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'Once again a senseless killing & a silent community' - Michael B. Matthews

- said residents should come forward with information instead of hiding behind the blogs
Michael B. Matthews, Commissioner of Police, (left) says persons should speak up against crime and give information to the police instead of hiding behind the blogs. Photo: VINO/File
Michael Stevens, 26 (left) and Clevaughn Sweeney, 24 (right) were brutally murdered on Saturday, February 10, 2018 in the vicinity of the Althea Scatliffe Primary School (ASPS). Photo: Team of Reporters
Michael Stevens, 26 (left) and Clevaughn Sweeney, 24 (right) were brutally murdered on Saturday, February 10, 2018 in the vicinity of the Althea Scatliffe Primary School (ASPS). Photo: Team of Reporters
Police on the scene of the crime on Saturday, February 10, 2018. Photo: Team of Reporters
Police on the scene of the crime on Saturday, February 10, 2018. Photo: Team of Reporters
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI - The Royal Virgin Islands Police Force (RVIPF) homicide team, in collaboration with the United Kingdom (UK) detectives, is working tirelessly to apprehend the suspects involved in the early morning shooting of February 10, 2018 and is pleading with the community for information.

In a police press release on February 12, 2018, it stated that the victims were in the vicinity of a nightclub in Free Bottom before the incident occurred.

In an exclusive interview with the Commissioner of Police (CoP), Michael B. Matthews, he reiterated that persons can use other means to give information but admitted that persons are still keeping up a"wall of silence".

"Once again a senseless killing and a silent community. I am told the police are not trusted and I have said there are many other routes to provide information," adding that he believes there are persons out there that can assist with bringing the criminals to justice in a number of crimes.

Community patrols

Meanwhile, Commissioner Matthews informed this news site that each district will have a minimum of four officers very soon to patrol the communities.

"It has already been agreed to increase the size of the force to create a much larger pool of community based officers. I have proposed a minimum of four dedicated community officers per district. As we continue to recruit, this will become closer to achieving. I am a strong advocate for community base officers who can increase trust and confidence in local policing," explained the commissioner.

Residents are "hiding behind the blogs"

In response to residents blaming the police and suggesting that they are not doing their jobs, Commissioner Matthews admitted that they "don't always get it right" but strongly believes it is "naive and uninformed" to suggest such a thing.

"Hiding behind a blog and giving an opinion as a 'armchair cop' is a sad reflection of a small group."

He continued, "You only have to look at the backlog of criminal cases in our courts, the firearms regularly seized and serious offenses charged to recognise the ongoing work of the force."

31 Responses to “'Once again a senseless killing & a silent community' - Michael B. Matthews”

  • Techo? (13/02/2018, 08:57) Like (14) Dislike (2) Reply
    In a world a technology, can one not track who wrote certain blogs and bring them in for questioning?
    • Just saying (13/02/2018, 10:30) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
      Need a warrant law doesn't allow for a warrant for this?
    • nan (13/02/2018, 19:02) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
      @ Techo, if that starts happening, no one will ever blog again and VINO would be no more, it would just be a newspaper with no comments.
  • sad (13/02/2018, 09:24) Like (13) Dislike (1) Reply
    Are the cameras at the stop light working? This should be your first clue.
    • To sad (13/02/2018, 11:07) Like (7) Dislike (0) Reply
      It's funny that you brought up the issue with cameras because believe me if the camera at the West End police station was working, it would have captured footage of the killers in the West end shooting and a child killer could have been caught.
    • i mean (13/02/2018, 12:38) Like (3) Dislike (1) Reply
      Really after Irma done gone with them.
    • Sarree (13/02/2018, 12:47) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
      Ma boi since the hurricane dem leaving everything til dem get funds. de brand new cameras went down never to be recommission. irma done the blow away all the money so she does de brain it seems. Don't put your hope in dem cameras.
  • rattie (13/02/2018, 09:39) Like (6) Dislike (36) Reply
    Look like mike want we to do his job while he enjoy the good life.

    Hell no we will not rat!
    • @ rattie (13/02/2018, 13:08) Like (1) Dislike (4) Reply
      I must agree as they got all the money they need so stop finding excuses
    • Battie (13/02/2018, 20:34) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
      @rattie, you sound like a Texas Long Horn in heat. Sorry to say this Long Horn, one day that same Comissioner might have to work your case.And if that is the case, would it be ok if people know who did you in and they say Hell no we will not rat. I don't wish you no harm but I want you to think about it.
  • The TRUTH (13/02/2018, 09:43) Like (22) Dislike (0) Reply
    How about police out at night?
  • vi (13/02/2018, 09:55) Like (22) Dislike (2) Reply
    Police patrolling communities without firearm is useless. They too will get gunned down by the armed criminals.
  • Check Trini (13/02/2018, 10:15) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
    The talk on the street is the guy flew out the same morning to Trini.
    • To check Trini (13/02/2018, 12:13) Like (3) Dislike (3) Reply
      Um, I'm no detective, but I doubt one man alone could have driven a car and fired so many shots at the same time or rode a scooter by himself and fired the gun. Wonder what street you heard that talk from
  • choice (13/02/2018, 10:44) Like (3) Dislike (2) Reply
    The choice is rat and rid the place of criminal elements who might be friends and family, or turn a blind eye to increasing criminality and keep your friends and family even though they may be ethically and morally misguided. Not a whole lot of difference between gangsterism and political cronyism in evidence.
  • Diplomat (13/02/2018, 10:52) Like (8) Dislike (1) Reply
    Crime adversely affect the quality of life, standard of living, safety and security of both residents and visitors. It is a dagger in the heart of tourism, a key economic driver. Community engagement is vital to preventing and solving crime. The relationship between the RVIPF and the community is at a low point; the community lacks confidence in and trust of the force. Consequently, the Comish should be working feverishly to improve the confidence in and trust of the RVIVP. Insulting the community is not helpful in improving the interpersonal relationship between the community and police. The police may truly need more resources, ie, personnel, equipment, vehicles, training, weapons........etc but these assets alone will not cure what ails the force. True community policing is needed. Without rebuilding confidence in and trust of the force, increasing the force to 1000 may not matter.

