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Blaming the Gov’t for crime is a self-serving & dangerous narrative by Opposition- Premier

Premier and Minister of Finance Dr the Honourable Natalio D. Wheatley (R7) has hit back at the Opposition for suggesting that the government is to be somewhat blamed for the increase in crime in the Virgin Islands. Photo: Facebook
Opposition Leader Hon Ronnie W. Skelton (AL), centre, during a press conference on October 26, 2023, said he agreed with his Opposition colleagues that crime stems from the lack of job opportunities in the territory. Photo: YouTube/File
Opposition Leader Hon Ronnie W. Skelton (AL), centre, during a press conference on October 26, 2023, said he agreed with his Opposition colleagues that crime stems from the lack of job opportunities in the territory. Photo: YouTube/File
FISH BAY, Tortola, VI- Premier and Minister of Finance Dr the Honourable Natalio D. Wheatley (R7) has hit back at the Opposition for suggesting that the government is to take some of the blame for the increase in crime in the Virgin Islands.

Premier Wheatley, during a live interview with Cathy O. Richards on The Big Story on JTV today, October 30, 2023, said the Opposition’s narrative is self-serving and dangerous.

Opposition Leader Hon Ronnie W. Skelton (AL), during a press conference on October 26, 2023, said he agreed with his “colleagues here at the table… That it [crime] just stems from the lack of job opportunities in your country, some of it, not all of it. It is important for us to start finding ways when our economy is sluggish, the private sector is not moving, for the government… to get people back to work at [getting] the economy moving.”

‘The job of the Opposition is not to mislead people’- Premier

Premier Wheatley responded today that the very individuals who left those “challenges on the table for us to solve” can’t say the government is taking too long “because, of course, we have a multiplicity of challenges which were left there by previous administrations. It’s going to take time to address them, but we are addressing them one by one. And I can assure the people of the Virgin Islands that.”

Hon Wheatley also agreed with host Ms Richards that the Opposition is there to put pressure on government to get things done but said the “job of the Opposition is not to mislead people”.

He said it is being dangerously promoted that crime is the result of a lack of opportunities in our economy.

“Now I see that as being a very dangerous thing to promote, because we have persons in our community working hard every day to be able to put food on the table. They are being responsible, they are not going to other persons and say 'I am going to take what you have'.”

Crime is a choice- Premier

Premier Wheatley reasoned that there are persons who have jobs but still make the decision to commit crime. “They have responded to an ideology and a mentality that I want the easy way out. I want easy money.”

Dr Wheatley continued that he has seen individuals who have been in prison but have turned their lives around and have become productive members of society. He said Mr Ramon George, who is also a talented musician, is such an example.

“He has come out of prison and he has been doing an awesome job in the marine industry. He is a boat captain. When I need to go someplace sometimes, he takes me to the outer islands.”

‘We are working hard to address those challenges’

The Premier acknowledged that there are a number of challenges we face in this community, “challenges not of the Government’s making, of course, these are challenges, like of course, the climate disaster we are facing, of course, we came out of a pandemic, we came out of CoI, and lots of different challenges we face as a people. We spoke about crime, unemployment et cetera.

“And I want the people of the Virgin Islands to know we are working hard to address those challenges, and we are going to be coming to them, especially as we get close to the Budget Speech, and letting them know the plans and initiatives in terms of solving some of these challenges.”

24 Responses to “Blaming the Gov’t for crime is a self-serving & dangerous narrative by Opposition- Premier”

  • Tolian (30/10/2023, 11:50) Like (13) Dislike (6) Reply
    All legislatures like this poppy show, Wheatley making headlines. Govt can and must do better. having a Fire Job and part time for example still aint cutting it.


    Yall have yall greedy bill ready. thats why salaries aint salarying anymore.
    • @Tolian (30/10/2023, 18:01) Like (4) Dislike (9) Reply
      I am not a fan of Natalio but I am always amazed how some of you only have the guts to publicly ridicule elected officials and give the Governor a pass. Security is a subject under the Governor's responsibility. Public service is a subject under the Governor's responsibility. These and much more subjects under his responsibility are failures therefore he is a failure. He does not care about these kinds of crime. Only those he deem as crime under his well organized preauthored COI so it can seemingly justify his high handed behavior and take over plot to the international world. We have been hoodwinked.
  • everybody (30/10/2023, 11:51) Like (8) Dislike (10) Reply
    I blaming Delilah for making him the Premier.
    • @everybody (30/10/2023, 18:08) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
      The system is not balanced. When you have an unbalanced system then it is hard to fight crime. For instance many rumors are out there on the street about the death of the UK officer and it is pointing in a direction that is above the law and who cannot be Investigated. You cannot have laws that are only applicable to some and not others. They cannot be free from inquiry and investigation. Here lies the problem.
  • resident (30/10/2023, 12:01) Like (15) Dislike (0) Reply
    i blame whoever is in charge, all of you need to get serious because the crime will soon scare away the tourists
    • To: resident (30/10/2023, 18:04) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
      I agree. The UK Commissioner of Police is a waste of time. He has challenges with the truth. He has divided the force. He makes no adjustments to increase police pressence. He closed all out post police stations. This man needs to be relieved of his duty.
  • Bush Professor (30/10/2023, 13:03) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
    Governments the world over usually take credit for things that are going well but have no direct control over, but also take blows for things that are going sideways but also have no direct control over, ie, economy, crimes, etc. They have to roll with punches dealing with the good, the bad, and the ugly. For example, Presidents of the US gets credit for a good economy though they had/ have any direct control over it; and also takes heavy blows for a poor and may even lose an election over a poor economy. Government must stay focus, exercising a steady and confident hand, demonstrating exemplary leadership and managing resources of the country within the limits of available budget. The word opposition means to oppose and is taken literally in political circles , ie, Westminster system, etc. The Opposition don’t see themselves as holding hands with government and singing cumbya. Let’s remember that the Opposition is the government in waiting and the alternative government, so, their job is not to make the government look good. The Opposition not singing from the same sheet of music as government is expected but it must be a straight, honest shooter/dealer. In general if it occurs/occurred misinformation, disinformation and malinformation is a bridge too far and out of bounds, a foul and toxic.

