BVI News

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BVI experiencing drop in crime – Top Cop

Armed police patrolling Road Town.

Besides the widespread looting that occurred immediately after Hurricane Irma, crime has reduced in the British Virgin Islands, said Commissioner of Police Michael Matthews.

The territory had morphed into a looters paradise when the September 6 hurricane had passed. However, days after, the United Kingdom and other countries deployed a commanding number of law enforcement officers to the territory to support local police.

“It would be fair to say that since then crime has shown a very downward trend. It’s been very, very quiet indeed,” Matthews told BVI News.

Residents reporting stale crimes

The top cop, however, said a considerable amount of dated crimes are now being reported to police.

“What we are seeing – and this has become evident in the last week or so – is people who are returning to the territory who left immediately after Irma. They are coming back and they are reporting the crimes that potentially are historic now because a couple of months has passed.”

Commissioner Matthews explained that these retroactive reports are in relation to crimes that happened both on land and on the sea.

“For example, somebody came in recently to say that one of their boats that was moored down West End had been broken into and a fridge had been taken and generator had been taken. That sort of thing.”

“They are only just returning to the territory and perhaps just found that the battery is missing from their car or something has been stolen off their boat or whatever,” Matthews added.

The commissioner said the Royal Virgin Islands Police was able to apprehend several looters with the assistance of police from other jurisdictions as well as assistance from the public.

A number of looters have also been prosecuted and sentenced. BVI News understands that convicted looters were fined and/or sentenced to serve community hours.

Commissioner of Police Michael Matthews

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