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Police will continue to suffer under Governor - Hon Fraser

- Said Police Department should not be in competition for necessary funds
Opposition Leader Hon Julian Fraser RA (R3), left, seen here with Commissioner of Police Michael Matthews, believes the police will continue to suffer under the responsibility of the Governor. Photo: VINO/File
Governor John S. Duncan OBE is responsible for National Security. Photo: VINO/File
Governor John S. Duncan OBE is responsible for National Security. Photo: VINO/File
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI- With gun crime seemingly on the rise in the Virgin Islands, Opposition Leader Hon Julian Fraser RA (R3) does not believe the police would be able to adequately deal with the scourge once the police remains the responsibility of the Governor.

"During the time of the last Constitutional Review in 2007, a National Security Council was established as a means of bringing input from the Elected Government into the way the territory is policed, but as far as I am concern nothing has changed, because the Governor is still in charge of the force,” Hon Fraser told this news site today, January 10, 2017 when asked for his take on the crime situation hitting the territory.

According to the Opposition Leader, our Police Department should not be in competition for funds in order to provide the necessary resources to keep the peace. “But don't expect that to change as long as they remain under the Governor.”

Hon Fraser added that there is, therefore, no mystery that crime in the Virgin Islands is spiraling out of control. “The Police Department being woefully underfunded, has resulted in inadequate manpower; insufficient patrol vehicles; no patrol aircraft; a marine response responsibility that is by all accounts outsourced; and police officers that are ill-equipped for the 21st century, and thus: led to a force unable to cope with the crimes of the day.”

Police are humans

Whenever crimes are committed in the territory, the police usually come under heavy criticism from the public.

But, according to Hon Fraser, police officers are no different from us. “If you look beyond the uniforms you will see that they have families, and all the trappings that comes with that: Children, Mortgages, Households, Churches, and a desire to live a decent life that will someday lead to a retirement.

“So why do we subject them to do the supernatural, under natural circumstances, and expect the extraordinary?”

Standing by call for police to be armed

Hon Fraser, who has in the past called for police officers to bear firearms, added that the men and women charged with the responsibility to keep the people safe will never be able to control crime until they are in a position to patrol the streets and neighborhoods adequately.

“And the three most important things they are going to need are: 1) Personnel, 2) Patrol Cars, and 3) Firearms. To get these things, the police must have two things: 1) Money, and 2) A change in management's mentality towards firearms,”

The veteran legislator reminded that he has always been an advocate for officers being equipped with firearms, and that is long before “matters had gotten this bad. This philosophy has been partially and halfheartedly employed in certain instances, where at special events a hand full of Officers will show up wearing a firearm. Proof positive, that the need exists.”

Give responsibility of police to Premier

Again expressing a no confidence in the Governor having responsibility for the Police, Hon Fraser said “under the Governor the Elected Government will never feel the necessary pressures to properly fund the Police because the issue of crime is always the responsibility of those in charge. There is no reason the Governor can't give responsibility for the Police to the Premier. It happens in Bermuda, and it has been working for decades. The mechanism for this exists, constitutionally. We need to make our Elected Government responsible for keeping us safe, and if they don’t, hold them accountable.”

Not a big fan of arming business owners

Asked what was his take on arming business owners as a deterrent to robberies, Hon Fraser said he doesn’t see the connection unless the store owners decides to posts a sign on the outside of their business saying that they are armed. “But this might just have the opposite effect, by deterring the customers they rely upon to survive.”

He noted that law enforcement has a duty beyond policing, which includes Customs and Immigration.  “It has to do with Border Protection, because last time I checked, the BVI don't produce anything, including guns. So, whose fault is it that the guns are here! When we figure that out, half our problems with gun crimes are solved. It’s not rocket science. None of this is easy, but all of it is achievable.  We just have to develop the courage to do what we all know is necessary, but are reluctant to do.”