    Meanwhile, government should stay laser focus on performing the usual basic functions of government, viz, a)provide strong and effective leadership and management, b) maintain order, c) maintain security, d) provide economic security, e)provide public assistance, etc. Nevertheless, in small locales like the BVI with small economies, residents expect government to also be a direct employer, invest money to juice the local economy, meet their direct personal social and economic needs,etc. The political situation is a heavily dependent on government scenario.

    Management science reports indicates that locales with high unemployment, ie, frictional, structural, cyclical, etc for the most part violent and property crimes also rises. In the area of economic security, residents expect government to set up the framework in which steady employment and income is available for enjoying a good quality of life and standards of living. It must also be noted that government economic security efforts can/may be overcome by events beyond its control, ie, inflation, contraction of economy in developed countries.
  • asura (30/10/2023, 13:08) Like (6) Dislike (8) Reply
    yes they think the vip is asleep hit them yes
    • @ asura (30/10/2023, 16:40) Like (4) Dislike (3) Reply
      You all think this is definitely Natalio hardest fight to date,? you all better wheel and come again
      For our premier has not came into the fight with bruised ribs, Cindy cannot out last him
    • @ asura (30/10/2023, 18:12) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
      Both VIP and some of those UK 48 recommendations are negatively impacting the economy. However the opposition is fighting the wrong fight and the wrong people. Both them and the Government side need to unite to fight against the UK & Governor's dictatorship actions cloaked as good governance. This is doing more damage to the economy than anything else. What they want implemented does not take in consideration the root of the issues and the culture of the people. It is about them & their take over plans with an adjusted form of their Global Britan plans.
  • please (30/10/2023, 14:00) Like (14) Dislike (3) Reply
    If something is not done and this man is allowed to stay in that job with his ineffective Government come the next four years there will not be a country. He is clueless.
  • jack (30/10/2023, 14:08) Like (4) Dislike (11) Reply
    I must agree with the premier
  • Mislead? (30/10/2023, 14:24) Like (8) Dislike (2) Reply
    Premier says - ‘The job of the Opposition is not to mislead people’. However, he clearly thinks it is ok for the government to mislead people?
  • Reckless (30/10/2023, 14:27) Like (3) Dislike (1) Reply
    The Opposition is reckless with such comments. There's a culture of persons who want the fast life and the idlers who are not grabbing the technical opportunities available. Some of these incidents are being carried out by persons who are actually employed. Are we providing excuses for these scoundrels to carry out crimes? Simply reckless!
  • WOW (30/10/2023, 14:43) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    Who else can we blame. If ya got a legal job by time ya pay a bill buy groceries take care of ya needs . You back to square 1 . It's been years since the minimum wage has been raised alot of companies are doin their employees wrong working them hard n not paying them right n they get away with it cause their friends are the government assisting them to rob their employees
  • Blame the Govt. (30/10/2023, 15:03) Like (5) Dislike (6) Reply
    You all are the once just hiring all these police and giving them everything they say they want. Without results. You the Govt cannot go blameless. Hold the police accountable..
  • Observer (30/10/2023, 16:53) Like (7) Dislike (0) Reply
    The people voted for all 13 of you to take the country forward. Why can’t you all work together and stop the blame game.
    Are we going to pull down each other for the next four years and the country remains stagnant so the UK can take over.
    • @observer (30/10/2023, 19:05) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
      To Observer, the HoA is the legislative branch and government the executive branch so to speak. It is flawed process, but nevertheless, both branches must work collectively, cooperatively, and collaboratively for the good of the country, putting the public good, public policy, etc over personal ambitions, This is Virgin Islanders home and must work to build and protect it, for others with a different agenda will come and go home, leaving us holding the bag.
  • Lb (30/10/2023, 20:02) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    Did anyone hear any single solutions? more Hot air!
  • Big Richard (30/10/2023, 22:55) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    I don’t think Slowande remembers he is the premier. Responsible for everything.
  • Political Observer (PO) (31/10/2023, 05:37) Like (2) Dislike (1) Reply
    Dr. Hon Premier Natalio Wheatley, R-7 and MoF is leader of the country and of government business in the HoA. He must be statesman yet as a political leader and politician not be Swiftboated. He must avoid the bait of responding to every throwing of corn with chip, chip. He must be targeted and selective in his responses to criticisms. He must guide and direct government in a new direction after a critical analysis of the social, economic and political conditions on the ground, develop a plan of action with milestones and with strategies to move the BVI to a better place with strong economic growth and development, improved standards of living, quality of life, enhanced human development index, improved per capita income, etc. He must plan the work and work the plan.
    • @ PO (31/10/2023, 11:43) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
      To PO, throwing corn and going chip, chip, chip..,… you are a riot, made spew my rock bolsom bush tea all over my white shut., Lol. Good one.
  • Native Tongue (31/10/2023, 10:37) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    Sometimes you have to tell the Premier et al...SHUT UP.

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