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EXCLUSIVE: Canvas still covering HMP cells - SoP David Foot

- Funds secured to effect repairs; likely for completion before end of 2014
Superintendent of Prisons, Mr David Foot has confirmed that the compromised situation at Her Majesty's Prison still exists as the roof over some cells are still covered with canvas. Photo: VINO
While funding has been secured for the repairs to the HMP roof, according to SoP Mr David Foot there are a number of hurdles to be cleared before the works can commence. Photo: VINO/File
While funding has been secured for the repairs to the HMP roof, according to SoP Mr David Foot there are a number of hurdles to be cleared before the works can commence. Photo: VINO/File
Back in December 2013 High Court Judge Ms Vikki Ann Ellis had ordered that the state of the roof be addressed as a matter of urgency yet three months later the problem remains. Photo: VINO/File
Back in December 2013 High Court Judge Ms Vikki Ann Ellis had ordered that the state of the roof be addressed as a matter of urgency yet three months later the problem remains. Photo: VINO/File
BALSUM GHUT, Tortola, VI – More than three months after the news hit the public and had taken especially senior persons in the legal system by surprise the compromising condition of some cells at Her Majesty’s Prison (HMP) being covered with canvas still exists.

This was confirmed by the Superintendent of Prisons, Mr David Foot in an exclusive interview with Virgin Islands News Online yesterday March 24, 2014.

The grave situation which was of much concern to senior management of HMP was highlighted in the report to the High Court on December 16, 2013 as Assistant Superintendent of Prisons (Ag.) Mr Royston L. Percival was giving his report as part of the closing exercise for the year end assizes 2013.

Mr Percival had stated, “Sadly, we are still using canvas on the roof of the prison buildings to prevent water from entering the cells when it rains. My Lady, whenever it rains, it is without doubt a sad reminder of our most troubling infrastructural challenges that we face on a day to day basis. However, we know that our longstanding cries have not been falling on deaf ears.”

The news did not go down well with High Court Judge Ms Vicki Ann Ellis and Attorney at Law Stephen Daniels who were both forced to remind Mr Percival of the rights of prisoners and admonished that the problem be looked at urgently.

The word urgent seems to not have taken the effect for its true meaning as some three months later the problem still exists. According to SoP Foot the responsible Ministry headed by Minister for Education and Culture Honourable Myron V. Walwyn, has managed to secure funding to affect the repairs.

“I would hope that in a reasonable time-frame you would see the tender process begin but I know that he lobbied hard to ensure that he got the [funds] to fix the roof,” said Mr Foot. He said that because of two main conditions he was unable to estimate a possible time frame for the completion of the project; the tender process and space in the prison to reshuffle inmates to allow the repairs to take place.

“There are issues with the capacity with the prison and how we move prisoners around to make sure that we can safely repair the roof because obviously we are very full,” Foot noted, adding that he has the task of finding assistance to safely house the prisoners and other things to have the repairs done.

Mr Foot was however confident that the repairs will be done by the end of 2014. “The time we would start on that I can’t give you a date but what I can tell you it’s before the end of the year and the Minister ( Hon. Walwyn) has gone into bat and he has secured that funding so we would be pushing ahead with the roof,” affirmed Mr Foot.

SoP Foot took up the position in December of 2013 ahead of Mr Charles L. Forbes, an indigenous Virgin Islander who was acting in the position of SoP. Forbes was given the boot which saw him losing his employment with the Government of his own home land.

14 Responses to “EXCLUSIVE: Canvas still covering HMP cells - SoP David Foot”

  • weed (25/03/2014, 08:23) Like (22) Dislike (9) Reply
    Look how MVW kick a local out of his job for a w man and try to lie about it…but we ah wait next elections
    • Outrageous (25/03/2014, 12:58) Like (8) Dislike (23) Reply
      what they did to our local boy charles is Outrageous
      • HARDWORKER (27/03/2014, 07:42) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
        What the last para of the article seems to suggest is that government has to employ us BVIslanders whether we are good or bad at our job. Wake up people! We have to compete and perform.
  • pat (25/03/2014, 09:29) Like (8) Dislike (2) Reply
    They could find MONEY FOR 100 g dinner and 50 g to asian trip while the rain pouring on the poor prisoners set of LOOSERS
  • tax (25/03/2014, 09:40) Like (27) Dislike (0) Reply
    You have enough mason, carpenters and construction man even electricians up their living light and weighing heavy. Put them to work instead of paying an exhuberant of tax payers money, they getting feed with the same tax payers money. Put them to do some hard work
    • Yes!! (25/03/2014, 15:12) Like (4) Dislike (1) Reply
      Thank you tax! Put them to work yes, they up there doing nothing but sleep, eat, sh!t & live on ppl tax dollar while we out here busting our behinds to survive. I say put them to work, just provide them with the materials needed & let them get their hands dirty.
  • Gin (25/03/2014, 10:29) Like (9) Dislike (1) Reply
    Vino you always get all the interviews first
  • ann (25/03/2014, 12:24) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    Now now now could we not have supported one of we to do this work eh in deeds hard times
  • hands (25/03/2014, 12:45) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
    Look foot got he foot in we door
    • Queen Mary (26/03/2014, 07:42) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
      Let us not make any mistakes come next elections NDP must go!!!!
  • yellow (26/03/2014, 00:16) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    There is the sensus gym
  • Release (26/03/2014, 07:22) Like (0) Dislike (3) Reply
    Inaction by the Smith administration over the last two years had encouraged the regime to feels they can kick out our people and bring in expat...
  • polo (27/03/2014, 00:52) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    The situation in and around HMP evolves very rapidly


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