CoP Michael Matthews suggests dogs for security @ home
Mr Matthews was at the time appearing as a guest on Shaina M. Smith’s television programme ‘Vigilate Dialogues’ aired over the Christmas season.
“I personally own a large German Shepard dog. Not everybody loves dogs and wants them in their house but you know a dog can give you the indication that somebody is around,” said Matthews in his conversation with Ms Smith.
As for business establishments, while suggesting a number of possible devises, CoP Matthews said a number of businesses operate with faulty security systems, and sometimes keep them turned off, which he described as “shooting themselves in the foot”.
He spoke extensively on the issues of various levels of crimes perpetuating in the VI while noting that here is a very safe jurisdiction and the level of crimes is far below that of other Caribbean countries, yet not acceptable.
Guns to match gunners
“There are people out there who know where the guns are, there are people out there who know who the offenders are and in fact let me give you the most shocking example that I can give is quite recently we had somebody who witnessed a robbery take place and didn’t ring it in until after the offenders had driven off and were long gone, absolutely no use to the police service whatsoever.”
Over the Christmas season, Matthews said, while increasing the number of police officers in the streets he ensured that they were armed as well in a move to put a robust response to persons who were bold enough to arm themselves to engage in gun crimes.
“I don’t want to ever think we are going to get to a situation where we have shoot outs in the streets, but the point being is that we have the capability to address those levels of crimes should people continue to behave in that way.”
Commissioner Matthews also said it is his observation that there is a reluctance of persons in the Virgin Islands (UK) to come forward with information about crime/s at the level of reporting evidence to the police, giving evidence in the courts of law and in some cases even reporting crimes committed against themselves. “And that concerns me because it is something different to the jurisdictions I have been to before,” said Matthews.
Trying to sniffle out the root cause for this, Matthews questioned if this is because of mistrust in the police service, fear that they are going to be exposed as a witness and potentially put in danger as a result or a lack of confidence in the criminal system of the VI. “Since being in this territory I have been saying to people that we need to come forward with information, the police service can’t solve society’s crimes on its own.”
The issue of traffic offenses was one of several concerns persons had raised, which he said led him to run a traffic violation campaign during July – August 2016. In July, the strategy was to holding persons for amnesty and warning some while in August a zero tolerance approach was taken.
“Sadly, we see an increase in traffic offenders and traffic tickets being given out. But you know you can’t prosecute problems away you have to educate as well,” said Commissioner Matthews.