21 Responses to “Police will continue to suffer under Governor - Hon Fraser”

  • Law Abiding citizen (10/01/2017, 20:45) Like (10) Dislike (6) Reply
    That just proves Dishonorable Fraser doesn't have a clue of what's going on. Do our elected reps just say whatever they feel to garner gullible support? If you don't watch the news, you're uninformed. If you do, you're misinformed.
    • True (11/01/2017, 11:10) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
      "If you don't watch the news, you're uninformed. If you do, you're misinformed." A spin on Denzil Washington the other day but I think originally from Mark Twain and quite true and can also be quite the dilemma.
  • voter (10/01/2017, 21:03) Like (4) Dislike (8) Reply
    Fraser is correct
  • Hmm (10/01/2017, 21:05) Like (6) Dislike (0) Reply
    i keep sayin the same thing aint no gun made on tortola so yall need to get off yall lazy butts and get to work
  • Spy (10/01/2017, 21:45) Like (12) Dislike (6) Reply
    The Police will continue to suffer as long as they are seen as island men....outsiders and not an integral part of the community.
    • Really (11/01/2017, 08:43) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
      Belonger and i said the same thing
    • Warsaw (11/01/2017, 12:22) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
      This is nonsense, so much BVIlslanders were in the Force in the late 70's early 80's and them left because them claim to be abused. Got nothing to do with where them from.
  • police (11/01/2017, 00:47) Like (1) Dislike (4) Reply
    Start by treating them as part of the community. Give residency status to the men and women in uniform, that would be a good first step in getting them to go above and beyond what they are required to do. Until that happens, they will never feel accepted. Instead, they will just do what they are being paid to do (8 hours of police work) with no regard for the other 16.
    • Spy (11/01/2017, 07:53) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
      @Polive don't get over your head now. There is a process to residency that has to be followed. If residency is automatically given to each Officer who just join the Force what is there to say that performance will be enhanced? Will that person remain in the Force? Your comment show 's intention. If the only reason to be part of the community is for personal gain forget it. One has to be willing to put service above self..that comes first then all the other incentives will follow.The issue is everyone believe the territory owes them something special and will try to get it for nothing. Again let me say Policing is a tough job I had family members who were...but we need people like some of the older ones who retired and some who are still there who work hard.
    • LCS (11/01/2017, 07:53) Like (7) Dislike (1) Reply
      The men and women in uniform should go above and beyond in doing what they have chosen and are paid to do. No status should make any difference in performing their duties. They don't get paid to feel accepted. They get paid to do a job they signed up to do.
    • IDTS (11/01/2017, 08:52) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
      So you really think we care to know about the residency status of police?
      What are we doing? Asking about his/her status and based on his/her response we will decide whether we respecting them or not?
    • Wow! (11/01/2017, 16:25) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
      If that is the case, they should not be allowed to take jobs as police men in the BVI. You sound like a disgruntled police officer. Go home if you only came for belonger status.
  • open our eyes and live as one (11/01/2017, 03:48) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    Police have the power to do so much and yet they are being looked at with little to no respect. An officer has his duty to perform if he does his duty he is looked at as super Cop if he doesn't he is lazy or useless. My point is you cant please people cause all we do is sit and complain or talk. Food for thought stop running yall mouth and take action stand for whats right and this place will be so much better but because of who you are related to or, if your from here then we do as we please and get upset when others do the same thing. Time to wise up and live as one and be fair who cares where your from? at the end of the day right is right and wrong is wrong. Wise up
  • Tallfat (11/01/2017, 06:54) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
    I am is support of the majority of the proposal the rep has presented. The one I'm not in agreement with is putting the Police under a Minister/ministry. As is the set up the Police purse is handled by government not the Governor. Different administration acts towards the Police can be summarized as this VIP is For them and NDP is Against them. That can be reviewed by who gives more to the organization and who cut more. With all that has been going on in the different ministries eg (Prison, finance, health, Public works) what do you supposed will be the outcome under a minister? Government need to provide the funds for recruitment, training and equipments. The Police need to provide all officer with training, equipment and support needed to do the job.
  • ANY ONE SEE 2DAY CARICATURE (11/01/2017, 08:30) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply

  • police an streets (11/01/2017, 09:09) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
    police an the streets with guns who's better then who. alot of ppl goin to die .. bc they have the law an guns .. an the streets have to protect them self from the streets an police.. ex the states
  • stupid (11/01/2017, 09:24) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Fraser beginning to sound like a fool
  • read the message (11/01/2017, 09:37) Like (0) Dislike (1) Reply
    don't hate on the messenger
  • Freda (11/01/2017, 16:28) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    Police in the USA, USVI and other countries carry guns. Are these places crime free? I think we would have more gun violence if the police are armed.
  • Talk that... (11/01/2017, 19:40) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    Police officers are only doing eight (8) hrs because there very own trying to keep them down. I know of a inspector of police taking information from the force meeting and carrying outside to civillian so when the civillians turn around and disrespect the police you cant blame them.
    • Night Stick (12/01/2017, 09:25) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      Arm the Police!!! Dont send a Night Stick to a Gun Fight. Police are human beings, not robots. Give them weapons and bullet proof vests to clean up the streets. I stand with Hon Fraser.

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