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UK police memorialised; Body to be shipped; CoP still mum on autopsy report

Almost two months since UK Police Detective Sergeant Paul A. France was found drowned in his car in the seawater in the area near Government House in Road Town, the capital city, the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force held a memorial service in his honour yesterday, November 28, 2023. Photo: Facebook
The memorial service for Mr Paul A. France had a large turnout of UK police officers and included Commissioner of Police (CoP) Mark Collins, Governor John J. Rankin CMG, and former CoP Reynell Fraser. Photo: Facebook
The memorial service for Mr Paul A. France had a large turnout of UK police officers and included Commissioner of Police (CoP) Mark Collins, Governor John J. Rankin CMG, and former CoP Reynell Fraser. Photo: Facebook
While Mr Paul A. France’s death certificate has listed his death as ‘downing’, many in the police force, the media, talk show hosts and the public have continued to speculate as to the cause of death. Photo: Team of Reporters
While Mr Paul A. France’s death certificate has listed his death as ‘downing’, many in the police force, the media, talk show hosts and the public have continued to speculate as to the cause of death. Photo: Team of Reporters
PASEA ESTATE, Tortola, VI- Almost two months since UK Detective Sergeant Paul A. France was found drowned in his car in the seawater in the area near Government House in Road Town, the capital city, the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force (RVIPF) held a memorial service in his honour yesterday, November 28, 2023.

The service took place at Davis Funeral Home Chapel in Pasea Estate, Tortola.

The body of Mr France was recovered on October 6, 2023, by Fire and Rescue personnel.

The late Mr France was born on May 15, 1962, in Manchester, England, and died at the age of 61. He moved to the Virgin Islands years ago as the local Police Force continued to import UK nationals to work in the Territory, claiming that the local police officers do not have the skills required to operate.

The service had a large turnout of UK police officers and included Commissioner of Police (CoP) Mark Collins, Governor John J. Rankin CMG, who also made tributes in the booklet, along with former CoP Reynell Frazer. 

Additionally, Deputy Governor David D. Archer Jr and Acting Premier and Minister of Finance Hon Kye M. Rymer (R5) offered tributes to the deceased in the memorial booklet.

Body to be shipped to Manchester, UK

Next week, the body of the deceased will be shipped back to Manchester, his place of birth, and will be his final resting place. 

While Mr France's death certificate listed his death as “downing”, many in the police force, the media, talk show hosts, and the public have continued to speculate as to the cause of death.

Mr Collins said at a press conference, even before an autopsy was conducted, that no foul play was suspected or he did not believe that Mr France would have engaged in a self-inflicted death.

However, Mr Collins, who continues to be embroiled in controversy, has not been forthcoming in releasing the autopsy report in the spirit of good governance and transparency.

The late Detective Sergeant is survived by 4 children and many grandchildren.

There continues to be much unease in the local community over the importation of so many UK police officers, who are being paid by taxpayers to the tune of millions. Many of them are retired police officers and are being paid much more than the local police officers. This has created two police forces.

Some critics have claimed that the UK police officers have a target list of prominent locals to harass and arrest based on gossip and because these locals have been speaking out against injustice, and double standards, but these critics have not presented evidence to substantiate their claims.

The staff and management of Virgin Islands News Online offer condolences to the immediate family and other loved ones of the late Paul Anthony France.

Click Here to view the Flipbook from the Memorial Service for Mr Paul A. France.

