When I first arrived in these islands, I was struck by the sheer natural beauty, engaging people and the peace and tranquility that have given these islands the name of Nature’s Little Secrets. While the Virgin Islands are of course well known in business, international finance and tourism across the world, what struck me also were the stories of how people felt safe here; and how important that is. A sense of calm and safety to walk in the early and late mornings, have family outings and some who even slept with windows and doors ajar to take in natural breezes.
The security of the territory is a critical part of its recovery and is something I take very seriously. I am in regular contact with the Commissioner of Police on security matters and this week convened a meeting of all of the agencies involved in this area.
As you are all well aware, a curfew has been in place across the Virgin Islands since the passage of Hurricane Irma in September. Since the Curfew was first imposed between the hours of 1800 and 0600, the National Security Council and Cabinet have kept the need for a curfew and its hours under constant review, working with the advice and the guidance of the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force (RVIPF). This has seen a gradual reduction in its hours.
On the evening of the March 16, 2017 Premier and Minister of Finance, Dr. the Honourable D. Orlando Smith, OBE made a statement to the Territory setting out, among other things, his Government’s continued commitment to supporting law enforcement in the Territory.
At a press conference earlier this afternoon, His Excellency the Governor indicated that he had instructed (or will be instructing) the Financial Secretary pursuant to section 103 of the BVI constitution to provide $800,000 for the police, monies which were repeatedly asked for to augment the police force.