) Reply
      Not Immigration. That dump need cleaning up from the top.
      • Hmm (02/09/2020, 17:18) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
        I must agree, if the top is weak the body will be also.
      • use to agree (02/09/2020, 17:22) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
        While i has the same thoughts back then, I must say I am seeing some changes.
    • Hihdihi (02/09/2020, 14:14) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
      I think that Bob accepted that somebody else shot the deputy, his point was that it was not that deputy had not been shot but merely that it was not him that shot the deputy. In the circumstances, it is not clear who was in a position to take over running the sheriffs department.
  • annudda2cents (02/09/2020, 12:46) Like (0) Dislike (1) Reply
    my only issue with this is that I understand, and reasonably so, officers have not been allowed to take vacation due to the pandemic. certainly C.O.P. Matthews could've taken 2 full days off during the week, and Mr. James like wise, where they just alternate to make sure a top cop is always at the stead. But what do I know.
  • SHAME (02/09/2020, 12:53) Like (44) Dislike (2) Reply
    I do like the Commissioner's response. It makes plenty sense!! Maybe CSC should consider taking a vacation as well...A very very long vacation ...you know, for business continuity purposes or whatever excuse we could pull out the hat that sounds good.
  • one eye (02/09/2020, 12:54) Like (3) Dislike (22) Reply

    Just his way of getting the uk to bring more police officers please stay awake people

    And I heard they trying to blackmail the government with his want want want want

  • brian hodge (02/09/2020, 12:56) Like (58) Dislike (1) Reply
    wish Cline was on holiday with all his nonsense !! one minute he dont want anyone in charge next minute he want them all in charge.
  • A break (02/09/2020, 13:13) Like (22) Dislike (1) Reply
    A short break is healthy sometime. Claude give the man a break. Lol
  • office (02/09/2020, 13:14) Like (11) Dislike (1) Reply
    Mr skelton you need to shut up do you not take vacation when you need it does pastor clyne stop you does not he or somebodyelse step in for you The Deputy policw is there he has to fill in until the Commis comes back Who tellyou that the commissioner was not scheduled for vaction for m a while back yes we have the issue with covid but people has to do what they have todo calude stop causing trouble over the air ways are you the CHIEF PERSONEl OFFUCER Stop trying to dicate other people life The Comminissionner can take vacation when ever he choses and BY THE WAy the Governor make the calls not you when it comes to the Police business You sometimes talk things with sense but you need to get your facts straight before Aring your mouth and advise You cannot tell a big man what to do you out of place will not the comminisioner put things in plae tohelp with the issue before he leaves watch your step big boy you do not have the authority so stop Bla Bla Bla on things you cannot control Go peach the GOSPEL AND HELP GET SPULS SAVE BECAUSE WE ARE APPROCHING THE LAST DAYS SO PRAY INSTEAD OF DIPPING IN WHAT IS NOT YOUR BUSINESS TO A CERTIAN EXTENT
  • Norris Turnbull (02/09/2020, 14:03) Like (0) Dislike (37) Reply
    @NICK. Who the hell are you to be judging whose faith is lacking? You are well out of place with your nasty self.
  • Cadet (02/09/2020, 14:18) Like (3) Dislike (21) Reply
    The Commissioner of Police like he has a ceremonial job. His officers have a right to complain him. They already have him for a joker.
  • commissiner (02/09/2020, 14:25) Like (6) Dislike (0) Reply
    Too much police have covid 19. Time 2 take some time off.
  • Theresa (02/09/2020, 14:36) Like (26) Dislike (0) Reply
    Mr. Cline please leave the man alone that is his business if he goes on vacation. What about your business? you always bringin up these topics as if you yourself trying to make war. GOD IS WATCHING YOU.
  • Abd (02/09/2020, 14:38) Like (23) Dislike (0) Reply
    brilliant response from CoP, Claude needs to wind his neck in and stop trying to make himself relevant and stir up problems.
  • 1st District (02/09/2020, 14:40) Like (5) Dislike (1) Reply
    Isn't this the SAME CHIEF who was in the 1st lock down? Was he then returning from overseas vacation?? And vacation in a crisis and forever short staff...! All of a sudden he like Aurendel more than a cup of tea!!
  • Queen Employed (02/09/2020, 15:36) Like (2) Dislike (5) Reply
    Live & Direct
    One Chap took your tax money to purchase a new vehicle in the mist of our economic struggles: every man mouth shut(if Fahie had done that, most of us will want his head on a silver platter)

    One chap hold a very sensitive post within this territory but sees it fitting to run to Mexico on Vacation in the mist of national security challenges

    it is standard procedure within his department that under given conditions no vacation leave will be granted

    both chaps will simply book a flight out of the territory and that’s their prerogative

