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'RVIPF let schools handle internal disturbances' – CoP Matthews

- DPP says Police should still log cases, but are schools equipped?
With the number of juvenile crime cases in the territory on a sharp decline, Commissioner of Police, Michael B. Matthews has revealed that schools are allowed to handle internal Juvenile disturbances rather than turning to the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force (RVIPF) for action. Photo: VINO/File
According to a report on the deliberations of the Standing Finance Committee (SFC) 2019, released on Friday, May 7, 2019, the decision stems from the Force seeking to protect juvenile delinquents so as to not “criminalize the young people,” however, the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), Kim Hollis, Q.C says that while she supports the idea, cases should still be logged for future reference. Photo: VINO/File
According to a report on the deliberations of the Standing Finance Committee (SFC) 2019, released on Friday, May 7, 2019, the decision stems from the Force seeking to protect juvenile delinquents so as to not “criminalize the young people,” however, the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), Kim Hollis, Q.C says that while she supports the idea, cases should still be logged for future reference. Photo: VINO/File
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI – With the number of juvenile crime cases in the territory on a sharp decline, Commissioner of Police, Mr Michael B. Matthews has revealed that schools are allowed to handle internal juvenile disturbances rather than turning to the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force (RVIPF) for action.

According to a report on the deliberations of the Standing Finance Committee (SFC) 2019, released on Friday, May 7, 2019, the decision stems from the force seeking to protect juvenile delinquents so as to not “criminalize the young people,” however, the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), Kim Hollis, Q.C says that while she supports the idea, cases should still be logged for future reference.

Juvenile cases on the Decline – Report

The report notes that the number of juveniles involved in crimes was 35 in 2016, 32 in 2017 and 9 in 2018, but even as many cases go unreported, the office of the DPP was of the view that the decrease in juvenile crime in 2018, was partly accountable as a result of the number of young persons leaving Territory following the Hurricanes of 2017.

The issue was brought to the forum by new Deputy Premier and Minister for Education, Culture, Agriculture, Fisheries, Youth Affairs and Sports, Dr. the Hon Natalio D. Wheatley (R7) who on raising issues of internal disturbances at the Elmore Stoutt High School (ESHS), queried whether cases should be logged to provide a true picture of juvenile delinquency in the territory.

Most recently, at another institution, there were reports of a bomb threat by a parent at the BVI Seventh-day Adventist (SDA) School, following an alleged internal bullying incident. While officials at the RVIPF confirmed the incident, it was not reflected in any media release.

But are local schools equipped to handle these disturbances which can sometimes turn into bloody brawls?  

Log Cases – DPP Hollis

The DPP in underscoring that the cases should be logged, pointed out that the record data is important as it can be referenced in the future to see whether juveniles were repeat offenders.

“She also agreed with the approach of the CoP Matthews which would prevent the juveniles from having criminal records in relation to their future,” the report noted.

Further, Ms Hollis in continuing her discourse stated that at present, her office did not have the ability to caution first offenders, however, would support having legislation as far as juvenile offenders were concerned.    

7 Responses to “'RVIPF let schools handle internal disturbances' – CoP Matthews ”

  • asking for a friend (08/06/2019, 18:16) Like (6) Dislike (14) Reply
    Both are British so do you think they will have our interest at heart?
  • parent (08/06/2019, 19:14) Like (13) Dislike (0) Reply
    Wow! That parent made a bomb threat and it wasn't taken seriously. This is outrageously! I wonder what the response will be if the parent makes good on her promise.
  • Well Well (08/06/2019, 19:31) Like (24) Dislike (0) Reply
    Personally;; I think if we start to hold the parents responsible for some of the kids , a lot would change..
  • legal team (08/06/2019, 20:18) Like (19) Dislike (3) Reply
    I wish to disagree with the Commissioner of Police, on a point of law.
    Where is it written in the BVI laws that schools are allowed to handle internal [DISTURBANCES?]
    I want the COP to show me the BVI law which says, "schools are allowed to handle internal disturbances"
    The law- the Police Act. I refer you to the law in the police act.
    Section 4 of the police act cap 165 of the laws of the VI,side notes ["Objects of the force"]
    Section 4...
    (1) The objects of the force are-
    [a] the maintenance of law and order
    [b] the preservation of peace
    [c] the defence of the territory from external aggression or threat thereof
    [d] the protection of life and property
    [e] the prevention and detection of crime
    [f] the enforcement of all laws that it is required to enforce.
    Question to the COP.
    Are you suggesting to the citizens that when these grown students [16 years and older] become violent and disorderly with disturbances etc toward teachers etc,the matter should be resolved by the school system?
    If students want to be bad-man and bad-woman, in school, let the judicial system discipline them early to determine if they are good for school and society or bad for school and society.
    There is a youth-court-act,laws of the BVI,and the intention of parliament was to target the young people, even those in school, with a view for the court system to intervene early and address the violent or criminal behavior of young people,including school children.
    There is the social welfair deptment to help with that system.
    The police must get involved
    The DPP must get involved
    The court must get involved.
    Society must get involved to stop and prevent these school students who chose to cause disruption and disturbances at our schools and other learning institutions.
    Teachers are there to teach students academic lessons.
    But When students come to school to teach teachers violent lessons, the judicial system must also teach these students a lesson in the judicial system,before returning them to the school system.

    • concern (09/06/2019, 10:43) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
      Please Cop and DDP guidance is needed from your strength. The school is looking up to you, uniform makes a difference.
  • wize up (09/06/2019, 10:36) Like (7) Dislike (3) Reply
    @ legal team: Let me start by saying who vex, vex::when Mr Matthews allows the territory to lost respect for law and order, he simply book his flight on LIAT via Antigua then onward to Great Britain leaving Road Town all mucked up..His excellency; the DPP and Commissioner are simply here on contractual obligations
  • wize up (09/06/2019, 17:05) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    just a follow up: I thought if and when a crime have been committed in any public place the perpetrators of such conduct should be subjected to face justice system: I was of the opinion that crime and punishment go hand in hand but the more you live the more you learn!!


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