BVI News

BVIslander’s murder feared to fuel xenophobia, anti-expat conversation

A section of the main island of Tortola. (Photo by Davion Smith/BVI News)

With a Vincentian resident being accused of the harrowing murder of 46-year-old BVIslander Lenia Green, there is now a concern that the longstanding struggle between locals and Caribbean expats might worsen.

Cultural specialist Richard Georges described it as ‘very unfortunate’ that the murder occurred at the time when the territory is dealing with the regularization programme being implemented for select expatriates.

READ: Online petition launched against govt’s regularisation initiative

“I fear it is going to fuel the xenophobic, anti-Caribbean expatriates conversations when logically it is not really a reflection of the type of people who live here,” said Georges who is a cultural academic.

And while referring to residents’ reaction to the alleged Vincentian killer Rohan Williams, Georges explained that — besides the nature of the crime — “people tend to have fear and uncertainty, especially of people who are not like them”.

“In the US, its Mexicans, in the UK it is Asians and Africans, and in the BVI it is the other Caribbean islands. And, when you have those types of fears, you try to solidify those fears on people who you can blame. And so you have a higher rate of xenophobia, and you are more likely to do things that are not in your best interest,” Georges said in an invited interview with BVI News.

The bigger picture

He noted that these types of tragedies should be viewed in the bigger picture – violence against women.

“I think we need to examine ourselves not only as the BVI but as Caribbean people on how we deal with violence against women on a whole. It is not always murder. It is psychological abuse, statutory rape, incest, it is a whole lot of violence against women that we have to grapple with and distilling it down to Vincentians are violent people is an easy way of distracting from the picture,” he added.

The murder victim, in the meantime, was shot and left on the road at George’s North Side on Sunday, May 26. She was later transported to hospital where she succumbed to her injuries.

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76 Comments

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  1. True says:

    Men from a other Caribbean Islands tend to have a higher rate of violence towards women than the BVI. Look at St. Vincent, Guyana for example not a week passes and a man not in the news for killing or harming a woman.

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    • BVIslander says:

      Its not like our so called Premier cares.

      Our voices have been ignored. Our country is up for give away. Come all who may.

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      • So Not True says:

        On the Contrary our Premier is a True God Fearing Son of the Soil. He leads with love in his heart for all people. Unlike others he is humble enough to make adjustments where needed. Dont worry he wont give the country away. Let us have faith the best solution will work out.

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    • Archipelago says:

      Guyana is in South America. Not a Caribbean country

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      • Not that serious says:

        I’m sure we all know Guyana is in South America however it is culturally connected to the Caribbean. The point the person I’m sure was trying to make is that when the BVI is compared to most of the other islands, from where the expatriates come from, their rate of murder and domestic violence against women are much higher than those of the BVI.

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      • Tj says:

        Not the issue

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      • two cent says:

        @Archipelago, Everybody knows Guyana is in South American, people lump them in when they speak of the Caribbean, because they are the only English Speaking country in South American and has linked mainly with Caribbean countries. They are part of CARICOM. This is why most people equate them with other Caribbean nations. Their culture is also similar.

      • Guyana, Suriname, Venezuela says:

        CARICOM…is headquartered in Guyana, and both Guyana and Suriname are members of that Economic, Social, Cultural, and Political organization.

        Those two entities are not Caribbean Islands, (surrounded by water),but they are washed by the Caribbean Sea, sharing similar historical antecedents and are indeed no less Caribbean than island states.

    • @True says:

      During the 2011 Universal Periodic Review by the UN Human Rights Council, several countries expressed concern at the high rates of domestic violence in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines (11 July 2011, 6-7).

      According to statistics compiled by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), there were 168 cases of sexual violence [rape and sexual assault] in 2010 and 426 cases in 2011 (UN 2012a). The rate of sexual violence was 154 cases per 100,000 people in 2010, and 389 cases per 100,000 people in 2011 (ibid.). In comparison, Canada’s rate of sexual violence was 79 cases per 100,000 in 2010 and 77 cases per 100,000 in 2011 (ibid.). UNODC statistics indicate that in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, there were 28 rape cases in 2010 and 56 rape cases in 2011, representing a rate of 26 rape cases per 100,000 people in 2010 and 51 rape cases per 100,000 people in 2011 (ibid. 2012b). In comparison, Canada’s rate of rape was 1.7 cases per 100,000 people in 2010 and 1.6 cases in 2011 (ibid.).

      Statistics on the number of women killed as a result of domestic violence in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines could not be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate.