    Listen:
    money is the motive for some residents within the territory and absolutely no “social interest”

    some export money via money gram(7%tax)
    some export money via wire transfer(0% tax)
  • We should learn (02/09/2020, 15:39) Like (0) Dislike (3) Reply
    Can’t you see the Governor is covering for him. Watch and learn most of all we should adopt and do the same instead of killing one another. And we talk about the island people. Shame on us.
  • Shannon (02/09/2020, 15:50) Like (7) Dislike (0) Reply
    Lawd let the man have a little time you all do not know what he has to undertake If it was you would you not want your vacation People stop making such comments he is human too and he still has the force to run can claude do the work of the comminissioner he cannot start from the toe to reach the head Clyne you needto wise up and try to help people than bringing them down the Premier needs to D>>>>>>> himself from you because all you doing is calling down the Government remember there are those who know how the Premier looked out for you and you always down down down man stop the cruel comments and try and help try to work out something so that people especially in your district 2 can get a litte change from the Turnbull rabbit people need help you said it so do what the Lord would like you to do so you can get more blessings and not use your religion as a cross raod to help bring service from people We need to search our hearts SERIOUSLY and them you can make the type of comments you make Sometimes people wonder if you read your Bible how do you read up and down or accross and over By the way where is your BISHOP he gone in the closet Virgin Islands we are not sure we want you as a polition so the path to such positions needs to be renewed, revived and reschedule claude go and say your prayers it will do you better Tell turnbull hurry up get the money to people and stopi LAY LAY LAY
    • @Shannon (02/09/2020, 17:05) Like (10) Dislike (1) Reply
      You have some good points but learn to punctuate. Every sentence run into the other.
      • SMH (03/09/2020, 10:54) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
        Would you say the same to Irvine welsh?

