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Zero calls with information on recent fatal shootings- CoP Matthews

- said the VI Community is protecting the killers
Nearly a week after two persons, including an 11-year-old, were shot dead at West End, Tortola, no one has called in with information to help the police bring the perpetrators to justice, according to Commissioner of Police, Michael B. Matthews. Photo: VINO/File
11-year-old Trinity A. Thomas was one of two persons killed by gunmen on November 22, 2017 at West End, Tortola. Photo: Provided
11-year-old Trinity A. Thomas was one of two persons killed by gunmen on November 22, 2017 at West End, Tortola. Photo: Provided
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI- Commissioner of Police Michael B. Matthews has expressed disgust at the thought of persons here in the Virgin Islands refusing to assist in the investigation of crimes by giving information, especially in light of the recent shootings that resulted in the death of an 11 year old school child.

‘Sick to the bottom of my stomach’- CoP

The child, Trinity A. Thomas, and Air Traffic Controller Franklin E. Penn Jr died when the SUV they were in came under gunfire from close range while at West End, Tortola on November 22, 2017.

“We saw last week in this territory the slaughter of an innocent child, let alone another adult murdered on our streets. An 11-year old child was slaughtered, and it made me feel sick to the bottom of my stomach… but what makes me feel even sicker is that there are people living in this community right now who are hiding those killers, and are protecting those killers,” Mr Matthews said while a guest of the ZBVI 780 AM radio show, Honestly Speaking, with Mr Claude O. Skelton-Cline on November 28, 2017.

Bizarre loyalty

Mr Matthews was asked by the host what the community could do to help the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force (RVIPF) do their job so that the residents and visitors can feel secure. Without hesitation he responded that community cooperation is key to the success of policing.

At air time; however, there was no one who had stepped forward with information pertaining to the shootings of November 22, 2017. “If you ask me the question, How many persons have rung in and given us information since that shooting? It’s a very short answer- none.”

“It’s some bizarre loyalty, whether its cultural, whether it is members of their family, whether its fear.

Lack of trust in police

Mr Matthews admitted; however, that a lack of trust in the police by the community is one of the hindrance to crimes being solved or prevented.

“The sad truth is that we are not getting the cooperation from the community, in the sense that people are turning a blind eye to criminal behaviour, people have a fear of speaking to the police. Part of that is about trust, part of that is about having confidence that what they say is going to be dealt with confidentially.”

Nevertheless, Commissioner Mathews reiterated that “by doing nothing, by not standing up as a community, by being prepared to turn a blind eye you are condoning their actions and you are allowing them to walk free and you are allowing them to kill again.”

He further stated that he has evidence to support that some previous homicides are linked and that friends and families are protecting the perpetrators.

In his final appeal, Commissioner Matthews reminded listeners that Trinity was young and had her whole life ahead of her and residents with information should feel passionate and responsible enough to support the RVIPF in bringing the criminals to justice.

