Premier and Minister of Finance Dr D Orlando Smith has declared that overseas help should be sought and highly trained cops pulled from retirement if such actions are needed to help arrest an upsurge in crime.
“No stone should be left unturned in bringing the perpetrators to justice of all crimes, and particularly the heinous crimes that have been committed in this territory. If this calls for bringing in assistance from abroad, let’s do so immediately.”
“Yes, we must provide the police with financial resources. In addition, the Commissioner [of Police] and the Force must continue to be innovative and creative in carrying out their duties. Several suggestions have been made in this regard, including bringing back recently retired and highly trained officers to help with policing in these challenging times. I trust that such measures will be heeded,” Premier Smith said in a press release.
He made the recommendation last evening (March 16), moments after Governor John Duncan told journalists that he was using his constitutional power to force Government to add $800,000 to the police budget for this financial year.
In the budget for this year, the government had allocated $16.1 million dollars to the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force.
Governor Duncan noted that he was reluctant to resort to such constitutional power, but he noted that the police force is under-funded at a time when crime is a big concern.
Since the start of this year, three persons have been murdered in different incidents. Two of them were found murdered in less than 24 hours last week.
A total of four people were murdered and 18 gun robberies were reported last year in the British Virgin Islands, according to information provided by Commissioner of Police Michael Matthews.
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