        Let's make it clear people!!!
        We are in a pandemic, 1000's of lives are being lost everyday, a global economic crash possible, the USA are starting a global fight with China because of the Belt and Road Initiative, Beirut has just been blown in to the dark ages coincidentally, the BVI is fighting an enemy it can't see with minimal resources, people have been worried for months and now afraid because of toxic human smuggling, but get that punctuation correct or it will spoil someones morning!... n0 maTter who manY.; goood pointts your make,
    • El Bunko (02/09/2020, 19:11) Like (0) Dislike (19) Reply
      TL; DR
  • NB (02/09/2020, 16:05) Like (25) Dislike (0) Reply
    Claude you seem to have absolutely nothing else to do with your time. Lockdown have you bored? Always here picking a fight with somebody. Get a gold fish and watch it swim around. Will do you good
  • yikes (02/09/2020, 16:32) Like (1) Dislike (14) Reply
    He’s a waste of time. Crime has not changed under him. Too much unsolved crimes and lazy cops.
  • privy council (02/09/2020, 16:53) Like (11) Dislike (0) Reply
    just like how miss k penn said it on social media.you people are too dam racist.is it unlawful to go on vacation?can the cop stop bvislanders from transporting people through the backdoor?
  • Foot Soldier (02/09/2020, 17:49) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    The country wants 70/30 ratio . Why bawl . Let the next best local take the helm . He is only one person not the whole force. Excellent time to get the experience of ....Ayo complain too much .
  • soldier Hill (02/09/2020, 18:25) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    Pastor cline it is time to SFUT UP what you want the givernment to do about using barges if you have a problem in the government using the badges then let them put you cross the sea seeing that you are broad in size Leav the Government let them do their work
  • Wise Down (02/09/2020, 18:28) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    Elephant in the room?, alot of black folks here need to be cautious that they are coming off as racist or prejudiced against these white folks here. The reality is, there ARE racist black folks among us, some might say that its the "down island" folks who are racists and the natives can do no wrong. Whether its racism, prejudice or just being xenophobic, running your mouth without thinking about the consequences is always a bad thing.
  • g (02/09/2020, 19:26) Like (0) Dislike (6) Reply
    My Cline there should not be a problem u should be incharge simple
  • I (02/09/2020, 19:34) Like (7) Dislike (2) Reply
    D only one who don't take a vocation is God
  • POPE (02/09/2020, 19:57) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    Man of the Cloth? Cloth eared loudmouth more like.
  • See (02/09/2020, 21:27) Like (2) Dislike (14) Reply
    Matthews is a compkete joke Take a look at the police force . Scared to do anything except cellphone tickets and bringing out the stupid measuring tape for 2 hours at accidents . Totally afraid of the punk ass baby bikers . Mask enforcement ? Haha
  • Observer (02/09/2020, 22:10) Like (2) Dislike (1) Reply
    The police force was effective when you had people like Wailon Warren around. Barry Webb did good job during his short stay.
    The present Commissioner of police has no control of his officers. He leadership style needs some improvement. A weak leader makes a poor organization. Since COP Morris became a part of the organization and put the examination system in place the force has take downward trend because. If you carry news you get promoted. There are officers who just join the organization already reach sergeant and inspector. The real problem is that you pass a written examination but you are unable to supervise some men and make proper decisions. The moral in the force is very low at the moment.
  • A VOTER IN #6 (02/09/2020, 23:31) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    THEY JUST KILL GEORGE BORROWS IN PURCELL TONIGHT. LORD HELP US WE ARE LIVING IN THE LAST DAYS.
  • T (03/09/2020, 06:47) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    The police feel scorned by other law enforcement agencies and members of the society due to the covid19.
  • Resource (03/09/2020, 07:43) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    THE POLICR MAY NOT BE PERFECt BUT STOP CALLING THEM DOWN I AM SURE IF A PROBLEM DEVELOPS THEY HAVE TO BE CALLED TO HELP STOP THE PROBLEM THEY ARE OUT LEGAL FORCE WHAT WILL WE UDE WHEN THEY ARE CRITISED THE COMMINISSIONER IS A WELL EDUCARED AND TOP COP PERSON HE USE HIS DESCRITION WHEN IT IS NEEDED THOSE HO CRITISING HIM AND THE MEMBERS OF THE POLICE FORCE CAN THEY GO OUT AND FACE THE MUSIC THANKS FOR WHAT WE HAVE A TIME MIGHT COME WHEN THE COMMISH MAT USE THE POWERS THAT BE AND THERE ARE THOSE WHO MAY NOT LIKE IT SO AGAIN STOP TH RAY RAY ABOUT THE POLICE IF IT IS NOT NEEDED SOME OF US HAVE HUSBANDS AS POLICE OFFECERS AND YOU WOULD LIKE TO SEE HIM COME HOME TO HIS FAMILY EVEN THOUGH CRIMES ARE HAPPENING THE POLICE IS DOING A GOOD JOB WE BAWLING WE WANT THE MEN OFF THE SHIP FROM ENGLAND BUT WE AY GEY A RUDE HIGHLIGHT SO PRAY AND ASK gOD TO GUIDE AND PROTECT ABD THAT THE COUNTRY DOES NOT EXPERIENCED ANY NEGATIVE THINGS MAY GOD BLEE THIS BVI COUNTRY US AND THE MEMBERS OF THE POLICE FORCE
  • Yes (03/09/2020, 07:48) Like (0) Dislike (2) Reply
    Every one of you people on these blog sound so stupid and ignorant from the begining to the end. The gangster people just waiting for the right oppertunity to strike in every and any way cause they know what they have a head of them...our system is very weak.and those police mem take things very much for granted. I am speaking from what i was told to my face seaking out information about an acident....that in our force today the young polices are the front line workers . Ack why not mixed them up like long ago. Those police dont the fact ee are ina pandemic it just regular routine for them......you all on claude back all the time ,no man is perfect..it take gut to be unthe radio let the public know wa going on ..becuse he is pastor he shouldnt say any thing...he dpnt talk up he too will be accountable on the judgement day fot not being a voice.....talk up claude and continue to speal your mind..dont silience for no one......set of cowatd..if its the goverment talk...its the police talk. If its we the people talk.. continue voice...for 99%of we dont care about the BVI EXPAT AND LOCAL ALIKE .. WAKE BVI AND GET OFF YOUR HIGH HORSE...IT NEED 3 MORE LIKE CLAUDE AND ..THE LID OF THE CLOSE POT..
  • COSC (03/09/2020, 11:25) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    "middle of a war" only in your twisted mind
  • u (03/09/2020, 13:04) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Come on Mr Cline u for real d man untitled for vocation what happened u think he is a manekin time to b kind to others
  • Confussed (03/09/2020, 13:58) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    mr. cline
    one minute you cant wait to see the back of commissioner of police ..the next minute you complain he.s not here.
    isnt it right that you wanted a local in charge of the police.? are you now saying you dont think a local is capable of stepping up to the plate and prooving himself ?
    gimme a break.
    you will moan about anything just to be heard mr. cline.
    your dreams have been answer..a local in charge..what can go wrong now ?
    oh wait..a man was murdered yesterday... ( RIP).
    Spend your efforts tracking down and bringing to justice the over spending of " the wall"...the over spend of the TPP. ..BVI airways...all forgotten about .
    smoke and mirrors is what you are mr. cline...smoke n mirrors.
  • R (03/09/2020, 15:06) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    Mr Cline u want d primer job u want d commissioner job u want d governor job what's wrong with u man are you d only spoke man in tola cool out man
  • sunnyday (03/09/2020, 16:17) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    WE THE PEOPLE REALLY BELIEVE THAT THE CHIEF CARE ABOUT US???
    WAKE UP IF ALL MY BILLS WERE PAID RIGHT DOWN TO MY VEHICLE ,I WOULD VACATION TOOOOOOOOOO


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