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Local minority situation untenable in RVIPF; HM Prison - Wheatley

Commentator, Douglas Wheatley, felt the situation where locals were in the minority in the RVIPF and HM Prison was untenable. Photo: VINO
Minister for Education and Culture Hon. Myron V. Walwyn previously admonished prison authorities to hire locally and insisted that a local recruitment drive be embarked upon. Photo: VINO/File
Minister for Education and Culture Hon. Myron V. Walwyn previously admonished prison authorities to hire locally and insisted that a local recruitment drive be embarked upon. Photo: VINO/File
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI – The issue of a minority contingent of locals on staff within the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force (RVIPF) and Her Majesty’s Prison at Balsum Ghut has long been one of great concern within the Territory.

Talk show host and commentator Douglas Wheatley has now described what obtains within the two entities as an ‘untenable position’ and suggested that something needs to be done about it.

“We have a situation now where Virgin Islanders are in the minority in the Police Force and I think it behoves all of us to do something about that,” Wheatley said on his 3D show aired on April 26, 2013 on a local radio staion.

The host further expressed happiness at interventions made by Minister for Education and Culture Hon. Myron V. Walwyn to remedy the situation but felt more could be done.

“I am glad that the Ministry under Myron Walwyn has stepped forward… I want him to do more. I want other agencies and Ministries to join in so that we can have people placed in all of these positions,” he added.

“To me,” he continued, “it’s an untenable position and we have to do something about it.”

At a workshop held in February of this year, the Minister admonished prison authorities to hire locally, and stated emphatically, “He who has ears let him hear.”

“I admonish those conducting the interviews to do everything possible to hire locally,” Hon. Walwyn stated back then.

He continued, “And I will take my time to say this, as a matter of fact, I will be insisting that we immediately look at a local recruitment drive followed by a short training programme to create a pool from which to hire locally to fill these vacant posts.”

Commenting further on the situation, Wheatley said, “We have to step up to that and we have to do so much more.”

Independence study buried?

Meanwhile, co-host of the programme, Natalio Wheatley aka Sowande Uhuru expressed concern that a study previously commissioned on independence within the Territory had gone AWOL.

“There was a group of people commissioned to do a study on independence… it really is the incorrect thing to do to behave as if that report was never done or never existed,” he related.

According to Sowande, “As a government we put time, money and energy into things, just for it to sit on the shelves and then every few years we go back to the topic and we repeat the same exercise.”

“It doesn’t make any sense,” he added.

Sowande felt that the study “really needs to be acknowledged”.

Hinting at one of the possible areas of significance of the study, Sowande stated, “if we have any serious discussions about independence that can be a reference point for our discussions.”

9 Responses to “Local minority situation untenable in RVIPF; HM Prison - Wheatley”

  • DON Q (29/04/2013, 08:24) Like (1) Dislike (3) Reply
    no one cares about locals get with the programme
    • Yes (29/04/2013, 16:58) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      This is called damage control. I don't believe this story for one minute.
  • son of the soil (29/04/2013, 08:50) Like (3) Dislike (4) Reply
    islandman taking over
  • farmer brwon (29/04/2013, 12:13) Like (1) Dislike (6) Reply
    with an island man government in power it can only get worst
  • Princess (29/04/2013, 23:14) Like (1) Dislike (6) Reply
    I wonder when will we ever grow up...this crab in a barrel mentality that surrounds us will some day consume us..Island Man...strupppssss...that was back in the day.....this is a new day and Tola is still an island so that make all of us Island men and Island women...just like the others...
  • Martin (30/04/2013, 17:28) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    I agree with Mr. Wheatley's sentiments. I am not saying this because I hate or dislike our brothers and sisters who migrated from elsewhere seeking better for themselves or their love ones. It is about national pride. Minister Walwyn took the right step. It is about time one of our politicians step up to the plate. I notice that as BVIslanders we are to laid back. We tend to ignore things unless they affect us our our immediate families directly.
  • To Princess (01/05/2013, 10:24) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    I agree. We are all Island Men and Island Women. However, are the different islands not supposed to look out for each other? Should St Vincent, St Kitts, Trinidad, Puerto Rico or ANY other island have a majority of non-nationals in as critical an agency as the Prison? We need trained and effective Virgin Islanders as the MAJORITY in Prison, Police, Customs, Immigration, Fire and Education, JUST like all the other islands.

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