Premier Dr D Orlando Smith said with a new Magistrate’s Court building now open in the British Virgin Islands, more looters will finally have their day in court.
Yesterday, the new court facility was unveiled adjacent to the former hurricane-wrecked courthouse in John’s Hole, Tortola.
Court sessions were previously held in makeshift courtrooms in at least three different locations in Road Town.
While making an address at the unveiling ceremony, Premier Smith said the building will do wonders for the judicial system in the territory.
“After the hurricane, we had some looting and subsequent to that we had some disorderly behaviour in the territory,” Premier Smith said.
“Even though the police is active, justice has to be served in a courthouse to deal with those persons that had been apprehended, so to speak, by the police. And so, since our Magistrate’s Court was not working, it is important that we had a place to do that.”
He said with the new court building, the BVI “can continue with the whole matter of having justice applied quickly”.
“We do not want to be in a place where we are not able to do just that,” added Dr Smith while mentioning the close-approaching peak of the 2018 hurricane season.
The new building is said to be able to withstand 200-plus mile per hour winds, among other things.
In the immediate aftermath of the 2017 hurricanes, many persons broke into business places – most of which had been damaged during the weather events – and stole merchandise.
Several businesses were affected to the point where it took months to reopen while others never recovered.
Back in October, Deputy Premier Dr Kedrick Pickering called for expatriates who were involved in looting to be deported, while Junior Minister for Trade Marlon Penn called for stricter penalties for local offenders.
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