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Police ready to combat looters this hurricane season

- CoP Micheal B. Matthews says RVIPF primed for quick deployment
A store located next to People's Shoes store was observed being looted following the passage of hurricane Irma. Photo:VINO/File
Already ravaged by Hurricane Irma, looters also allegedly entered Bolo's In Road Town, Tortola. Photo: VINO/File
Already ravaged by Hurricane Irma, looters also allegedly entered Bolo's In Road Town, Tortola. Photo: VINO/File
Michael B. Matthews, Commissioner of Police, (left). Photo: VINO/File
Michael B. Matthews, Commissioner of Police, (left). Photo: VINO/File
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI – Commissioner of Police Mr Michael B. Matthews has assured that the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force (RVIPF) is primed and ready for any type of crime or looting that may occur should a catastrophe hit the territory this hurricane season.

The Commissioner gave the assurance in invited comments to Virgin Islands News Online (VINO) yesterday, August 27, 2019.

Quick deployment a priority

“Following the 2017 hurricanes, we completely reviewed our emergency response procedures to ensure we are able to safely house additional officers across the territory in advance of a storm and quickly deploy once it has passed,” Mr Matthews said. 

He said even as the force is prepared for deployment, the focus this time and most critical will come towards saving human life and rescuing those trapped as a result of storms. "Our deployment focus would be about ‘rescue’ and saving life in the first instance,” he said.

CoP Matthews continued, “We have, however, also increased a number of operational capabilities to combat the threat of crimes and looting by the selfish few following any catastrophic event to the territory.”

In the aftermath of hurricanes Maria and Irma, some persons saw this as an opportunity to loot whatever they could from stores and other places of business.

Looters invade 

Businesses that were not damaged by the hurricane were deliberately broken into by unscrupulous individuals looting everything they could get their hands on.

Media reports cited stories of some businesses left virtually untouched by Hurricane Irma on September 6, 2017, only for looters to gain entry the following days by breaking down doors, smashing windows and even going through walls before making off with goods.

Speaking on the plans to address crime and other deployments for the 2019 hurricane season, CoP Matthews, however, said, “We are of course hopeful such deployment is not required in respect of Dorian.”

Among the many other Tortola businesses that suffered at the hands of looters in 2017 were RiteWay in Prospect Reef and Nanny Cay, Arawak's also in Nanny Cay, International Motors, Mi Amor, Bolo's Variety Store, Infinite Solutions, Vanterpool Pharmacy and Said's Department Store.

Curfew in effect

Meanwhile, a curfew is in effect for the Virgin Islands from 2:00pm until 6:00am, Thursday August 29, 2019.

Only essential workers are permitted to be on the roads during that time.

14 Responses to “Police ready to combat looters this hurricane season”

  • asking for a friend (28/08/2019, 17:08) Like (36) Dislike (15) Reply
    What about the politicians who looted the treasury? When is that igoing to be addressed?
  • Oilseed (28/08/2019, 19:19) Like (8) Dislike (1) Reply
    I wonder if lying is an offence in this BVI. How can that be possible when officers still have to be sharing beds in VG, some have to sleep in their car while another occupy their bed. Mr COP stop lie to the people.
  • biker (28/08/2019, 20:03) Like (8) Dislike (3) Reply
    The curfew is not being adhered to. I walked my dog for 20 minutes near Drake's Hwy. and 20 cars and 5 scooters passed me in less than 20 minutes around 5Pm.
    • Outlaw (28/08/2019, 20:40) Like (40) Dislike (2) Reply
      @biker, so you not adhering to it either. You walking dog and there is a curfew in effect. You think it’s not for you and your dog as well.
  • wize up (28/08/2019, 21:16) Like (8) Dislike (7) Reply
    is the territory becoming a police state: not all of the residents of the territory are law breakers however we have to suffer for the bad among us: following the passing of bad weather legitimate business owner are hampered from visiting their establishments because of curfew: I am mindful that caution is the key: why cant law enforcement position themselves in strategic locations and enforce the laws: stop hiding behind strategic powers because the BVI have never been a police state(run talk that or do your cyber policing because anything I blog here I will look anyone eye to eye!!!)...
    • Outspoken (28/08/2019, 22:17) Like (14) Dislike (6) Reply

      @wize up, you sound so fricking foolish, it’s all about precaution and nothing to do with police state. Am sure if a legitimate business owner is going to check on his business place even if a curfew is in place, the police will exercise their discretion and allow it but you always come on here with your disagreeable a** chatting a bunch of cow dung, man just go and wise up and stop make yourself a total ass.

  • hoping (28/08/2019, 21:34) Like (10) Dislike (8) Reply
    Dear officers please do not hesitate to shoot any looter on sight.....
  • Citizens (29/08/2019, 04:41) Like (8) Dislike (1) Reply
    Officers were looting too, I know of one female Jamaican officer taking slippers from 5girls packwood pond the day after hurricane Irma.
  • @citizen (29/08/2019, 07:31) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    I know of a Tortola policeman stealing from bolo’s. Why are still at on Irma looting at least the police learn and things are put in place for future looting. Get over it and move on
  • Hmmm (29/08/2019, 13:38) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    So what happened to the police them that were looting after Irma a young man got 2years for a TV who’s watching the police
    • wize up (29/08/2019, 16:01) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
      @ Hmmm: when some of us talk in the British Virgin Islands some among we have lots of jive to blog::: you have a very important question: please also recall early this year about 4 police went before high court all of them walking free: as you noted the civilian gets 2 years jail time while those that took an oath to uphold the laws of our homeland walking free(run with that)...I put in over 60 years so the young punks and jive turkeys can phase i an I not up in this territory

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