    Comish, how about improving police presence through out the territory? After dark, it looks like police retreats to their bunkers and responds when called? A greater police presence on the street will deter crime. The criminals know that the police is bunkered down after dark so they see that as a license to do what they want, reducing the opportunity to be apprehended. Increasing police presence on foot, vehicle........etc would be a great start. You can do that now. Further clog the leaks; the force leaks like a sieve. What are the other media for reporting crime? What guarantees are their that those reporting the info would not be at risk?
  • Struggling Man (13/02/2018, 11:51) Like (9) Dislike (0) Reply
    A lot of these crimes happen after these late night clubs. Tortola is a relatively small place and police should familiarize themselves with whose attending these clubs and know the vehicles they drive. How about undercover cops routinely visit these clubs and see what’s brewing inside.
    • @struggling man (13/02/2018, 14:27) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
      It's that simple! I honestly think some of them know but don't do anything about it though..
  • bright idea (13/02/2018, 12:05) Like (4) Dislike (2) Reply
    How absout getting some of the very same officers sitting behind a pc all day doing diddly squat to be out on patrols! Barbados has officers in bicycles patrolling the Town and other areas. At nighttime police presence is Nil! Where are they? You only got a day shift with al the workers? Too many of them in plain clothes and not doing a damn thing for their salary except abusing government privileges to advance their own personal objectives. Why are the CCTV cameras still not up and running? Why are all the vehicles so poorly maintained- just look at the deplorable state of the RVIPF assets and staff and tell me the public should have confidence in these jokers. All the recruits and money in the world
    Cannot and will not fix the systemic problems within RVIPF - no wonder locals are told ‘need not apply’.
  • Real Talk (13/02/2018, 12:06) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    Sometimes i feel like crying but guess what the lord said vengeance is mines .you all will get clue soon
  • For once (13/02/2018, 12:25) Like (3) Dislike (1) Reply
    I honestly believe policing is a community effort.I saw new recruits return to their residential place right after graduation.Now tell me what comes first family/duty or what u swear nfor?These new recruits should be station away to toughen their skin in districts othe than home.V.G is a typical example,I.can't trust these officers.Who's in charge in V.G I don't know because thit individual is not proactive with the community.We need officers of substance to get us back on track more &more blocks are forming u guys batting blind eyes these young generation are aware of such &knowing that their vote counts makes them bolder.Politicians want to legalise drugs what's the sense thats thereason for all these heinous acts.Bring back CAP.PUNISHMENT
  • wize up (13/02/2018, 12:30) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
    it is my understanding that one of the persons in that vehicle escaped; the said person could have an understanding as to why; some of these persons are targeted(intentional).....young brother out there you guys are causing your parents heartbreak(where is the love for your mother/father) to many families in this place are filled with grief....stop the stupid games, yes the bull$hit..... my goodness, dash way the guns
  • ex-Cruzan (13/02/2018, 13:28) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    Maybe it's time to give the RVIPF a break and hire a private military security firm like Academi(formerly Blackwater) to provide security patrols at night on Tortola. This company provides security in disaster-stricken areas according to their website. Hesse had Halliburton provide refinery security after Hugo and there was no looting or crime within their refinery during the 1989 hurricane season.
  • This is my take (13/02/2018, 14:08) Like (8) Dislike (0) Reply
    First i am going to say, I trust and like the Police Commissioner. Ok, you don't trust the police, if you know something why not set up a private meeting with the Comissioner and tell him what you know. This Comissioner will solve a lot of cases if you the public do your part. He cannot do it by himself. If a family member or friend commit a crime and I know about it, I am turning the person in.
  • Hey Mick (13/02/2018, 14:17) Like (5) Dislike (1) Reply
    They are hiding behind blogs but they certainly aren't silent. Do you really expect all the evidence to drop right in your lap. Come on, do some real policing and piece the information together. I read most of the comments and the "street folks" are dropping several hints. Clearly the culture is different to other places you've been so it's time to adapt like a good leader does. I agree it's a sick culture but that's what you all are being paid for.
  • Yes (13/02/2018, 14:28) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    Armchair cops......hilarious...
  • Citizen (13/02/2018, 15:29) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    I share the frustration of the commissioner. The BVI needs serious awaiting.
    Do you think the importation of 20 UK police detective will help?
  • Eagle Eye (13/02/2018, 17:38) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
    Take some of that queen money you and the governor have to spend before march and buy some street lights and camaras.
  • Jamesie (13/02/2018, 20:06) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    We need under cover cops and well pay .And some U.K. Police enough is enough good people want to live in peace! Ndp is a joke party.

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