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RVIPF grappling with 33 unsolved murders

- CoP Matthews says only 35 of total 68 homicides solved since January of 2000
The Royal Virgin Islands Police Force (RVIPF) 'might not have all the skills' to effectively go after certain offences like white-collar crimes and fraud, according to Commissioner of Police Michael B. Matthews
Commissioner of Police Mr Micheal B. Matthews has said that of a total 68 homicides in the Virgin Islands since January of 2000, only 35 of those cases have been solved and brought before the courts. Photo: VINO/File
Commissioner of Police Mr Micheal B. Matthews has said that of a total 68 homicides in the Virgin Islands since January of 2000, only 35 of those cases have been solved and brought before the courts. Photo: VINO/File
BAUGHERS BAY, Tortola, VI - Commissioner of Police Mr Micheal B. Matthews has said that of a total 68 homicides in the Virgin Islands since January of 2000, only 35 of those cases have been solved and brought before the courts.

Speaking on the Tuesday, July 24, 2019, edition of 'Honestly Speaking' on ZBVI 780 AM with host Mr Claude O. Skelton-Cline, Commissioner Matthews disclosed that one of the challenges to murder investigations is that quite often persons from overseas who commit murder in the VI would get assistance from locals to flee the territory.

Locals helping foreign criminals - CoP Matthews

"Normally, within a few hours of a shooting in the territory, especially if we think it's a kind of gang type hit or a retribution killing... normally, that person is on a boat or on a plane, the killer is on their way... and being helped on occasion by local people," Mr Matthews, noting that the force has the ability to track foreigners who commit crimes.

"As we sit here today, there are people living in other countries that we are working tirelessly with the jurisdictions of those countries to not only track their movements but also if possible to get them back to the BVI,” he said.

The Police Commissioner said that even where there is sufficient evidence to charge and to extradite someone, it is not an easy process as rights must be protected until proven guilty in the court system.

Speaking directly on crimes that happened after the hurricanes of 2017 in the Virgin Islands, Mr Matthews said the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force (RVIPF) has already made preparations to mitigate any possible criminal activity such as looting, that can mirror what happened in the aftermath of hurricanes Irma and Maria.

Commissioner Matthews also lamented that the aftermath of hurricanes Irma and Maria of 2017 presented one of the worst periods on record for homicide in the Virgin Islands (VI).

White-Collar Crimes

On the question of white-collar crimes, Mr Matthews said the force might not have all the skills to effectively go after certain offences like white-collar crimes and fraud.

Pointing out that white-collar crimes often involve the silent movement of money in almost unseen circumstances, he said for VI cases, the force might need outside help and assistance to investigate the full scope of such criminal activities.

"A force of 240, 260 regular officers looking after the Virgin Islands across the range of things that policing has to provide, we don't necessarily have all of those specialist skills in the territory," Police Commissioner Matthews said.

1 Response to “RVIPF grappling with 33 unsolved murders”

  • wize up (25/07/2019, 12:40) Like (5) Dislike (3) Reply
    some specialists came in (UK) and could have been paid 50,000.00 each, yet the unsolved are still unsolved: no wonder efforts are now being made to “snatch” your DNA: how can some police be so hostile to the people and how can some police go around assaulting members of the public then the commissioner anticipate the people to forward information to his department:


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