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Locals still a minority in the VI Police Force

-Data shows less than 20% of the RVIPF are BVIslanders
While the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force (RVIPF) is boasting that it has sworn into service a new class of recruits, Belongers and BVIslanders are still a minority in the Police Force. Photo: Provided
Data obtained by Virgin Islands News Online (VINO) shows that less than 20% of the RVIPF members are BVIsladers and Belongers, even as the Commissioner of Police, Michael B. Matthews swore into service a new set of young Police Officers last week. Photo: Provided
Data obtained by Virgin Islands News Online (VINO) shows that less than 20% of the RVIPF members are BVIsladers and Belongers, even as the Commissioner of Police, Michael B. Matthews swore into service a new set of young Police Officers last week. Photo: Provided
This new cohort will fill existing vacancies, as well as begin the delivery of the Government’s commitment to increase the size of the regular force by 15 officers per year, for the next three years according to a Police press release. Photo: Provided
This new cohort will fill existing vacancies, as well as begin the delivery of the Government’s commitment to increase the size of the regular force by 15 officers per year, for the next three years according to a Police press release. Photo: Provided
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI - While the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force (RVIPF) is boasting that it has sworn into service a new class of recruits, Belongers and BVIslanders are still a minority in the Police Force.

Data obtained by Virgin Islands News Online (VINO) shows that less than 20% of the RVIPF members are BVIslanders and Belongers, even as the Commissioner of Police, Michael B. Matthews swore into service a new set of young Police Officers last week.

This new cohort will fill existing vacancies, as well as begin the delivery of the Government’s commitment to increase the size of the regular force by 15 officers per year, for the next three years according to a Police press release.

Locals shut out again

“BVIslanders make up almost half of 17 newly enlisted constables,” and, for the “first time, females exceed the number of males by one; nine females to eight males,” the same press release notes.

However, despite this, locals and Belongers at all ranks of the RVIPF are still a minority in the Police Force and other countries represented, outnumbered BVIslanders when combined. These countires are St. Vincent, Jamaica, The Dominican Republic, Haiti, Guyana, St. Lucia and Dominica. 

The Police press released also notes, “This cohort contains the first officer to join the force right out of high school and the youngest officer to be locally trained. Some of those sworn in were former members of the Virgin Islands Cadet Corps, with one auxiliary officer among the cohort."

During the swearing-in ceremony, Matthews congratulated the new recruits for successfully making it through the rigorous qualification process. “Our standards are high; you are here because you met them. The qualification process is not easy, but we wanted the best… Therefore, we congratulate you,” Mathews said.

Locals and Belongers complained that they do not get a fair chance in the Police Force and that most of the senior local officers have been forced out within the last eight years. With a British Police Commissioner, no one has been assigned to understudy Mr Mathews, despite the Deputy being near retirement. 

Same thing at the Prison

Over at Her Majesty’s Prison, it appears to be the same situation, where less than 20% of Prison Officers are Belongers or BVIslanders. 

Many locals continue to complain that they have been discriminated against in many public sectors jobs including the Police, the Ports, Airports Authority and in some private sector companies.

The Minister for Education and Culture Hon Myron V. Walwyn (AL) is known to have told teachers—well respected Public Servants—that, “nothing can be done to protect locals.”

9 Responses to “Locals still a minority in the VI Police Force”

  • ... (17/12/2018, 18:48) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    whats new here
  • Tell us. (17/12/2018, 19:17) Like (15) Dislike (0) Reply
    Are locals applying? To conclude that locals are not given a fair chance to enroll I assume that the reporter must have examined a record of the number of applicants declined and have been able to identify the nationality of each. Does not seem like the kind of information an employee would share but I assume the reporter got it nevertheless. If so, why not share that specific statistic in the story? How many Bvi Islanders applied? How many succeeded? How many were declined? Why were they declined? Help us!!!
  • Think About It. (18/12/2018, 06:45) Like (8) Dislike (2) Reply
    Locals don't want to be cops. Conflicts with the code of silence locals seems to be bound by.
  • yoyo (18/12/2018, 08:46) Like (4) Dislike (3) Reply
    Having more locals in police force would compromise law and order in BVI lol
  • Old Local Police (18/12/2018, 09:54) Like (4) Dislike (2) Reply
    The marginalization of locals in the police force started a long time ago from the days of Wailon Warren and Blaize. They did everything to stifle locals in the force and those looking to join.
  • election now (18/12/2018, 10:30) Like (2) Dislike (2) Reply
    local sucking salt all around
  • SMH (18/12/2018, 18:54) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    Just hope that all these New Recruits are being genuinely vetted.
  • SMH (19/12/2018, 07:03) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    The BVI is a diverse community and its police service must mirror that diversity. Stop with the ignorance and get with the programme. Some of you care so much about your perceived sovereignty, that you’re adamant about securing your oppressive hold over this territory. You alone did not build it, you alone do maintain it and you alone cannot sustain it. So wake up and deal with harsh reality. The police have taken a step in the right direction ... Well done!!!!
  • shark (27/02/2019, 19:42) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Makes no sense because you don't never see a police patrolling road town


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