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Less lip service; more stop searches to tackle crime

Leader of the Opposition Andrew Fahie

Opposition Leader Andrew Fahie is advocating for more stop-and-search police operations and less ‘lip service’ to help address the issue of serious crime in the British Virgin Islands.

He said if authorities don’t fix the apparent rise in serious crime, the territory’s prized tourism industry will suffer.

Fahie’s statement comes on the heels of another double murder in the British Virgin Islands.

Two men were shot and killed in a suspected drive-by shooting early Saturday morning. A man and an 11-year-old girl were gunned down in similar circumstances a little over two months before.

“Hurricane Irma has unmasked a few weak areas in our national security that needs urgent review and attention through adequate funding among other immediate measures,” Fahie said in a media release.

“Failure to adequately fund our only frontline security agency, our police, will result in the significant damaging of our tourism product, our economy and our overall safety in our beloved Virgin Islands.”

Invest in more resources for policing

He reasoned that funding is especially needed to place CCTV cameras ‘all across the territory’. Law enforcement also needs additional resources to patrol the territory’s borders and streets, Fahie added.

“More armed officers [should be] accompanying unarmed officers on the streets all around the BVI while doing their patrolling,” he said.

“The approach to crime cannot be done in a business-as-usual manner nor can it just be given ‘lip service’ but it will take national forums to discuss this urgent matter with the aim of providing more solutions coming from the bowels of the people.”

In the meantime, the opposition leader commended the local law enforcement agencies for their ‘hard work’ but said more needs to be done.

Fahie noted that the fight against crime also rests with parents who he said must monitor their children and teach them good values.

“We cannot continue to be reactive to crime in the BVI but rather we must be proactive,” he said.

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21 Comments

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  1. My take says:

    Good points and solutions. We have to tackle this crime situation in a holistic form.

    • Albion says:

      I am not so sure. Those feel like knee-jerk responses to deep and systemic problems. Armed officers patrolling is not going to stop gang related drive-by shootings. It is not going to stop lack of cooperation in the community in identifying killers. It is not going to stop the lack of youth discipline.

      These are deep problems which call for carefully crafted solutions. Not quick-hit opportunistic political soundbites.

      • Tallfat says:

        This is not the same albion. No! You’re against arming the police to fight armed criminals? So how are these criminals to be confronted with bulletproof vest, batons and whistle? Oh yes these cops are guinea pigs tossed before gunmen cause their lives has no worth? When shots ring out and they must respond do you know the anxiety the family has to go through? While it is a deep, deep problem and some carefully crafted solution is being waited people losing their lives in some gruesome manner. While we wait for someone to come up with pie in the sky solution more kids like Trinity will be brutally cut down. Y’all talking piddle meson! Tackling crime, fighting crime are word being used without the action. Tackling and fighting involve movements maboi. What you suggesting is a wait and see and study. How many school kids was in harms way in baughers bay last week? Continue waiting for that special book, statute, pamphlets whatever I guarantee the criminal operate well outside truces.

  2. Peaches n Cream says:

    Woohooo love this guy!!! A true country man. Hope BVI paying attention. Follow his judgement and leadership people. He is well taught of the country. Commissioner of police listen Andrew Fahie is more respected than the premier. Young people will listen to him not the ndp rugrats.

  3. Okay says:

    So when the police have stop and search who is the first to call and tell them to stop having stop and search? This is a society that don’t like to follow rules and a government that don’t let people do their jobs. There are so many persons driving into town every day that don’t have licenses. There are people driving with dark garbage bags 5 months after Irma. We say we want rules but we don’t.

  4. Wow says:

    No stop side tracking the issue its not about stop and searches its about you been a member of the house of assembly.

    Especially been a long serving member and not advocating to bring hard laws against violent crimes especially for those first degree murderers not receiving parole.

    Stop passing the buck on the head of the police it start with people like you not been vocal in supporting the police in the past and not bringing tough legislations.

    The BVI eggs are coming home to roost where we see proper laws not been put in place in the past to deter crime, regulate banks and insurance companies are now hatching.

    • To wow says:

      Your statement is baseless. Crime today is not what it was yesterday so new measures have to be brought into force through many new means especially laws. If you know the law then you will know that the Opposition cannot bring legislation to be passed so stop trying to make it seem as what it is not. Fahie is correct in what he is saying for a time like now. Also no other elected member over the years support the police and all law enforcement agencies like Fahie so get your facts straight.

      • Wow is correct says:

        Your statement is baseless you either did not read what “wow” said or just trying to nullify the comment. Fahie was not always on the opposition he was a government minister many times.

