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Step up efforts to solve open criminal cases- Premier Smith to RVIPF

- said his Gov’t is providing the police with all the financial support they need
Premier and Minister of Finance, Dr The Honourable D. Orlando Smith (AL), left, is demanding that the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force (RVIPF), headed by Commissioner Michael Matthews, right, 'step up their efforts to respond to and solve open criminal cases'. Photo: VINO/File
Governor John S. Duncan OBE has said the extra funding to the Police and other departments will take time to bear fruits as the underfunding of the police for the past four years has to be addressed. Photo: VINO/File
Governor John S. Duncan OBE has said the extra funding to the Police and other departments will take time to bear fruits as the underfunding of the police for the past four years has to be addressed. Photo: VINO/File
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI – Recently, there has been a series of armed robberies and fatal shootings in the territory with hardly anyone being brought to justice.

The Virgin Islands (British) has recorded seven murders in six months, since the start of the year. Five of the seven homicides recorded this year were committed with the use of a firearm.

Young people bought into lies of foreign companies

Premier and Minister of Finance, Dr The Honourable D. Orlando Smith (AL) during the delivery of a live ‘Mid-term Report’ on Monday July 10, 2017, on local radio and television said he was “deeply troubled” by the persistence of violent crime in the Territory and is resolute about doing something about it.

“It is intolerable and unacceptable that so many of our young people have bought into the lies sold to them by foreign companies promoting a lifestyle of drugs, violence, hatred and yes, murder.”

During the Premier’s address, he urged people in the community to pick a side and act accordingly in the fight against crime. He also mentioned that the government has given the police force adequate resources to help them stay ahead of the criminals in the territory:

“We must be united in this effort. There is no Belonger and non-Belonger; no NDP or VIP; no resident or visitor when it comes to crime. On this front there are only two sides – us and them. On our side are all those who uphold the law. On their side are those who seek to corrupt our youth and spread violence among our people.”

The Premier continued, “That is why my Government is giving our full backing to the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force (RVIPF). We have provided the police with all the financial support they need and we are demanding of them that they step up their efforts to respond to and solve open criminal cases."

Did the RVIPF really get the full support of NDP Gov’t

While the Premier claimed that the RVIPF has been getting the full backing of his government, not everyone has shared that view, including Governor John S. Duncan, OBE.

Governor Duncan, in March of 2017, saw it necessary to strip Dr The Honourable D. Orlando Smith (AL) of his powers as Finance Minister, and under Section 103(b) of the Virgin Islands Constitution Order 2007, ordered that over $1.88M of public monies be taken from the Consolidated Fund and given to the Police, Magistrate’s Court, Attorney’s General Chambers and the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions.

Although Governor Duncan’s actions belittled the National Democratic Party Government of Premier Smith, many people supported the Governor as they felt Government was not doing enough to address the obvious upsurge in criminal activities, including gun crime.

At the time too, the Territory had also seen three homicides for the year, two by gun violence.

And in an exclusive interview with Governor Duncan on June 22, 2017 he said the extra funding to the Police and other departments will take time to bear fruits as the underfunding of the police for the past four years has to be addressed.

“...and as one of the bloggers said, ‘it takes time’. It’s not just, oh give me the money and everything happens, of course not, we have to address the underspending in the past four years, so that takes time to put it back together again.

So far the Police have brought in no less than six detectives from the United Kingdom, using the resources made available to them from the Consolidated Fund, a story first reported by this news site.

9 Responses to “Step up efforts to solve open criminal cases- Premier Smith to RVIPF”

  • WHY?! (11/07/2017, 17:05) Like (18) Dislike (0) Reply
    Politicians always think they the smartest one in the room and everybody else stupid and don't really know the truth.
  • vex (11/07/2017, 20:23) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    That means well for your country and your fellow country man and women but doctor smith is a joke
  • one BVI (11/07/2017, 20:29) Like (9) Dislike (0) Reply
    Nice one Premier. BVI does need to step up its crime fighting.

    HOWEVER, that starts at home. It is unrealistic to think that this is only expats committing murders, or BVI Islanders seduced by foreign corporations. The reality is that the BVI has a long tradition of not respecting the laws. In other words, the law is one thing, the practise is another.

    The broken windows syndrome, from people approaching the roundabout at Road Town in the left lane and thinking that the rules don't apply to them and they can cut in, to those who think that they can do drug running as part of the horse racing or otherwise (and there are allegedly some families with significant last names who have houses on the hill built with drug money) to nominee beneficial owners and the like. All of this leads to a culture where respect for the law and the policeman is lost.

    How much revenue could be raised if you put in cameras on some roads, such as the dual carriageway, or you put booze busses on the roads on Friday nights to catch expats leaving the cab (as well as locals)! Oh BVI, so beautiful and wonderful, but so grossly mismanaged!

    x
  • Police west end (11/07/2017, 22:10) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    I thought Dr. Smith would survive this scandal, by lying, maneuvering, DC spin and denying serious direct rule from the governor in giving money to the police

    I just changed my mind.
  • l (11/07/2017, 22:19) Like (7) Dislike (0) Reply
    This is ridiculous. Mr. ZZZZZZ can't even run his government he trying to give the police advise
  • Not2Sure (11/07/2017, 22:48) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    Did I miss anything? What a bunch of nothing i was told in his speech
  • Fed Up (12/07/2017, 23:20) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    This is hot air and hogwash being blown by Smith!
  • Benny (13/07/2017, 12:23) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    "The reality is that the BVI has a long tradition of not respecting the laws. In other words, the law is one thing, the practise is another. "

    @ One BVI I could shake your hand. He need to talk about immigration also and the airport security officers.


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