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Looters being identified – Commissioner Matthews

Police Commissioner Michael Matthews

Nedburn Thaffe – Police Commissioner, Michael Matthews has sounded the warning to those behind the looting of business establishments that his team is in the process of identifying some of them and it is only a matter of time before they are picked up and brought to justice.

“To think that taking a van load of TVs away [is] something that is probably acceptable to do… we are collating the intelligence and our officers are in a position to make arrests at the moment, but they are identifying people.”

“We are coming for you when the time is right,” the Commissioner said in an interview with BVI News Online over the weekend.

While labelling the behaviour as sickening, he indicated security personnel from the United Kingdom will be playing a role in helping to catch those responsible.

“One of the reasons the UK Government has reacted so quickly to our request through the Governor, is that we are being very realistic about what we are going to do with these people; we will catch them, and we will convict them.”
Governor Gus Jaspert, in a statement last evening also condemned the act and called on persons to respect the rule of law.

“The vast majority of Virgin Islanders are working to support each other and to help support our recovery. There are sadly though, some despicable people who are using our time of need to commit crimes. I am appealing to the good and decency of residents in the Virgin Islands to respect the rule of law and persons’ property,” the Governor said.

He noted that extra security has arrived in the territory and reiterated the Commissioner’s position that looters will be caught and punished.

“The British military is on the ground with the BVI police and providing assistance. My message to anyone thinking of committing a crime is that you will face the full force of law and should expect the strongest punishment,” the governor said.

Since the passage of Hurricane Irma on September 6, a number of persons have had their businesses broken into and items stolen.

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