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'Not everybody trusts the Police Commissioner'- CoP Matthews

- Mr Michael Matthews claims he is not in the Virgin Islands on holidays
Commissioner of Police (CoP) Michael ‘Mick’ Matthews has been on a public relations offensive following the upsurge in criminal activities recently. Photo: VINO/File
Embattled Police Commissioner Michael Matthews appeared on the International Morning Ride Show on June 16, 2017, with host Paul A. Peart aka Gadiethz (right) on 103.7 FM where he was questioned about the crime situation in the Territory. Photo: Facebook/File
Embattled Police Commissioner Michael Matthews appeared on the International Morning Ride Show on June 16, 2017, with host Paul A. Peart aka Gadiethz (right) on 103.7 FM where he was questioned about the crime situation in the Territory. Photo: Facebook/File
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI – As crime in the Virgin Islands continues to sky rocket within the past six years, 2017 alone having a record number of murders, with 1 per month, the Commissioner of Police (CoP) Michael ‘Mick’ Matthews has been on a public relations offensive.

The top cop appeared on the International Morning Ride Show on June 16, 2017, with host Paul A. Peart aka Gadiethz on 103.7 FM where he was questioned about the crime situation in the Territory.

In response to a question by the host, as to why the public was not communicating with the police, the CoP responded, “We have a responsibility as a police force to service and ensure that there is community confidence and trust in local policing. I recognise that not everybody trusts the local police, and not everybody trusts the Police Commissioner….”

When asked about the diversity of the police force and how it protects the Territory, Mr Matthews said that the police service is made up of a "diverse number of people… from around this Territory… and from overseas and each of those individuals have committed themselves to providing policing services for this community and none of us is here on holidays."

There must be someone who you can trust in the Force

On the issue of trust of the police, he stated that “There are about 250 police officers in the Territory and if you can’t trust everybody at least you can trust one.”

Mr Matthews, a British National who was appointed Police Commissioner in 2016, is a former Chief Constable of the Cyprus Sovereign Base Area (SBA) Police Force, another UK Overseas Territory.

Since he came to office he received most, if not all that he had requested to help fight crime, including special funding from a $1.8 M allocation when the United Kingdom appointed Governor John S. Duncan OBE imposed direct rule and stripped the Minister of Finance, Dr The Honourable D. Orlando Smith (AL) and the House of Assembly of their powers to determine how monies are spent.

Public becoming impatient with ‘Mick’

Mr Duncan did this by invoking Section 103 (b) of the Constitution which gives him power to take money from the Consolidated Fund and determine how it is spent with no questions asked. This was a history making move, according to former Deputy Governor Elton Georges CMG, OBE.

Months later, the public is becoming impatient that there appears not to be a reduction in crime. In fact, crime is on the increase despite the financial resources provided, along with new police recruits.

Mr Matthews told the International Morning Ride Show listeners on ZROD 103.7 FM that there is “a small group of criminals that is causing large problems to our communities.”

