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‘You can’t come into community with heavy hand’- Cromwell Smith to Police

- said Police should be like social workers
Talk show host Mr Cromwell Smith aka Edju Enka has suggested that in order for the police to regain the trust and assistance of the community in fighting crime, they should practice leniency in certain cases and not go into communities with ‘a heavy hand.’ Photo: VINO/Internet Source
The Royal Virgin Islands Police Force will be meeting with residents of East End and Long Look at the Stickett on January 16, 2017. Photo: VINO
The Royal Virgin Islands Police Force will be meeting with residents of East End and Long Look at the Stickett on January 16, 2017. Photo: VINO
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI- A talk show host has suggested that in order for the police to regain the trust and assistance of the community in fighting crime, they should take a “social worker” approach and not go into communities with “a heavy hand.”

Mr Cromwell Smith aka Edju Enka was at the time speaking on his weekly programme, Umoja, on ZBVI 780 AM on Thursday January 12, 2017.

The talk show host was at the time looking at how more effective the police could become in gaining the support of the community in the fight against crime.

Mr Smith noted that he was in no way suggesting that the lawmen are not trying, but what currently exists need revamping.

“It’s not to say that the police, they are not trying because they have a community policing strategy in place that they are following but somehow it perhaps needs some kind of enhancement. I think the police needs to realise that you can’t come into the community with a heavy hand.”

Give them a chance?

Reference was made to police going into the community and seeing a young person smoking marijuana and choosing to punish them and forever altering their life, instead of giving second chances. And while it is illegal, and he does not suggest that it be condoned, he said the police should take a different stance, one of a social worker.

“Now in that community he [young person charged] has a mother, a father, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, friends so that one little incident impacts the whole community,” Mr Smith said.

“So the community now kind of develops a hostility and then people in the community they don’t trust you, and they don’t like you so they don’t want to assist. There has to be a discretionary space where you become in essence a social worker as a police officer and that to me helps to build confidence, trust, and love in the community, where you can have a chance to speak to the child, change their life, save them from going down the wrong path and building trust and love for the Police force in the community,” Mr Cromwell Smith said.

RVIPF to hold community meeting @ Stickett

Meanwhile, the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force will host a meeting at the Stickett in Long Look on Monday, January 16, 2017 to discuss the recent incidents of violent crime in the territory.

In light of the latest robbery and subsequent death of bar owner Mr Frankie J. Fahie, the Commissioner of Police Michael Matthews hopes this will be the first of many meetings to mobilise the community with the necessary information to act and unite the efforts of both Police and the community in putting pressure on the perpetrators and ultimately bringing them to justice.

He noted that while the recent robbery wave has not been limited to the eastern districts, he chose to begin with this community impacted by the most recent and tragic incident.

14 Responses to “‘You can’t come into community with heavy hand’- Cromwell Smith to Police”

  • Spy (13/01/2017, 16:48) Like (24) Dislike (1) Reply
    Cromwell sometimes you surprise me !!! whether we like it or not smoking/possession of marijuana is a crime in the BVI. It is on the Law books.. our law, our legislators make those Laws and until it is repeal or what other legal term we use it is a crime. If my brother is caught smoking or in possession of the illegal substance and he is arrested, legally, do you think I will become hostile to the authority? Should the community do so? So what should we expect the authorities to do pat them on the shoulder what heavy hand are you talking about? Our children are arming themselves with guns robbing the place and sadly killing people for their hard earned money. WHY ARE YOU NOT CONDEMING THESE CRIMINALS!!! They are the ones choosing to break the Law and the law protects LAW abiding Citizen. My blood brother, I love you and will always support you but if you break the law, sorry be man enough to pay the price. Why is it that the Offender seemingly is always the hero? What about the victims? Who is speaking up for them?
    • Outlaw (13/01/2017, 21:11) Like (9) Dislike (0) Reply
      Spy, I support your comment 100%. That's the problem in the VI, persons always wants to be wrong and strong. They will never say to their love ones, "you are wrong" but they will prefer to treat them like a hero and develop hatred toward the lawmen for enforcing the laws. We cannot support certain law breaking activities while condemning other, breaking the law is breaking the law, don't matter how small. Persons who have information about criminals and criminal activities and withholding it is not really doing the police no harm, they are only doing a disservice to the whole community. Small things leads to greater things so the police cannot turn a blind eye to certain things no matter how small. Maybe those young hoodlum who seek to rob and kill do so to supply their drug habits
  • SMH (13/01/2017, 16:57) Like (12) Dislike (1) Reply
    Cromwell no longer has to make any real effort to sound like an ass. He just shows up and zinng..it happens. Smh.
  • pat (13/01/2017, 17:10) Like (2) Dislike (6) Reply
    Very good points
  • Frankie (13/01/2017, 17:34) Like (12) Dislike (0) Reply
    Cromwell all you do is talk talk talk it's people like you who ignore east end problems why it so. Now expect this lil commissioner to fix all you problems. Everybody know the crooks and murderers in east end even the "Dignitaries" that we gat wearing suit and tie to represent us. I think you should just stay quiet still.
  • Yes (13/01/2017, 18:28) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
    Nothing to see here. Just a talk show host on the Government nipple. I remember when Cromwell had just a little shred of legitimacy... Now it is all gone. Keep feeding on the Treasury brother..
  • Heavy hand (13/01/2017, 21:26) Like (5) Dislike (1) Reply
    It is agreed that there is such a thing as police discretion, but not in the face of blatant violations - particularly when that violation is the basis of most of our crimes here in the bvi.
    If ever there was a time to be heavy-handed tis now in order to let the creeps know that they're being sought.
    What this gentleman can do with his radio show is call on his audience to raise reward money for the unsolved murders in the territory. Perhaps he can even donate his non-essential consultant fees to the cause.
  • Serpico (14/01/2017, 07:04) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply

    Police be like social workers?? This man out of his darn mind. Ever did police work. You live in NYC u ever see the police act like social workers?

    • tbh (14/01/2017, 13:07) Like (1) Dislike (2) Reply
      But we not in NYC with all the social issues that america is facing today do you really think we should have a system modeled after theirs? You people need to wake up and have understanding and stop having this kinda totalitarian ways of thinking.
  • qc (14/01/2017, 07:47) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    I am sure he will say he was taken out of context
  • TruthbTold (14/01/2017, 13:18) Like (1) Dislike (4) Reply
    All the brother is saying is the old way of policing is not working look where it has gotton us so far, being VIlanders we should be creative in ways of dealin with our social problems, not every minor infraction warrents an arrest like Mr. Smith is saying, if you all think send a 18 year old to jail for a victimless crime helps him or the community you are wrong, because when he gets out of jail feelin no different from a murderer what will he become in society ?
  • Oh No (14/01/2017, 13:46) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    When we hear these things including from the Family support network we the people of this territory need to wonder. People have a mind of their own we can talk as much as we want to. Its to do something with what one hear. I was glad to have people talk to me and encourage me. This helped me a great deal. Today you can hardly speak to our young people with out they giving you attitude. It all begins at home many parents try their best with their children but at the end that child have to character his or her own journey. The big question where are they heading? May God help us.


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