Police Beef Up Patrols

Melissa Edwards, Senior Reporter | 8 Opinions
Published: July 17, 2017 7:13 am AST
Armed officers during a stop search on Friday, July 14, 2017
Photo Credit: BVI Platinum News
The Royal Virgin Islands Police Force has heightened patrols around the island, including stop and search exercises, as it battles to tackle crime.

On Friday afternoon, July 14, armed officers were seen stopping vehicles in and around Road Town, as part of their stop and search exercise.

This comes days after Premier and Finance Minister, Hon. Dr. D. Orlando Smith said that his government is demanding more from the police.

"We have provided the police with all the financial support they need, and we are demanding of them that they step up their efforts, to respond to and solve open criminal cases," Premier Smith said.

The BVI has recorded six murders for the year and has seen a spike in firearms incidents.

Premier Smith said, "I am deeply troubled by the persistence of violent crime in our Territory, and I am resolute about doing something about it. We in the BVI are a family.”

Commissioner of Police, Mr. Michael Matthews has since made a special appeal to the public, to provide names of persons seen with, suspected of having, or importing illegal firearms into the Territory.

The Commissioner noted there is a lot of overt and covert police work going on behind the scenes into the early morning hours; however, that time will be more productive if there was a greater exchange of information.

He lamented that stop searches in the past were successful, but today, with the communication devices and networks available to tip off possible suspects, stop searches are not as effective as they used to be.

“They are most effective if persons provide information on possible suspects. We don’t need your name or address – you can be anonymous. Just tell us directly who has firearms and where they are. We don’t need to know anything else,” the top cop bemoaned.

Police have confiscated seven firearms and several rounds of ammunition so far for the year.

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