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'I would welcome more help' from UK to fight crime- Premier

Premier and Minister of Finance Dr the Honourable Natalio D. Wheatley (R7) and Governor John J. Rankin, CMG at a press conference on July 20, 2023. Photo: VINO
A drug bust in the VI recently. The issue of drug related crimes is a concern in the Virgin Islands. Photo: Team of Reporters
A drug bust in the VI recently. The issue of drug related crimes is a concern in the Virgin Islands. Photo: Team of Reporters
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI- Premier and Minister of Finance Dr the Honourable Natalio D. Wheatley (R7), while acknowledging that the United Kingdom (UK) has assisted the territory with tackling crime, especially organised crime and those relating to the drugs trade, has said more help would be appreciated.

"Yes, we do need their help and they do help," Premier Wheatley responded when asked at a press conference on July 25, 2023, whether he would accept help from the UK.

"I would welcome more help," the Premier continued.

According to the leader of government business, he has been “constantly” in discussions with Governor John J. Rankin, CMG over more help for the VI. “Of course the Governor himself consults with the United Kingdom based on the level of assistance he believes he needs, and the United Kingdom has been able to provide some level of resources to help us, whether it’s equipment, whether it’s training, whether it’s sending personnel down here.

'Conversations' about Police Act 

Dr Wheatley said while discussions will continue with the UK as it pertains to "fighting the scourge" of crime, there are lots of things that can be done on a local front that will assist in fighting crime.

"One of them, for instance, has to do with legislation, and at some point we are going to have to return to the public with conversations about the Police Act. But the one amendment we made to the Police Act, to allow for DNA [testing], [is] extremely helpful to fighting crime, but there are other things than can be done that will help us better fight crime."

Governor Rankin at a press conference on July 20, 2023, said while there will always be a demand for more people and resources, he thanks the Premier for the budget that he and the Government provide for the RVIPF, and he also continues to welcome the UK Government’s support.

UK assistance

"Over recent years some $2m of UK funding has been used to provide training for the police and to provide them with technology, such as body worn cameras, to help them in their work, together with helping to fund the renovation of the police stations in Road Town and in Virgin Gorda."

He added that this year, the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office will provide up to $1m for a wholesale review of law enforcement agencies, including the Police, Customs, Immigration and the Prison, in line with Commission of Inquiry recommendations.

"And again in line with the CoI recommendations, the International Police Assistance Service are supporting the establishment of a new vetting unit, with a view to ensuring that all law enforcement officers are subject to vetting by the end of 2023, providing confidence that officers uphold the values that the public rightly expects," Governor Rankin said.

13 Responses to “'I would welcome more help' from UK to fight crime- Premier”

  • Premier Listen (26/07/2023, 16:41) Like (4) Dislike (2) Reply
    No one can preempt a crime unless you are a Jeanie in a bottle.

    Just continue to ask the young men to think twice on all the persons they will hurt when choosing criminal activities

    I will shut you down if you continue not to listen
    • note (26/07/2023, 21:33) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
      In building a country by increasing the population YES, unequivocally yes crime can be prempted to a large degree. BVI is a prime example. Crime in the VI is dominated by one specific demographic group and they are imports from the known crime harvest location in the Northern hemisphere. FACTS!!!
  • chucky the best (26/07/2023, 16:53) Like (8) Dislike (1) Reply
  • bbq (26/07/2023, 17:02) Like (10) Dislike (7) Reply
    uk have its own criminal conduct to deal with
    in this country have people involved with fighting crime but where they are from full of crime

    Hon Premier ask the UK for assistance with fixing the roads throughout this country

    Ask for assistance to stabilize the constant power outage

    Ask Uk also to fix the dumpster situation in pockwood pond

    hope they don’t gun down the African Tribes when enforcing
  • Styles. (26/07/2023, 17:32) Like (16) Dislike (5) Reply
    Natalio.... last time i checked you fully endorsed our previous premier even after him being in jail (innocent until proven guilty but still)....

    And now you claim to be against crime. how does that work?
  • Oh ho! (26/07/2023, 17:38) Like (14) Dislike (1) Reply
    That's the same colonizers you be ranting against,right?
  • U.k. resident (27/07/2023, 02:29) Like (6) Dislike (0) Reply
    The u.k. is a very safe place. Where I live we have slept with unlocked doors many times. You can walk anywhere any time. People don't study you like that. I have never experienced racism and don't see it anywhere. There are loads of Africans, Indians and South Asians. It's one thing about British, they mind their own business and don't study others. It's very much different from the US.
  • Limey (27/07/2023, 05:18) Like (8) Dislike (0) Reply
    How come you didn’t accept the Free Royal Navy boat security offered. Carry on draining the public purse for family and friends while espousing good intentions towards the electorate and the non voting but taxed majority.
  • It’s simple (27/07/2023, 07:38) Like (7) Dislike (0) Reply
    Don’t allow any artist that sings about drugs, guns or illegal activities at our 2023 festival in Village. All that’s going to do is hype, the already weak minded people as that music will be considered inspiration for a lot of people, especially young people to continue to do drugs use guns, and be part of anything that’s illegal. Unfortunately a lot of people here in the BVI we want to come Bashing you if you remove the criminals from the festival lineup. Just be prepared to be attack by a certain type of people within our community. I don’t know why we have to please certain types of people. Let’s set an example. No artists that promote gun drugs, violence, illegal activities on our stage festival 2023.
  • jack (27/07/2023, 08:26) Like (2) Dislike (3) Reply
    Hope this is not an invitation for uk police officers to come to the bvi to drink and smoke and harass locals they do not like
  • action (27/07/2023, 17:48) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    When we offered help in securing to borders for free you all said fck off. When we offer help to secure to loan you said fck off. What we have to say to you now slow man fck off.

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