Department: Department of Disaster Management
Safety and security is vital for the continued success and peace of the Virgin Islands, which means that the Virgin Islands Community must join together to fight all criminal activity. That was the shared message from His Excellency the Governor John J. Rankin CMG, Premier and Minister of Finance Honourable Andrew A. Fahie, and the Commissioner of Police Mr. Michael Matthews during a press conference in Road Town on March 18th.
Governor Rankin said that security is his top priority, and that he joins the Premier and Commissioner of Police in their commitment to make the Virgin Islands a safe place to live and work.
“To achieve that end I will continue to give my full support and work closely with the Police Commissioner and the members of the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force,” he said, adding that through funding from the United Kingdom, the more than $1 million has been invested to enhance police capability with police training, new equipment, and enhanced infrastructure.
But, the Governor added, police cannot protect the Territory alone.
“The support of the community is required and I encourage anyone, anyone who has information on those involved in drugs trafficking, illegal firearms and organised crime to bring it to the attention of the authorities.”
Premier Fahie likewise urged the BVI to reach out to family members, neighbours and friends who may be straying toward the wrong path.
“I want to remind everyone in this country that we are all free to make decisions, but we are not free from the consequences,” the Premier said, adding, “When we make sound decisions we get sound results. Crime and violence are not options for resolving problems and disagreements.”
Premier Fahie also urged residents to review the upcoming Police Act, and to bring any feedback they may have on the legislation to upcoming public consultation meetings.
“I am appealing to the people of the Virgin Islands to come out and help us shape this legislation so that we can protect lives and livelihoods. Remember that we are in this together, and this is not a time to point fingers or cast blame, but to unite so that we can protect our Virgin Islands’ good name.”
Commissioner Matthews said that officers of the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force have increased their presence in public places with ‘roll and search operations.’
“These Clean the Street operations have and will continue this week with the addition of more armed officers to support safer environments in the day and the night. As I said before, our efforts here is not to alarm anyone,” the Commissioner said, adding, “We recognise the need for reassurance -- that police are present and active in the community.”
The Governor, the Commissioner of Police as the head of the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force, and Government of the Virgin Islands will continue to provide diligent support to all law enforcement efforts to protect the security of the Territory.
Note to Editors: Image included
CAPTION: A scene from the joint press conference regarding security in the Territory held March 18th.