28 Responses to “UK police memorialised; Body to be shipped; CoP still mum on autopsy report”

  • pat (29/11/2023, 14:48) Like (17) Dislike (0) Reply
    Rest detective
  • Anonymous (29/11/2023, 15:07) Like (20) Dislike (15) Reply
    "Some critics have claimed that the UK police officers have a target list of prominent locals to harass and arrest based on gossip and because these locals have been speaking out against injustice, and double standards, but these critics have not presented evidence to substantiate their claims.".
    Vino you dispointed your readers what more evidence you need;
    Najah, Ms Stevens, Myron, Dr c O'Neal, wade, Thomas, must I go on?
  • poor tax payers (29/11/2023, 15:13) Like (7) Dislike (40) Reply
    Who is paying to shipped the body back
    • Hmm (29/11/2023, 15:47) Like (8) Dislike (7) Reply
      Tax payers money
    • Hum (29/11/2023, 16:14) Like (8) Dislike (6) Reply
      You so stupid with your comment poor
    • @poor tax payers (29/11/2023, 17:14) Like (16) Dislike (10) Reply
      NONE OF YOUR F….ng business. STOP ASKING STUPID QUESTIONS. I’m going to say this, if you don’t like what I’ve said, OH WELL, YOU’LL GET OVER IT. As a local black woman, I actually feel safer around and trust the cops from the UK. As far as I am concern, the whole police force should be made up of UK cops both black and white. And yes, there are black cops in the UK.
      • I do as well (29/11/2023, 22:10) Like (12) Dislike (7) Reply
        I feel more safer and feel that I can trust the officers from the UK. Don’t everrrrrrr allow a local Black to hold the position of Police Commissioner or Governor on this island or we will all be DOA. Perhaps in the next 20 years but not right now.
      • Citizen (30/11/2023, 08:46) Like (5) Dislike (5) Reply
        Please move to the UK you will feel much better. Why are you still here?
  • Disinterested (29/11/2023, 16:07) Like (10) Dislike (12) Reply
    Ok. Police officer France died in the Virgin Islands apparently from drowning And allegedly before an autopsy was performed the controversial and out of his CoP Mark Collins proclaimed with confidence without any evidence there was no foul play in France’s death. Autopsy completed, CoP Mark Collins indicates the autopsy results will not be result. If there were no foul play, why can’t the cause of death, eg, natural causes, etc, release to the BVI public, community. Is it, could it be that because France is White, it is none of the BVI people, the majority of whom are Black, business as to why he died in the BVI while an active member of the RVIPF. It seems as if there are 3 police forces; the force can never be effective with this division. The selective political targeting of the Black members of the community must stop and stop now. The BVI people deserves how they are being treated though; they are both complicit and comfortable and at ease with the treatment. Last weekend, we celebrate the Great March of 24 November 1949, celebrating our ancestors bravery in fighting for rights, freedoms and ill-treatment from Commissioner John Augustus Cockburn Cruikshank. The fight, courage, etc of the leaders and 1500 participants in the Great March seemed to have been sadly lost on the current generations. New leadership is needed for the RVIPF. Collins need to catch a ride with Rankin back to the UK.
    • Yo (29/11/2023, 19:12) Like (4) Dislike (6) Reply
      The problem is you still in 1500.
      Us ,all of us,No mather what color we are or where we from,chineese,african,usa,colombia,we are in 2023 and soon 2024
      • @Yo (30/11/2023, 06:00) Like (2) Dislike (5) Reply
        @yo, put the phone down and take your meds, for you well, physically and mentally.
  • Jane (29/11/2023, 16:31) Like (20) Dislike (5) Reply
    There are moments to make political points and there are moments when it would be crass, unfeeling and frankly unchristian to do so. Shameful reporting.
  • SOME AH U (29/11/2023, 16:36) Like (2) Dislike (1) Reply
    SOUNDING LIKE THE ANGELS OF THE DEVIL , LOOKING FOR A LOST SOUL TO DINE ON •¿•
  • Curlie (29/11/2023, 17:08) Like (25) Dislike (5) Reply
    Your comment is extremely offensive. This person had a name this person had a family. This person had a loved ones. Rest assured it’s not coming out of your taxpayers pocket. Show some respect and decency. May this officer rest in peace.
    • @ curlie (30/11/2023, 02:14) Like (2) Dislike (6) Reply
      sorry to offend; I forget according to the COI report accountability, good governance and transparency does not cover the RVIPF or the governor's office because they are run by white English men, therefore, only the rest of us black people are corrupt and must be audited and locked away for years my bad I apologize!!!
