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Crime rate on the decline - CoP Matthews

- but says increase in processed criminals leading to greater court backlogs
Commissioner of Police Mr Michael B. Matthews says there continues to be a backlog in the local court system as a result of the hurricanes of 2017 and an increased number of processed criminals in the territory, even while pointing to an overall decline in the crime rate of the territory. Photo: VINO/File
According to the Commissioner of Police, Mr Micheal B. Matthews while the recorded crime rate is on the cline, more processed criminals are leading to an increase backlog in the local court system. Photo: VINO/FIle
According to the Commissioner of Police, Mr Micheal B. Matthews while the recorded crime rate is on the cline, more processed criminals are leading to an increase backlog in the local court system. Photo: VINO/FIle
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI - Commissioner of Police Mr Michael B. Matthews says there continues to be a backlog in the local court system as a result of the hurricanes of 2017 and an increased number of processed criminals in the territory, even while pointing to an overall decline in the crime rate of the territory.

Commissioner Matthews was at the time speaking with Mr Kenneth G. Gladstone on the October 22, 2019 edition of his radio show, 'A Moment of Truth', on PSI Online Radio.

Recorded crime rate down

"Overall, the recorded crime rate in the territory is declining, and at the same time we are seeing an increase in the number of offenders that are actually arrested and processed in the criminal justice system within the Virgin Islands," the Commissioner said. 

Mr Matthews said; however, that as a direct result of this the court system is now under a tremendous amount of pressure due to the increase in said processed criminals.

"No matter how hard our excellent Magistrates and Judges have been working... the backlog is there and it grows because the force has been very very pro-active in terms of making sure that we continue to remain one of the safest places in the Caribbean," he said.  

According to Mr Matthews, based on global statistics, the level of crime in the country is nowhere near the levels of some Caribbean territories, however, the perception of crime locally is easily influenced by sparse criminal activities.

Perception of Crime 

"All it takes is a homicide, a shooting, a robbery involving a car and the perception of crime changes in the public's eyes... and I absolutely understand that and I recognise that the public feels safer when they see more policing and see the police about," he said.

The top cop noted that the RVIPF's recruitment campaigns have been successful so far, and as such, the art of managing public perception is to make sure that crime is kept at a low rate, but at the same time, ensure sufficient visibility of officers. 

He said with more police visibility, people will feel safer and know that they are safe. The Commissioner further underscored that the figures on the crime rate in the territory are compiled by overseas-based independent analysts and not by himself or the RVIPF.

14 Responses to “Crime rate on the decline - CoP Matthews”

  • hello (05/11/2019, 19:00) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Yes that is good news indeed but Christmas is around the corner and those bandits just waiting for the right moment to strike.
  • Musa big joke's pear park hospital bvi airways airport (05/11/2019, 19:11) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    And crime down
  • Hmm (05/11/2019, 19:37) Like (6) Dislike (0) Reply
    Crime is down so your detectives have time to spend investigating unsolved crimes
  • Xxx (05/11/2019, 20:33) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
    Too much lies
  • justice (05/11/2019, 22:10) Like (11) Dislike (1) Reply
    November 22nd will make it 2 years since the west end shooting...we are still awaiting justice for the victims AND their families.
  • drug trafficking (06/11/2019, 09:25) Like (7) Dislike (1) Reply
    On a sharp increase. Check out the yards with brand new trucks, powerboats and cars..who are you fooling Matthews!
  • Wow (06/11/2019, 10:00) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    Lies and Lies... when is crime down in this place? The blotter full every week.
  • Socrates (06/11/2019, 10:51) Like (1) Dislike (2) Reply
    Comish what type of crimes are down, ie, violent and property crime, white collar......? What is the crime rate per capita overall and by categories of crimes? The BVI is small with a 30000 population so we cannot directly compare crime with other regional countries with larger populations. How does the BVI with countries with the same population?
  • ccc (06/11/2019, 10:54) Like (0) Dislike (3) Reply
    He trying to make himself look good with voodoo statistics. We not buying it
  • FEO GOMEZ (06/11/2019, 14:33) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Oh Really? Hold my beer.......
  • ....... (06/11/2019, 19:38) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Crime is down who cares if people show off. May be that is the reason why there are hardly any incidents of mugging & robbery on innocent people.
  • Big Bike (06/11/2019, 20:59) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Cause we busy riding bike ok! Free up the bikes
  • Tortola Pride (08/11/2019, 00:18) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Stop manufacturing the Truth commissioner of police. Just stop.


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