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Riteway asks RVIPF for rental; Top Cop says no funds in 2018 budget

This state of affairs was recently disclosed to the House of Assembly’s Standing Finance Committee, when Commissioner of Police, Mr Michael Mathews made an appearance in April last. Photo: Dean Greenaway aka 'The Sportsman'
 He told Committee Members, “…there is nothing in the proposed budget this year for rental for Police Headquarters…Minor repairs have taken place to the Road Town and West End Police station, both funded via UK external funding.” Photo: VINO/File
He told Committee Members, “…there is nothing in the proposed budget this year for rental for Police Headquarters…Minor repairs have taken place to the Road Town and West End Police station, both funded via UK external funding.” Photo: VINO/File
PASEA ESTATE, Tortola, VI - There is nothing in the proposed budget this year for rental for Police Headquarters, and the owners Riteway Supermarket at Pasea Estate have indicated that they are going to start charging for the space that is occupied by Royal Virgin Islands Police Force (RVIPF).

This state of affairs was recently disclosed to the House of Assembly’s Standing Finance Committee, when Commissioner of Police, Mr Michael Mathews, made an appearance in April last.  

RVIPF, he said, has occupied the space for more than six months now since the destruction of the Police’s headquarters in Road Town during the natural disasters of 2017.

Difficult Message

He disclosed at the time, too, that the force, like most of the public and private sector facilities in the Territory, was not fully back on its feet yet, “but this is a difficult message to sell with significant public expectation that it will respond to all things as normal.” 

It was at this point (April), Mr Mathews stated, that Riteway Supermarket at Pasea Estate, has indicated that they are going to start charging for the space that is occupied by RVIPF, as they have occupied the space for the past six months now.

He told Committee Members, “…there is nothing in the proposed budget this year for rental for Police Headquarters…Minor repairs have taken place to the Road Town and West End Police station, both funded via UK external funding.” 

According to Mr Mathews, no repairs have taken place at East End, Virgin Gorda (including its destroyed Police barracks) and Jost van Dyke, where the station was completely destroyed.”

The barracks at Virgin Gorda had its entire top floor destroyed; the roof went and even some of the walls too, according to Mr Mathews.  He said, however, RVIPF was given funding through a United Kingdom contractor to look at it as part of the immediate repair work in the aftermath of the hurricanes.  He further stated that he regretted to inform the Committee that by the time "we reached the end of the United Kingdom financial year, the funding had not stretched to make the repairs to the barracks." 

He said, this has become very challenging to have to move officers and there is no accommodation especially for officers who have homes on Tortola.

Reconstruction of the police estate remains an urgent priority and requires allocated funding, he said. 

RVIPF Strength

As it relates to the RVIPF’s force strength, Mr Mathews disclosed that at the end of April this year, there were 218 regular ranks and 23 Auxiliaries.

“Our establishment is 230 regulars and we are therefore carrying 12 vacancies which we are actively seeking to fill,” he said.

Mr Mathews recalled for Committee Members that in November 2017, Cabinet agreed to increase the force by a further 15 regular officers as part of the force recovery plan, as such “we are therefore aiming to reach an establishment of 245 regular officers in 2018.”

 Currently, the breakdown of VIslanders in the force is approximately 22 per cent or 41 Regular Officers which needs to be increased further, he said.

UK Funded

Providing a briefing on the RVIPF’s vehicular fleet, Commissioner Mathews informed the Committee that the force currently has a total fleet of 48 vehicles.

This was increased last year as a direct result of Standing Finance Committee, but a number were severely damaged in the hurricanes.

He did indicate that the force was set to receive two new marked Armed Response Vehicles that are UK funded and a donated vehicle from the Broward County Sheriff’s office in Florida, which will go to Virgin Gorda.

 

12 Responses to “Riteway asks RVIPF for rental; Top Cop says no funds in 2018 budget ”

  • just asking... (25/06/2018, 10:16) Like (10) Dislike (2) Reply
    how there will be money when they thief all?
  • rtw (25/06/2018, 10:39) Like (6) Dislike (14) Reply
    Six months rent & utilities free!!! Must be nice! No more free ride COP. Nine months on and the police buildings look atrocious and much like the attitude of many of your subordinates. But your time is soon drawing neigh and these issues will be someone else’s soon enough. What have been your achievements to date Sir? Had higher expectations based on your background; but just like a the HMP is a mess so to is the RVIPF.
  • concern (25/06/2018, 11:34) Like (18) Dislike (18) Reply
    Any entity that has Royal in front of it, England should foot the bill. Post office,police, prison etc. All these are uk responsibilities as the parent country.
    • uk responsibilities? (25/06/2018, 21:40) Like (9) Dislike (0) Reply
      Didn't you hear the jokers think they should be independent? Where would they get the money from in that case?
  • NICK (25/06/2018, 13:04) Like (40) Dislike (0) Reply
    Roads,sewage,rebuilding schools and police stations are not a priority in this country.extending the airport is.
  • Jookes (25/06/2018, 13:26) Like (13) Dislike (0) Reply
    Where the money them get after the hurricane?
  • cars (25/06/2018, 14:54) Like (5) Dislike (2) Reply
    1 car for every 4 person in the force, nice, maybe less cars and more spent on rent , salary and walking the beat?
  • Let’s talk (25/06/2018, 15:21) Like (12) Dislike (3) Reply
    Not even a start on the high school so the students could come back in September shamefully
  • BRAD BOYNES (25/06/2018, 16:00) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
    The Virgin Islands are a mess. Too much political spin and lying. Walk around. Drive around. Screw around and you will find out that the powers that be do notreally care about these Virgin Istands.
  • Concerned (25/06/2018, 18:24) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
    How about the overtime money that was already budgeted for the officers on the outer stations that was taken away earlier this month. Can that money be used to pay the people then their rent? What a crying shame instead of paying the officers better their salaries were cut.
  • wize up (25/06/2018, 18:40) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    whatever happened to those millions which was given to the police......!!!!!
  • just here (25/06/2018, 19:42) Like (2) Dislike (8) Reply
    well give them the donuts & coffee for free, I mean the administration people. when are the Smiths going to
    be formally charged for protecting bad banks and other businesses here for ripping people off? Actually the
    UK should be doing that but both governors have decided to look the other way as long as it is someone elses
    money and character being disrespected. Lorna & Orlando should be up on charges for the Canadian bank thing.
    and a phone company selling a batch of expensive iphones at full price that were defective and the batteries
    blew up. an American had acquired this phone company a couple years ago. These things are like a barometer,
    or an indicator on a car or airplane of what is really going on in the works. Commisioner Mathews needs to take
    action and deal with other local crap. Or is England so embarassed it can't admit to a damn thing.


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