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Giving business owners guns won’t solve crime -Fraser

Matthews and Fraser

Matthews and Fraser

Leader of the Opposition Julian Fraser has reiterated his call for the police to carry guns, but he does not think the suggestion for business operators to more easily acquire licensed firearms would significantly help to curb the current spate of gun crimes in the British Virgin Islands (BVI).

“I was asked my opinion on arming business owners as a deterrent to robberies, and I don’t see the connection unless the store owners decide to post a sign on the outside of their business saying that they are armed. But this might just have the opposite effect by deterring the customers they rely upon to survive,” he reasoned.

“But law enforcement has a duty beyond policing – which includes Customs and Immigration. It has to do with border protection because, last time I checked, the BVI don’t produce anything including guns. So, whose fault is it that the guns are here! When we figure that out, half our problems with gun crimes are solved. It’s not rocket science.

None of this is easy, but all of it is achievable. We just have to develop the courage to do what we all know is necessary, but are reluctant to do.”

Fraser said the police are also in need of other resources.

“The men and women charged with the responsibility to keep us safe will never be able to control crime until they are in a position to patrol our streets and neighborhoods adequately. And the three most important things they are going to need are personnel, patrol cars, and firearms. To get these things, the police must have two things: money, and a change in management’s mentality towards firearms.”

When Fraser previously called for the police to be armed with guns, Commissioner of Police Michael Matthews disagreed.

The commissioner, in July last year, explained his position: “Carrying a firearm does not make a police officer any safer; it doesn’t necessarily make the public any safer. The only time a firearm is going to be of value to you is if you can draw it first or point it first before an offender armed can point it at you. After that, if the offender already got a gun in their hand, then it matters not if you (the police) got a gun.”

Starved

Opposition leader Fraser, in the meantime, suggested that the government is not properly funding the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force (RVIPF) because it does not control the law-enforcement organization.

The governor has oversight responsibility for the RVIPF, which is funded by the BVI government.

Over the years, the police have been complaining about not having adequate resources to do their job.

Fraser now reasons: “As long as the police is under the governor, the elected government will never feel the necessary pressures to properly fund the police, because the issue of crime is always the responsibility of those in charge. There is no reason the governor can’t give responsibility for the police to the premier. It happens in Bermuda, and it has been working for decades. The mechanism for this exists constitutionally. We need to make our elected government responsible for keeping us safe, and if they don’t, hold them accountable.”

Governor John Duncan (left) and Premier Dr D Orlando Smith

Governor John Duncan (left) and Premier Dr D Orlando Smith

Copyright 2017 BVI News, Media Expressions Limited. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or distributed.

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11 Comments

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  1. read the message says:

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Don’t hate on the messenger

  2. Bar Owner says:

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

    Our lives depend on One’s man opinion, let the community vote on this, the leaders/politicians/lawmakers don’t hang out late night they thinking about themselves, wait until the robbers start terrorizing them and the whites, you will only hear the special type get license fire arm, the robbers will always win because of the outdated system and law, one of us lost his life and you all talking smack.

    You leaders and head of police want us die out like animals and come on the podium talking sh*t when we continue to be victims but when the leaders and law makers start become victims themselves they would feel how we feel, until then they don’t see this fit blah blah

  3. Bar Owner says:

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 3

    As for you Julian Frazer it’s not in our place to solve crime, it’s for us to get rid of the bad people who terrorizing the place, police can’t be everywhere my friend frazer, these are the reason why we will always be victims

    1. Police can’t be every where. 2. We as business owners can’t be armed, we all know things happen under one minute, it’s impossible police can reach in time when the robbers already scope the area.

    I plead with you lawmakers to reconsider arming us ( rules, proper training etc) reconsider please or else we will be forever victims,

  4. Business Owner says:

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

    Absolute rubbish! I would feel MORE comfortable knowing that an establishment is:

    (i) protected by qualified ARMED security
    (ii) the premises has a licensed to carry permit holder in the event the establishment is held up by armed perps.

    Now as for ‘advertising’ that the establishment is protected by an armed person; wouldn’t the would-be perps. now think twice about entering an armed establishment?

    I mean when we travel to the big ole’ USA and go into a bodega or BP/Shell gas station and the clerk is armed we still conduct our business due to the fact that we are not there to rob the place!

    So commish. – makes absolute sense that we as law abiding, tax paying contributors to the BVI society have ways and means to practicably protect our livelihood, property and lives!

    Cameras are only useful after the fact, and as these perps. do – they cover their faces/hands. SO what use is it AFTER the fact?

    Dogs can be poisoned and it is not like ALL and sundry will be allowed to have guard dogs on their rented premises!

    SO what is the next best practicable solution? I suggest licensing business owners with stringent criteria to acquire such deadly but ever necessary force.

  5. Lilly says:

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

    How will the police carrying guns decrease the crime? Are these crimes usually committed in the presence of the police?

    What the BVI needs is to have the death penalty reinstated – that may deter some of the criminals.

  6. police says:

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

    Mr frazer, the police does not have to be under the premier to be adequately funded, it do not matter whether they under the governor, funding the police has nothing to do with who they are under, this government just not serious about crime fighting, that’s all, any blind can see that, UK will never allow the police to go under any ministry or minister, never that’s a dead case so leave it alone,

  7. My opinion says:

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

    Fraser, I like you but, if a business owner have a gun in his business and the robbers come to rob and the business owner blow them away, that will make the robbers think twice before robbing another business.

  8. Please says:

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

    I agree it won’t solve our problems but it will certainly help. A sign saying that the owner is packing heat will help too.

    For the life of me I don’t know why these people are not trying to figure out how the guns are coming in. That should be step one as Fraser said.

    What a slow bunch of people we are….

    • Anonimous says:

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      @Please

      It’s not very difficult to understand that.
      By sea, by sky and by land.

      If police do not patrol the sea day and night, check cargos properly, private boats, there is nothing you can do.

      Government must invest in boats and human resources from abroad to fight properly guns and drugs in the BVI

  9. Road Runner says:

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

    Unfortunately the fact is, adding more guns to the equation, be it Police or business owners will increase violent gun crime, and accidental gunshot victims.

    We need to be getting illegal guns off the streets, not adding more to the mix.

    Stop and search by ‘motivated’ police officers, tip offs, and huge penalties for illegal possession would be a good place to start.

    We also need to stop glamorizing guns – ‘packing heat’ etc. suggests to weak minded individuals that this is a cool thing to do!

  10. WTF says:

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    That’s right Mr. Know It all aka Julian Fraser. Give the Police Officers a stick and a flashlight to fight the gun toting hoodlums. LMAO at this bs.

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