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Road Town Anti-Crime Group submits recommendations to Premier

Press release - Thursday, March 29th, 2012 at 1:45 PM

Premier Dr. Orlando Smith

The Road Town Anti-Crime Group submitted recommendations earlier this week in a letter to Premier, Dr. the Hon. D. Orlando Smith, calling for mandatory sentences for gun crimes and for gun possession, the creation of a Sex Offenders’ Registry and higher qualifications for police officers among other things. The letter was delivered to the Premier’s Office on Monday, 26th March.

The Group is also calling for a criminologist or an expert with a similar background to conduct an audit of the operations of the RVIPF aimed at determining where opportunities lie for strengthening the department and where challenges exist.

The report produced should then guide the short-term and long-term reformation of the RVIPF and should result in a more effective crime-fighting organization whose members enjoy the full trust and respect of the society they serve.

The Group has repeated its call for the prompt enactment of legislation mandating a ten year sentence for crimes committed with the use of a gun, and a  five year sentence for illegal gun possession and for gun trafficking.

“Mandatory sentences send a message to everyone that the VI is serious about protecting its people and its reputation as a low-crime destination,” says Group member Ken Guiste.  “The BVI is not the territory that I’ve heard it was a couple decades ago but we can still put the genie back in the bottle if we send a clear message of abhorrence for all crimes, but particularly those in which guns are used.”

The Group has also reiterated its call for the implementation of community policing programmes and for the adoption of the Broken Windows approach to policing which it believes will result in minor forms of lawlessness such as destruction of property, littering and drag racing on public streets being eliminated and in a better quality of life as order is restored to the Virgin Islands.

“We continue to call for increased foot patrols as part of the community policing initiative because you can have the best lighting in the world but if there’s nobody around when a burglar is breaking in and if burglars and robbers know the likelihood of anyone passing by is slim, then the lighting doesn’t matter,” Group member Brian Liverpool points out, noting that break-ins have occurred even in well-lit areas.  “We need better lighting but we also need more of a police presence.”

The Group is also calling for continuous and prompt maintenance of street lights, particularly in the Road Town area.  In November of 2011, the RT Anti-Crime Group identified to the BVIEC and the Minister of Communications and Works, Hon. Mark Vanterpool, all the areas along Main Street and adjacent streets that required either the replacement of bulbs or the placement of better lighting and the removal of obscuring vegetation.

“The peaceful territory that we once knew not so long ago is now seeing two or three murders a year and a rise in other violent crimes,” Group member Eugenia O’Neal points out.  “If we don’t take a stand now, in five or ten years it will become too late to turn back the clock and, in the meantime, the tourism industry on which our economy depends will have shrunk as the word continues to get out about our increasing violence.”

Noting the advances that have been made in the study of crime, in forensic science and other related areas, the Group has asked that all new recruits to the RVIPF be required to hold at least an Associate level degree or to have completed 62 hours of college credit courses.

The Group is also calling for legislation that would allow for the compilation of a Sexual Offenders Registry and that would prohibit the employment of convicted sex offenders in schools, as coaches and in all other situations in which they would come into contact with children.

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  1. well said!
    March 29, 2012
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    cause your a victim does not mean you didn’t deserve it! sometime you have to defend yourself lets be optimist on this one love life and all things in it so know better next time such is life the stick points both ways i shall see you again!

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  2. quickly
    March 29, 2012
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    Enforce the laws seriously without regards to who u fah…. starting”specially” with those offenses that are minor and we will get the VI back to what is was. I can remember many times leaving my wallet in my car Unlocked, my doors and windows unlocked and this was a lillte over a decade ago.

    Its not to late start being serious let people know breaking the rules, being street isn’t cool and isn’t going to be accepted!!!!!!!!!!

    Once upon a time I felt very good/proud saying the VI was a place where black people could have a good life with little crime and violence, not to sure about that now, Shame Shame!!!!

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  3. Ray
    March 29, 2012
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    I support the group and their recommendations in full. I hope the Premier and the government as a whole will give their recommendations the due deligence and consideration it deserves, and I trust the majority of us who are law abiding citizens support their efforts as well.

    Reply to this comment
    • victim
      March 29, 2012
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      Well said, Ray. I too hope we see some action from these recommendations.

      Reply to this comment

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