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7 illegal guns seized – Cops lament porous borders

Commissioner of Police Michael Matthews

Police have confiscated seven illegal firearms and ‘several’ rounds of ammunition since the start of the year, according to the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force (RVIPF), which also declared that it is engaging the community in a territory-wide crackdown to reduce the number of illegal firearms available.

The RVIPF made the declaration in a press statement yesterday (July 12) – a day after Premier Dr D Orlando Smith stated that the RVIPF has been provided with additional money, and so he is ‘demanding’ that the police ‘step up their efforts to respond to and solve open criminal cases’.

Commissioner of Police Michael Matthews, while not mentioning the premier’s comments, noted that ‘there is a lot of overt and covert police work going on behind the scenes into the early morning hours’.

He made another special appeal for the public to provide the names of persons seen with guns, or suspected of having or importing illegal firearms into the British Virgin Islands.

Commissioner Matthews added: “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. We will take it from there. This will add value and productivity to the time we are out there.”

Commissioner Matthews further stated that securing the territory’s borders is a major challenge.

“The ease with which persons are able to secure firearms in this territory is no doubt because security of our borders is difficult to police 24 hours a day. This is not unique to the Virgin Islands; much of the territories in the Caribbean face the same dilemma.”

“We just need to put fear in those who dare to have a firearm or to make it very difficult for someone to keep it or carry it around. That happens in a society where there is an absolute intolerant to persons illegally holding or carrying a firearm. Therefore, report any one who is seen or who is believed to have a firearm and we will do the rest,” Commissioner Matthews further said.

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6 Comments

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  1. dirty harry says:

    Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 5

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

  2. Reply says:

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

    What additionally can be done to help intercept guns from coming into the territory. Clearly, they can be smuggled in from any point on the island. However, to the extent that any are smuggled on arriving ferries, there needs to be beefed up security.

    The government of the BVI needs to seek the assistance of the US Customs Services to assist in preventing any guns that are being smuggled on the ferries. There is absolutely no security checks of any person/luggage getting on a ferry from St.Thomas or St. John. Anyone can attempt to carry a firearm in their luggage, and there is no one to intercept them.

    The ferriy companies should also be required to have security screening in place from those destinations as well prior to anyone getting on a ferry to the BVI,

    Lastly, BVI Customs need to be more vigilant about inspecting incoming passengers on the ferries. I once was returning from an overseas trip in the US where security checks can be painful.

    Travelled thru St. Thomas on the ferry. I was with a first time visitor. When I got to the Road Town dock, I went thru the customary immigration check. When I got to Customs, there were a few female custom agents manning their stations and engaged in what apoeared to be a personal dialogue.

    After identifying my luggage, one Custom agent said to me and my visitor as we approached her, and I quote “Pass thru” and immediately resumed her conversation with her fellow custom officer. It was if we were a distraction to their conversation.

    My visting friend turned to me with shock, amusement and a chuckle, and asked: Is this it? I said yes. In response, he said, I love your country. To this day whenever my friend speaks of his visit to the BVI, he has this running joke “Pass Thru”.

    Either of us could have had a gun in our luggage, but with the laxed security check, we would have easily been able to enter the BVI with a firearm. That needs to be changed if it has not already.

  3. Rights says:

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    So hear say is wa police going by? No probable cause just ” i hear such n such have a gun?” police better do them work if I ask me.

  4. who to blame says:

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    the USVI also laments the border situation. Lets recognize that we are truly one and all problems affect all of us either today or tomorrow

  5. By us for us says:

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    Along with the employ of modern technology in the sky, the once porous border,the will, upgrade of the law, manpower and enforcement tactics, gun violence and deaths will go down significantly.

  6. Political Observer (PO) says:

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    Yep, the VI has an extensive and porous coastline. No guns are manufactured in the BVI but guns are prevalent in the BVI; everyone seems to have a gun. There seems to be a gun culture emerging in the BVI. So how are they pouring into the territory.

    An educated guess is through the porous borders. It will be costly to monitor the border but it must be a priority.

    Too many lives are snuffed out. Continued rise in violent and property crimes will markedly but negatively impact our service-based economy, especially tourism.

    All vessels entering into BVI waters should be throughly screened, i.e., yachts, motor vessels, container ships……..etc.

    Gun control should occur through policy, education and enforcement. The word must get out that smuggling guns into the VI is an extremely bad idea with harsh consequences.

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