27 Responses to “Zero calls with information on recent fatal shootings- CoP Matthews”

  • ccc (29/11/2017, 16:31) Like (4) Dislike (5) Reply
    They talk to much that's why!
    • @ ccc (29/11/2017, 17:10) Like (0) Dislike (3) Reply
      who the police or the snitchers?
      • B Wi I (29/11/2017, 18:47) Like (7) Dislike (1) Reply
        @ccc. You think all the police them can't be trusted? A few rotten apples yes but trust me there are officers you can trust both serving and retired. If you refuse to believe that then you are doubting your own credibility and just being foolish. I know dike darn honest police and also retired officers who would not think twice to contribute. It's the system! I guess you too blind to that. Anyway, is our cross to bear. Nature must take it's course. The innocent suffer for the guilty.
        • JP (04/12/2017, 17:39) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
          Yes, a few rotten apples. However one who tries to contact police never know if they get a good apple or a rotten one. Tip line say call, no one knows who call. Big laugh!! Phone have caller I.D. and if right person sees it for right info you is in bad trouble. I have tried three times in last 25 years and have been ignored, told to mind my own business and the first time threatened (26 years ago). Do you really think a person will risk their life when murder is involved?
  • truth be told (29/11/2017, 16:51) Like (6) Dislike (3) Reply
    Mr. Matthews me too am sick to my stomach but the reality is trust. Your officers cannot be trusted. The system cannot be trusted. Look how some of your loyal officers have been treated. They also have family and friends in the community looking on. The system is so corrupted. It's not just the police. I know of ex police officers who works be glad to help but that are over looked because of being retired or local. That's the harsh truth Mr Matthews.use your retired officers!
  • Online Now (29/11/2017, 16:57) Like (16) Dislike (1) Reply
    This is what the “bishop” should be talking about, not creating racial division. When will the people stand up for right and help the police solve crimes.
    • @ oneline now (29/11/2017, 21:00) Like (1) Dislike (3) Reply
      you are the one with the hateful narratives which peddle lies and stoke tensions.
  • reality (29/11/2017, 16:58) Like (26) Dislike (0) Reply
    This crime has sickened many to the core along with others. The harsh reality is that persons know things but due to the lack of confidentiality by the members of the RVIFP persons are afraid to talk. Few months back shots where fired in a certain area and the Police asked anyone with information to come forward. I know a young lady who was around when those shots were fired and knew who did it. When she reported it to a Police Officer within a few days the alleged approached her with threats, as he had been told by the officer that she reported he was firing shots. In his threat to her he never once denied firing those shots. Within two weeks she left Tortola and returned to her homeland. So what do you do?
  • wize up (29/11/2017, 17:03) Like (4) Dislike (11) Reply
    Should the police consider offering monitary rewards for information: under certain circumstances money can move mountains!!!!!
  • hotline (29/11/2017, 17:17) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    Someone needs to talk up so that there can be justice served. It's sad what our society has become.
  • agreed (29/11/2017, 17:22) Like (13) Dislike (1) Reply
    I agree Mick! They quick to blame the cops but the community is missing in action.
    • wize up (29/11/2017, 19:12) Like (2) Dislike (3) Reply
      @ agree: the police are responsible for enforcing the laws of this territory: take a walk through Road Town on any given and count the number of Police you see(try it)
  • Shame of a Nation (29/11/2017, 17:30) Like (6) Dislike (0) Reply
    The cowardly and evil acting people who killed two human beings a week ago tonight, one an innocent and precious child named Trinity, must be brought to Justice for their heinous crime. If you know something PLEASE speak up and help the police solve this terrible crime.
  • Money Talks (29/11/2017, 18:03) Like (8) Dislike (1) Reply
    I could bet you, if a large reward for capture and conviction was put up, people will talk.if you have to find the money $250,000 I bet someone is going to turn that killer in. Put a bounty on the killer head. People is not talking because they are planning to hunt the killer down themselves and apply justice. That is what the underground mole community is saying.
  • concerned citizen (29/11/2017, 18:43) Like (4) Dislike (11) Reply
    We hear U Commissioner, it's so sad, but u have now fallen into the same trap of David Morris, the manipulation continues. Dominicans and Vincentians fighting for power in the force while kittians looking on, Barbadians almost non-existent while Virgin Islanders are being endangered, kicked around, denied promotions and being disrespected. Lies being told about local recruitment when it is only 3 or 4 persons were taken out of 31 recruits. How do u expect the public to u all when it is clear in their eyes the way your management treats locals wake up Matthews and smell the coffee, the one that dispies locals what dey do he buddy, he have ur mind tarnished, Don't say u wasn't warned, now it's coming home to roost. U ppl don't love this country so what u trying to tell our ppl. We all know what is going on.
  • Capone (29/11/2017, 18:44) Like (14) Dislike (0) Reply
    Maybe persons with info contact the commissioner personally ??
  • Chocolate City (29/11/2017, 18:55) Like (1) Dislike (3) Reply
    REALITY that is so terrible! it so I mean. Usually police will tell the offender that a report was made against then by X but in such circumstances. Common sense should prevail. But maybe or was an in experienced officer who meant no harm. That doesn't mean corruption just ignorance. But what I have discovered is that people follow the band wagon of others experiences and not their own. They enjoy being anonymous and talk anything to seem relevant.They won't tell the persons to their face but rather hide behind the blog. Cowards they are. The police will always be around while won't because a system. So help or not we will get there one day.
  • Prophecy (29/11/2017, 23:08) Like (6) Dislike (1) Reply
    The police needs support. Seems like only Mr.M. Mathews means well. All the responses he give to the negative comments on police are well said. Its so sad that such a small country hideos crime taking place. The criminal system in the BVI needs to be seriously reviewed, the reason is that persons are afraid to speak is bcause mayority of times the criminals will b picked up and then they are released. So the same personswho said something will have to see these criminal on the streets again. Poor people of Nature's little secret God is sending so many warnings to change their ways but to no avail. Not even floods and hurricanes softened their hearts of many. We are still here by the prayer of few bcause many have forgotten jehasua's teaching. I know that God will lead the police the right way because that 11 yr innocent blood that was shed is that of an Angel. The culprit will b caught.
  • wisdom (30/11/2017, 09:32) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    I agree that there are crooks all over but as a community we must stand together to solve the crimes. Police alone cannot do the job, they are not God. This not the time to fight, it is a time to unite. Turning a blind eye will one day haunt us and it will be to latte. Remember God is watching, we all have a duty to our country. Right now there a means giving to protect you the callers, you are no longer going through the crooked cops as you said, you are going through a number link to the united states. Last: Where is the church in all this, have we gone to sleep? Come out of your hiding places and lets us do the will of the Lord. There are a lot of persons in the BVI with special gifts that God has blessed to solve these crime and he shows the prophet things, Christians and none Christians but will not come forward even it they disbelieve. Lay the card on the table as you have seen it and let God work the rest. We as Christians has the power and authority to command those wicked criminals to turn themselves in but we are not in line at all, we speaks with our mouth and our hearts are far from the truth. Stop pointing fingers and let us do what we have to do before it is to late. Mr. Commissioner is doing his best to keep the community safe and he meant it from his heart. Let us walk with him and stop fighting against his efforts. The criminal minded knows that you are a cowards and that is only strengthening them to do more. Take heed to yours ways when God speaks and we keep turning blind eyes.
  • Well Well (30/11/2017, 10:30) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    What a beautiful little girl. Our community has really gone to the dogs.
  • Hail Ye the Truth! (30/11/2017, 11:06) Like (2) Dislike (3) Reply
    If a British Caucasian human being, the Governor or any folk of such ilk were to be shot and killed right here in the BVI, one will see the Scotland yard and all of the other UK policing forces, including the military apparatuses converge upon Tortola like white on rice.

