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New CoP to seek UK guidance on arrest blotter names

- Michael ‘Mick’ Matthews to seek guidance from UK Police Chiefs Policy; said it is his responsibility to protect the rights of persons even if charged
In October 2015, the RVIPF, under the then acting Police Commissioner Alwyn James, suddenly and without any reason given discontinued publishing the names of persons arrested and charged on its ‘Arrest Blotters’ sent to the media. Photo: Internet Source
Commissioner of Police Michael ‘Mick’ Matthews said he will rely on guidance from a UK Police Policy on naming of arrested persons to determine whether the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force (RVIPF) will continue sending out arrest blotters minus names of arrested persons. Photo: VINO
Commissioner of Police Michael ‘Mick’ Matthews said he will rely on guidance from a UK Police Policy on naming of arrested persons to determine whether the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force (RVIPF) will continue sending out arrest blotters minus names of arrested persons. Photo: VINO
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI - Commissioner of Police Michael ‘Mick’ Matthews said he will rely on guidance from a UK Police Policy on naming of arrested persons to determine whether the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force (RVIPF) will continue sending out arrest blotters minus names of arrested persons.

He was speaking today, May 3, 2016 at a press conference held at Police Headquarters located on Water Front Drive in Road Town on the main island of Tortola.

In October 2015, the RVIPF, under the then acting Police Commissioner Alwyn James, suddenly and without any reason given discontinued publishing the names of persons arrested and charged on its ‘Arrest Blotters’ sent to the media.

‘Contentious issue’

Matthews said the issue of names being on arrest blotters is a contentious one. “I have an absolute duty to protect innocent people and there is always a danger of having trial by media,” he said when asked about the issue.

“We can’t have people being accused of something they haven’t done even if they have been charged. They are not guilty of an offence unless a court has decided that,”

He said, however, that he is aware of the press corps’ need to understand who is being dealt with and when they are being dealt with as these details are of interest to the community.

“So what I have already done is I have contacted the UK’s National Police Chiefs Council which has a very good policy on this matter, where it lays out very clearly when names could be given out and when names cannot be given out,” he said, noting that that policy had been recently updated.

Matthews said there is no point in reinventing the wheel if there is a system that is working well.

“So as soon as I get the policy I am going to look at it and see whether it has any relevance to here and if that policy provides a happy compromise between the desire of the local media and my absolute requirement to protect people’s rights, then I will implement that policy,” he said.

Mr Matthews was holding his first press conference since being sworn in as Police Commissioner of the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force on April 20, 2016.

5 Responses to “New CoP to seek UK guidance on arrest blotter names”

  • Popo (03/05/2016, 15:00) Like (9) Dislike (0) Reply
    i likw him already think before act n cool personality
  • wize up (03/05/2016, 16:02) Like (2) Dislike (3) Reply
    to the best of my knowledge the name of persons arrested should be published after the person have been formally charged; any person can be arrested but follwing the arrest no charges are laid against that person....i personally think the name should be published after a person is arrested and then convicted of the said offence...see where the Commissioner is seeking is guidelines from; the UK and we think we running things

  • rio (03/05/2016, 20:00) Like (0) Dislike (1) Reply
    This psychological benefit of the arresst blotter can hardly be measured and will not easily show up in stats....
    • Concerned (04/05/2016, 00:23) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      Which psychological stats are you interested in, that of the public or the victim/defendant/accused? I guess the law and human rights exist to prevent a individual, community and or body from violating an individual's human right's for any form of benefits.


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