        And what you are saying is not true there were members of the house in the pass who pleaded with the house to support the police more. And not just Fahie many Government ministers have to shoulder some responsibility

        And contrary to what you are saying we cannot wait until things get bad to set laws, that is why many houses are not repaired as yet. A government has to look down the road and be proactive.
        Politicians have to stop grandstanding and deal with issues politics is not a popularity contest real lives are at stake.

        • To WOW is correct says:

          If research is properly done one will find that in Fahie’s political career he was in the Opposition many more years than he was in the government so all of you all point is baseless. Let us just stick to issue of fighting crime together and leave the fickle political attacks out of it.

  5. I am in total agreement says:

    They also need to invest in devices to jam mobile services so no calls can be made to alert friends and family of stop searches.

  6. Diplomat says:

    Undoubtedly, exploding violent and property crimes, especially murder (how many unsolved murders does the BVI have? 25+), are a cancer that will afflict tourism. Tourism is a key economic driver, providing more direct, indirect and induced employment than financial service, its twin. Financial services generates more government revenue but tourism produces more employment. Nonetheless, tourism is a concern but the health and safety of residents are more urgent.

    Moreover, I’m not averse to stop and search ( stop and frisk in NY) but civil liberties should not be trampled upon. There should be probable cause for stop and search. Stop and search should be a coordinated and controlled action. People who are going about their business not breaking any laws should not be caught in some stop and search dragnet because an officer just feels like it. There must be probable cause.

    As noted in another blog, the RVIPF has a systemic problem; it is indisciplined and dysfunctional. It leaks sensitive communication information like a sieve. This leakage cause residents to take a deep pause in sharing information with the police. Simply, resident fear for their life and safety. The RVIPF also has personnel issues among local, regional and UK officers. Thus, flinging money at the police may not bring the desired results. The RVIPF has to fix its structural issues and regain the confidence and trust of the community it serves.

    We need to be cautious with knee jerk reactions to the problems facing the police, especially for political mileage. The RVIPF needs both a short term and long term approach to solving the problems. In the short term, police presence must be almost ubiquitous, ie, on the beat (on foot), mobile (cars, bikes, motorcycles), marine patrol ……..etc. An adhoc committe should be commissioned to look at long term solutions.

  7. WELSAH says:

    Police should Stop and search politians first .

  8. Boo says:

    I guess we need more stop and search and patrols at 4:00 am

  9. Eagle and Buffalo says:

    The violent and property crime wave was decades in the making and now it is lashing our shores. Economic improvements have consumed the population, causing the social fabric to be severely frayed. Acquiring material stuff is a national and urgent craze. The society save to procure what it needs. Now, it is in a peddle to metal fast food mentality craze. We want everything and we want it now.

    Parents, Chiren……….etc wants everything now, ie, electronic gadgets, designer clothes, jewelry, expensive and luxury cars, mansions, fast boats, big jobs (without qualification)……..etc. We are suffering from the Bigs, Bigitist.

    However, the bigitist has caused neglect (not delbertately) of our children. Instead of the village raising our chiren, TV, internet……..etc raise them and the outcome is not pretty. We are now wondering what happened. Well, you and I are what happened. Take a peek in the mirror. Home alone, the kids got addicted to TV, wanting and embracing the life style they consumed from TV. We are reaping the results now. They are gang banging with no value for life. If they do not value life, they sure in hell not afraid of going up Balo.

    Yes, the police needs to be resourced, and needs community assistance in preventing and solving crimes. But we must also address the root cause of our crime problem. It is not an economic problem; it societal problem. It is a behavioral problem that must be arrested. There are no quick, fast food fixes to the problems; it took decades to manifest itself. All of us may not have created the problem but it will take all of us to fix it. Let’s get busy and stop pointing fingers. This is not about NDP, VIP, PEP(is it still breathing)………etc but about the BVI.

    Let’s lead like eagles, not careen off the cliff like buffaloes.

  10. THE WORLD IS WATCHING THE BVI says:

    YOU SAID IT ALL.

  11. THE WORLD IS WATCHING THE BVI says:

    well said. wake up BVI

  12. Brains says:

    The crime seen in the BVIs exists because the BVIs is not committed to putting an end to it. We’d rather live with it (which in the long run won’t work out) than to turn in friends and relatives. This is a small place, people know the perpetrators, and fear the consequences of denouncing them. This is the choice we make.

  13. Richgdgy says:

    Hard to believe not even 1 comment mentions DRUGS and Booze as a possible cause!

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