BVI News

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Great expectation – John Duncan lauded

Commissioner of Police Michael Matthews and newly appointed governor Augustus Jaspert outside the High Court where the swearing-in ceremony was held yesterday, August 22. Photo Credit: Andre ‘Shadow’ Dawson/BVI News Online

Commissioner of Police Michael Matthews said former governor John Duncan was a strong supporter of policing and security in the British Virgin Islands (BVI), adding that he is confident the new governor will similarly be steadfast regarding the issue of security.

The commissioner will today have his first work-related meeting with Governor Augustus Jaspert, who was sworn into office yesterday, August 22. The governor is responsible for the local police force.

“In all fairness, I’d say the previous governor [John Duncan] was a strong supporter of policing – very keen to ensure good security for the territory. And I’m sure I can say, without having this conversation [with him] yet, that the new governor will have the same endeavours. He will be keen to ensure the security of the territory,” Commissioner Matthews told BVI News Online shortly after the swearing-in ceremony.

The territory’s top cop further stated that he thinks the new governor’s experience and qualification in security will be a plus for the BVI.

“When looking at the CV of the governor, it brings great advantages to the Virgin Islands. The experience both in governance and policing is going to be extremely supportive to me as the commissioner of police. But, equally, he will be completely independent and he’ll make his own decisions, of course.”

“But I hope what he’s going to do is to bring that experience that he’s had in the UK, and work in partnership – as he said in his speech – with myself to continue to keep the Virgin Islands safe,” Commissioner Matthews further reasoned.

The new governor served in several security-related positions in the United Kingdom – including Director of Security and Intelligence, Head of Drugs and Alcohol, as well as Head of Policing. He was also a magistrate.

In the meantime, Commissioner Matthews said the issue of crime is among the agenda items for his first work-related meeting with the new governor today.

“I think I’ll be giving him a briefing of the current state of play with the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force – our numbers, our capabilities, where we are in terms of crime and public order in the islands at the moment, and the recent response to the emergency with the weather,” Commissioner Matthews further said.

“[We] will be talking about the future and what the governor will actually want to achieve and, in turn, what that will bring to the Virgin Islands.”

Former Governor John Duncan

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