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    • Rubber Duck says:

      So how come there was no reaction when a six foot four BVIslander gun whipped and beat up a five foot tall, tiny white expat in the course of a recent robbery?

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    • Expat says:

      Not because the local men dont get charge or reported that dont mean they dont commit crime. I dont uphold crime againsy women as a woman is my mother and the mother of my kids. What happen was sad but to label all as bad ppl are just wrong. I need you bvi born to think before you judge. When you back a animal in a corner it strike at you. I dont know what you all really have against expats but its clear you have a serious problem with one kind of expats the black expat. Thats why we will continously remain in prisoned insalved as we continue to divide our race . The indians japanese chinese and whites cant stand us are class us as ppl as we fight each other like animals. Wake up and lets be united we have a beautiful place call the caribbean and we tearing each other apart and let stupidity walk before common sense ruin we come here to improve our life and support or family legally and we pay a high price to live among you all. Yes BVI is small and someday it seems like the locals heads are even smaller. Salvery is coming back and i for one will gladly go home and watch the rich investors you all so over look wipe and steal from you all blind bats. We didnt create your laws so punish those who create them so weak. You vex that we final find away to capitalize on your system like you proudly let others do cause they have money and you want them to invest. Wow shame. Glove off we made the bvi. We came and bring light to this dark culture less place you should be thanking us instead of bashing us. Before family was breeding family we came and give you all nasty s***s options. I sick of hearing caribbean ppl this and we that. Why you all dont wanna be apart of the west indies? The thinks you all should be looking at you arent. We arent your enermies but old ppl always say Dogs have strenght for cats but never for a next Dog. BVI ppl are cowards user and dont earn the right to speak about caribbean expats. We leave your hosue rent wouldnt get paid think about that your fellow locals have living options we do to so think before you talk shit cause we can go home and leave you all to breed family like animals again.

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  2. really says:

    Mr. George, what are your credentials. Statistics speaks for itself. The majority of crimes committed in the Virgin Islands are from persons who are expats or whose parents are expats. THAT IS AN ALARMING FACT!!!

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    • Mr.Gage says:

      Oh really? Cite your sources proving this.

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    • True says:

      That is probably true, considering the majority of people IN the Virgin Islands are expats or descended from expats.

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      • hellboy says:

        every human being in the British Virgin Islands are from expats parents.

        the indigenous People are Already extinct.

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        • okay stop says:

          and indigenous people migrated from elsewhere. Everyone from this side of the world is from elsewhere according to history.

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        • From Right Here says:

          No sa .. My mother and father from right here…

          My mother’s Both parents were from right here..

          My Fathers Father was from right here but he had some ask sugar and get hooked…lol.lol

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      • Anonymous says:

        Where is the proof that a woman is murdered in st.vincent every week ? When the tolans killing left right n center why it dont be this alarming

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    • island man says:

      if only all the crimes committed by local are brought to light we will definately get a good statistic report.

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      • Hmmm says:

        Why does a man living in his own country need to compare himself with someone who is not from his country. Expats want statistics, if you really want stats, tell me how many BVIsanders get arrested in Guyana, Jamaica or St. Vincent yearly. Go off that statistic.

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    • Sam says:

      @really or is it a case That locals don’t report on other locals and only rage and talk about it when crime involves none locals. ?

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  3. Shake head says:

    Thanks to the premier for causing an even deeper rift between locals and expats.

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    • You idiot says:

      How does the premier control the feelings that were already impeded in the VIslanders? Here we go casting the ‘government blame’

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    • E says:

      This story should have been written on paper so I could put it in my bird cage. One just needs to read the news from St. Vincent to know what’s happening there. So, they are labeled…I wonder why? Stricter laws need to be set and implemented. There are good and bad in every country, the good do not migrate and leave the bad behind. But when stuff happens the consequences should be suffered. And as far as possible prevevtitive measures must be taken.

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  4. Hmm says:

    Excuse me these things can and has happen to anyone both local men and expat but we cannot ignore the facts.

    I would like to see the stats in St.Vincent in regards to murders and violent crimes against women per capita in comparison to other places.

    From the 70’s vincys were here in the BVI committing murders. That is why there has to be a proper vetting system in place.

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    • L says:

      I remember Bardoo.

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    • @hmmm says:

      I read an interesting article with regards to St. Vincent and The Grenadines and the violence perpetuated daily on women. Just google: “Is this Caribbean idyll the worst place in the World to be a Woman”. and “The Dark side of St. Vincent and The Grenadines”. The Bible speaks about generational curses and intervention is needed for everyone female born and living in St. Vincent. This scourge is now stretching its ugly branches all across the Caribbean. We must pray. It is the evil one and his minions at work. You cannot blame women running away from sexual abuse and death. Pray Vincentians for this small island cannot handle this kind of ugliness. We will pray too for our beautiful British Virgin Islands.