      On the other hand, Office France, we thank you for your service to the BVI, and pray that Jehovah will give your family strength.
  • rrrr (29/11/2023, 18:38) Like (29) Dislike (3) Reply
    The amount of racism and disrespect in the reporting of this tragedy is epic. A gentleman is dead. He was here to do a job, which he did to the best of his ability. If you don’t agree with having uk police officers here, that’s up to you but he didn’t make that happen. He applied for a transfer and he got it, that’s all. Please allow the man to rest in peace and allow his loved ones to mourn him in peace.
  • lk (29/11/2023, 18:54) Like (13) Dislike (4) Reply
    As far as i see tola people have bo respect for God or man thay don't like no one not even him hhen self thay go to bed thinking evil wakes doing the same thing what a shame
    • @ik (30/11/2023, 08:59) Like (4) Dislike (4) Reply
      They are their own worst enemy. They go to bed, dream and wake up plotting how to destroy each other and hating on the people that is not from here like they own the Island. All they know how to do is HOLLER I BAWNNNNNN HERE. I BAWNNNNNN HERE, YOU NEED A GOOD HARD SLAP ACROSS YOUR UGLY FACES WHEN YOU HOLLERING I BAWNNNNN HERE. WHO THE HELL CARES WHERE YOU WERE BAWNNNNN.
  • Poor commish (29/11/2023, 20:16) Like (4) Dislike (5) Reply
    C.O.P you have big bags under your eyes you probably haven’t slept in weeks huh? You didn’t factor in the power of Caribbean high science. You set up gods people maliciously to destroy them and now everything around you will crumble. Those good folks that you tarnished their reputation permanently are decent hard working people that served their country well. I feel bad for the fallen officer. I hope he wasn’t getting ready to expose you guys..hmm
  • Such A Shame (29/11/2023, 21:32) Like (14) Dislike (3) Reply
    There is some evil wicked people on this rat hole of an Island. My gosh, where is the respect for the officers family. No wonder the outside don’t want anything to do with you people. You all always seem to act like uncivilized animals that was let out of your cages to soon before you were fully trained.I to would also agree that the RVIPF SHOULD ONLY CONSIST OF POLICE OFFICERS FROM THE UK ONLY.
  • @poor tax payers (29/11/2023, 22:20) Like (14) Dislike (3) Reply
    As a taxpayer, I have no problem if my taxes is used to ship any officer who has served the territory body back to their homeland. I want to give you a tongue lashing but vino will not post my comment. Have some damn respect for the decesed and his family. I can’t stand some of you people that I have live amongst. Just a bunch of silly worthless people.
  • My only comment (30/11/2023, 07:37) Like (7) Dislike (2) Reply
    DO NOT REPORT OR SHARE THE AUTOPSY REPORT OF THE OFFICER WITH THE PUBLIC. They are just looking for news and gossip. The part that got to me most is some of the horrible things that were being said about the dead officer and the jokes about his pants being pulled down below his knees when he was found. BASIC COMMON SENSE WHICH MOST OF YOU DONT HAVE SHOULD HAVE TOLD YOU, IF A PERSON IS SUBMERGED IN WATER, THE WEIGHT OF THE WATER WILL CAUSE THE CLOTHES OR WHATEVER THE PERSON IS WEARING TO EVENTUALLY SLIP OFF THE PERSON.
    • Exactly (30/11/2023, 12:31) Like (5) Dislike (2) Reply
      Please don’t share the findings of the man’s autopsy to the public. The public have already came to their own conclusion as to what happened. People here BVI.is to damn intrusive and nosy. You know? if these people were living outside of the BVI, they would be getting all kind of lick down and slap down for the BS they get away with in the BVI. Anyone who has lived outside the BVI including myself knows you mind your business and not get in anyone’s business nor be intrusive and nosy.Granny is always saying mind your business and you will live a day longer.
  • @poor tax payers (30/11/2023, 09:12) Like (4) Dislike (4) Reply
    You should have kept your damn rat mouth shut. They need to call this place RAT ISLAND. This place is one big RAT HOLE SURROUNDED BY WATER.
  • El Demonio Negro (30/11/2023, 10:02) Like (2) Dislike (5) Reply
    Look those shuckers and jivers in the back smh sambos. Cop should have left the rum and COKE alone it to pure round here.
  • Lb (30/11/2023, 12:42) Like (3) Dislike (3) Reply
    No transparency just cover up after cover up


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