39 Responses to “'Not everybody trusts the Police Commissioner'- CoP Matthews”

  • chatter box (17/06/2017, 15:59) Like (6) Dislike (6) Reply
    More talk
    • west end police (17/06/2017, 18:02) Like (13) Dislike (3) Reply
      Obviously the police are helpless, clueless. These gunmen can attack anywhere, anytime without fear and just leave the police to pick up the pieces.
  • let's hope (17/06/2017, 16:01) Like (26) Dislike (7) Reply
    it's not a strategy to bring in more of his retired friends overseas. We know y'all love the sand, sun, and sea here with less stress than the burning UK; we can see it on that nice tan you got going on since arriving. Let's hope we can trust one.
    • Not good (18/06/2017, 07:15) Like (5) Dislike (6) Reply
      I would not call The U.K. Burning, it is was one block of flats inhabited by foriegners scrounging off U.K. Benefits which the cause was more than likely a terrorist making a bomb. Don't blame the police for the crime, it's only the fault of the criminals themselves, and the inactive community.
    • Online Now (18/06/2017, 10:50) Like (5) Dislike (5) Reply
      I always find these comments on what the COP or other expats do in their spare time particularly distasteful. They are here without extended family and this is their leisure time, leave them to spend it however they want!
  • @let's hope (17/06/2017, 16:06) Like (14) Dislike (8) Reply
    Please don't forget the liquor. They love themselves some cheap liquor here too; you should see them around on their days-off at the bars, possibly on-duty as well, who knows.
    • Sigh (18/06/2017, 09:39) Like (5) Dislike (2) Reply
      This is just stupid.VI Landers enjoy the bars and their drinks on the holidays and off days too. SMH
  • My say (17/06/2017, 16:16) Like (19) Dislike (7) Reply
    Commish is good in my book. He can be called upon to participate or show up at any event in the community and he is easily accessible. He just needs to get his record up to speed on these murders based on the glowing cv that was presented of him. I guess he must be saying to himself now, why are these cases so "bloody" hard to crack? We warned you, it wasn't going to be easy, but keep trying nevertheless. OK.
    • ... (17/06/2017, 17:32) Like (11) Dislike (8) Reply
      Once again, we should be careful of the unintended consequences of what we might wish for in the moment.
  • well now, (17/06/2017, 16:36) Like (27) Dislike (7) Reply
    Commissioner Mathews is good people. He is visible everywhere in public; I think we can trust him. It's the least I can say about our elected leaders. They appear to be as absent from many grassroots events like deserted soldiers. They all gone AWOL lately. They must be running from answering any questions from vino. VINO on the move, I tell you...Watch out vino, they must be in their secret war room trying to figure out how to neutralize you'll and your sources, inside and outside.
  • Street reporter (17/06/2017, 16:39) Like (23) Dislike (3) Reply
    Mr Commissioner. There needs to be a serious public relations reach out in a real way... Relationship is Key...You have to make the releasing, revealing and discussing of information by your members to any unauthorized person a dismissal offence... Do something to let the public know that you are truly serious...
    • JACK BE STILL (17/06/2017, 18:06) Like (4) Dislike (2) Reply
      In the public interest, individual rights may be also suspended in a manner prescribed by the Constitution (e.g. in the event of war, calamity of threat of subversion).
    • Agree (18/06/2017, 23:56) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
      Not all the police officers is bad but, there is a few who will talk. People is afraid to report things to the police because they don't know if there names is going to be put out there.
  • G-Money Crew (17/06/2017, 17:00) Like (16) Dislike (0) Reply
    We na mind if dos NDP na show up to any events anyway. Da and da smiles are as FAKE as FAKE NEWS. Da ga money, power, bou can't buy we respect. Tel dem go long, we say.
    • !!!!!! (18/06/2017, 10:01) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
      @G-Money Crew, you have a point, and I give you your props for your comment. The NDP crew only show up if it is a Photo opt for them.Yeah money is power but that power runs out. I don't have a problem with making your coins but don't step on people and use people to make your coins.
  • cay (17/06/2017, 17:04) Like (6) Dislike (1) Reply
    Pr has not reduced crime
  • qc (17/06/2017, 17:24) Like (12) Dislike (1) Reply
    To be correct I only give Mick 50% of the blame for the ultimate disaster of crime; the other 50% is divided among NDP, police officers and the public.

  • lodger (17/06/2017, 17:35) Like (21) Dislike (8) Reply
    There seems to be a misunderstanding about the extra funding. You dont just get $1.8m, write a cheque and the needed resources are here tomorrow. It takes time to recruit and train staff. Equipment needed has to be investigated, perhaps tendered for, ordered and shipped. That is not a one day thing.
    All you bloggers that complain about expat cops at the beach and in the bars - do you think they should have no time off? How do you spend your weekends? If you see them in a bar engage them in conversation. They and you might learn a thing or two that might help solve crimes. Its not the cops not solving the crimes, its our people who know things, or pretend to know things on the blogs, not coming forward with information.
    • Binky (17/06/2017, 18:15) Like (14) Dislike (0) Reply
      the fact is the BVI is quickly spiraling to the point of no return. We need innovative leadership at this time.
  • Help (17/06/2017, 18:01) Like (5) Dislike (1) Reply
    Armed thugs are using tinted vehicle to carry out their evil deeds. The police need to do more spot check on these tinted cars.
  • beach time (17/06/2017, 18:09) Like (8) Dislike (2) Reply
    Even the top Cop knows the so called war against crime has been LOST!...OK!
  • We here waiting (17/06/2017, 18:14) Like (32) Dislike (1) Reply
    Vino, we boys in zone #3, you know now, already have our drinks and here waiting for the blogging action to start about what's going on with crimes, police, and our people. We will give it to you from the sidewalk university. You know now, we only plugin to the fearless vino when it comes to these serious matters. Matthews have to clean out the police force of those bunch of informers (leaking tongues) before the streets can talk. Serious action first - Not before. You know now how we move.
    • All I can say (17/06/2017, 20:08) Like (24) Dislike (3) Reply
      NDP has gain the world but has lose their souls in the process. What a sad state of affairs. NDP Government needs to be dissolve now, not anytime later.
    • trained and civil (18/06/2017, 20:31) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
      Now, here goes the answer to the Million Dollar question about Crime solving in the BVI. Now such thing as classified in the force anymore. The level of confidence is now down to zero, so the information the community have will go to the grave until you do this cleanup. Form and Internal affairs department made up of "trained and civil" individuals that care about results no matter what. Then setup a committee to do due diligence on the IA so they operate at the highest classified level with zero leakage. You already have a few of the resources in Territory in partial use Mr. Matthews, do it and watch the community come forward.
  • Hmmm (17/06/2017, 18:26) Like (10) Dislike (4) Reply
    The Commissioner appears to be genuine. Once he takes control of the runaway train, he should gain the respect of the people. He kust need to open his eyes and come out of the box and he will find the real criminals. The East End murder should be an eye opener as they previously were driving down the wrong path. I do agree though that people in the community need to be more open.
  • dem police (17/06/2017, 19:10) Like (7) Dislike (6) Reply
    Trust I. I have lost all respect for police officers. When they think they can abuse their authority and behave how they want. Don't worry, God don't sleep. Trust I.
  • Political Observer (PO) (17/06/2017, 19:20) Like (25) Dislike (0) Reply
    Lack of resources, i.e., human capital, equipment...........etc is not the RVIPF core problem. Lack of money is often used as a red herring for the force poor performance. It (force) omprises of 250 uniform officers, along with civilian support personnel, to secure the peace in a 59 square mile territory. Its core problems are strong leadership, management, organization, interpersonal relationship, trust, communication, lack of confidence, community engagement, effective community policing, officers arrogrance, lack of unity in the force, fragmentation, lack of discipline ...... etc. The first order of business is instilling trust and communication discipline in the force, curing diarrhea of the mouth of some officers. Many people may not come forward with information because of distrust and fear for their personal safety. It is not an urban legend that the RVIPF has loose lips.