    Given that truth, does not a dependency has rights to access critical resources from the "mother country to aid its subjects in cases such as this one?"

    And where are the "no independence stay on the plantation voices" on this issue? They still inside cleaning maser's house?

    With competent intelligence, this and other cases can be solved.
  • Mr commissioner wake up. u r in denial (30/11/2017, 14:44) Like (2) Dislike (1) Reply
    Zero call should be a lesson to you mr commissioner. Listen... The law that you should be calling for is under cover law.. Which allows you to pay crooks to rat out crooks. Have criminal informants on your pay roll..have them trained.. People will do it for the money.. If not locals bring a few bad boys in to mingle and you will get all the info u need.. U need the law to support that..
  • keep looking (30/11/2017, 18:37) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Go to the tourist bay and look for the dogs and the see
  • ASHAMED (30/11/2017, 19:46) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    Brothers, Sisters, I have read through 22 comments and for some, the point is being missed. This should not be about money. Two people were brutally murdered. We need laws to protect anonymous people giving evidence, but there is no excuse for not at least passing information. They have a hot line Crime Stoppers or something? Bloggers refer previously to New Scotland Yard officers being here. If you know who these evil murderers are and you have no confidence in some police, find them and tell them. There no point in more UK officers or police from elsewhere. They need information so give it and if you have to, do it anonymously for the better good.
  • Anonymous (02/12/2017, 10:32) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    there has always been this protected group who goes about doing and acting as they please. a bunch in west end,
    and scattered around, but what is strange is how they can do almost anything in front of some police and never
    be touched. tortola immitating old chicago mob inflitrated behaviour. i'm surprised these british troops or police
    who have been here don't do something - they just show their automatic weapons off and stand by.
  • Surprised (02/12/2017, 14:34) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    I live in West for years and this is a shock. Always felt safe and never knew we had this problem, so where these people liming?

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