    The RVIPF needs to launch a comprehensive public education and outreach programme. The force must be promoted as a profession, not just a job. Fairness, equality and opportunity for all must be a vital part of belonging to the organization, taking ownership. Continued favoritism is a cancer that must be rooted out. The distrust of RVIPF is earned; it has to initiate action to lower the gap between where the force is and where it should be. More effective planning and controlling needs to be instituted.

    • RealPol (18/06/2017, 09:35) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
      Real talk. RVIPF must maximize use of allocated resources before lobbying for additional resources.
  • trust (17/06/2017, 20:58) Like (6) Dislike (4) Reply
    I trust Mr. Matthews. If I need to talk about a crime, he is the one I am going to.
  • island man (17/06/2017, 21:59) Like (11) Dislike (3) Reply
    We must observe after the appointment of Commissioner Matthew crimes among men and youths have increased drastically. Mr. Matthew must do more to ensure law and order is restore in the BVI. So far, it is rather shameful to his command for to date the BVI never in history had such high rate of murder crimes per year. My advice to Mr. Commissioner is to ensure he uphold his good name and years of experience by putting an end to this level of lawlessness. Ensure crimes are resolved and cold case crimes are also resolved. If not; you will be the out going Police commissioner with the most unsolve crime on hand
    What a good retirement reputation; do not allow Government and their protection of family get in the way of your job, keep you image and do the right thing. Just my advice to you sir, take it if you are really smart.
  • Outside the boc (17/06/2017, 23:30) Like (8) Dislike (1) Reply
    It's called Crime Stoppers 1-800-222-tips..........oh but can't make free 800 number calls from the BVI
    The territory is subservient to a group that has isolated it from the rest of the world via telephonic network for their personal gain so, Mr. better get on the horn and plug the BVI into any network wherein the citizenry can call in tips to someone answering the phone in Miami ....Australia ...somewhere...since your cops got loose lips which sink's the 21st century ....oh no wait ...not in Tortola....
  • Lord O. Results not excuses.. (18/06/2017, 07:04) Like (6) Dislike (0) Reply
    The problems most if not all businesses have is middle management... Those so call supervisors and managers.. Its not at the extreme top or at the lower end...The middle is what weak. Anything that weak in the middle is weak...Lol.. They supervised with favor and Lies and don't understand how to use talent, How to delicate...Solution.., Keep switching and changing your middle management until you start getting results not excuses...
  • i from here (18/06/2017, 11:05) Like (14) Dislike (2) Reply
    We need a local commissinor
  • UK student (18/06/2017, 12:30) Like (1) Dislike (2) Reply
    They all come here for a holiday whats new? NEXT
  • BRAD BOYNES (18/06/2017, 12:50) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    The police and this society needs to develop a culture where the corrupt officer FEARS the incorruptible officer and not the other way around. Get real BVI.
  • We have to (18/06/2017, 19:25) Like (3) Dislike (1) Reply
    We have to give the police Commisioner a chance. Everything takes time. Most people seems to think that he is suppose to solve a crime in a day. So please stop saying he is not doing his job.I believe in my heart that he is working on all the cold cases but he needs help from the public. If people step up and do the right thing, then maybe these casses will be solved in a few days.
  • Dear Mr commissioner.. (18/06/2017, 20:03) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    Take some time and read these blogs, here is where your solution is...People are not just talking. They are talking what they know and giving you solutions.
    • Online Now (19/06/2017, 11:22) Like (3) Dislike (1) Reply
      If I was the COP and read the blogs, I would probably just pack up and go home. Knowing that the majority will not support, will not help, will not provide information and do not want him here. An impossible job in a beautiful place (which he is not allowed to enjoy in his time off).
  • Marching Disaster (19/06/2017, 06:37) Like (2) Dislike (1) Reply
    Teach your police to March... Simple March they can't do.. OMG. Did you see them Saturday total Disaster.?The lack if Discipline--Pride and commitment were on display...Shameful.

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