      Expats stop reacting to Virgin Islanders’ fear and worry when one of their own was raped and gun down like a dog in the street and pray. Pray for your people and the Virgin Islands and the Caribbean at large. We should all pray instead of cursing and verbally abusing each other. The devil is trying to take a foothold in every corner that he can. Let’s stop him together. With God’s help in the name of Jesus, let’s back him up to return to the pits of hell where he belongs.

  5. Stupes says:

    This a BS article

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  6. TurtleDove says:

    This is going to get ugly!

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  7. son of the soil says:

    We were living good/better before they came here and contaminated the place. We coulda sleep with our houses open. Infact we never used to lock our doors and we had 1 murder committed every 10 years. This place need some ethnic cleansing/purging rather fast

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    • LOL says:

      You watch tooooo much Netflix talking about a purge. I nearly dead lol lol lol.

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    • @Son of the soil says:

      And you are correct, My grand parents raise me in Sea Cows Bay and I can remember those days. Those were the good old days. Like you said we use to sleep with the windows open and there was no reason to lock your doors. We lived in peace. Sometimes I wish those days would come back but we will never see those days again.Perfect example of you never truly miss it untill it is gone forever. Poor BVI. Such a beautiful Country going down the drain.

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    • Lol says:

      What ethnicity will you be cleansing? How like in the movies? God forbid! Like the U.K. packing plane loads and dumping them having refused them their rights? Do you see any of your people receiving what you’re advocating?

    • Anonymous says:

      If it wasnt for the down island people ,would there be a tortola.

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      • @Anonymous says:

        I definitely don’t agree with the foolishness being blogged about expats most of the time, but when I read nonsense like this blog from Anonymous I get mad. There would be a Tortola. There was a Tortola and if you don’t think there will be a Tortola without downislanders, try it. Leave! Or speak for your doggone self. I wish people like you would just shut your doggone trap. The majority of people come into this country to feed. What do I mean? This country does more for you than you do for it. We fished and farmed and lived peacefully before these beautiful islands were overrun by expats from all over the world, UK and Phillipines included. So asinine blogs like you made makes me mad and up to 1995 and ’96 the murder rate was almost non-existent. In fact, this is the very first time such a heinous crime has occurred in our country to a woman. Taken from her house at gunpoint, raped, shot and thrown in the street naked. I am actually crying for her family and children who are loved by us all. May God hold them in the palm of his hand and may bloggers like ‘Anonymous’ just leave or shut his/her trap.

  8. Hmmmmmmm says:

    https://www.worldatlas.com/articles/murder-rates-by-country.html

    Countries With the 10 Highest Murder Rates

    1. Honduras (90.4 per 100,000)
    Honduras has the world’s highest murder rate, with 90.4 homicides per 100,000 people. San Pedro Sula, in the northwest of the country, is at the center of much of this small Central American country’s violence. Unfortunately, Honduras also has the highest incidence of firearm-related deaths in the world.

    2. Venezuela (53.7 per 100,000)
    Venezuela has the second highest murder rate in the world. The country loses 53.7 people per 100,000 each year to homicide. Caracas, the capital of Venezuela, is known as one of the most dangerous cities in the world. In fact, it is considered the second most murderous city in the world. With increasing political turmoil, this number has been increasing.

    3. The United States Virgin Islands (52.6 per 100,000)
    The United States Virgin Islands are more well-known for being a tourist destination than they are for their high murder rate. However, the territory of the United States has one of the highest murder rates in the world. The Virgin Islands, particularly the island of St. Thomas, has seen an increase in crime over the past several years. These crimes include random acts of violence against tourists.

    4. Belize (44.7 per 100,00)
    Although Belize is a popular destination for tourists, it does have one of the highest murder rates in the world, at 44.7 per 100,000 people. Aside from murder, general petty crime is also a concern in Belize.

    5. El Salvador (41.2 per 100,000)
    El Salvador has the fifth highest homicide rate in the world at 41.2 murders per 100,000 individuals. Estimates indicate that approximately 60% of these incidents are related to gang activity. Additionally, El Salvador still experiences instability, much of which is a remnant of a destructive civil war which lasted from 1979 until 1992.

    6. Guatemala (39.9 per 100,000)
    Guatemala has 39.9 murders per every 100,000 inhabitants. Gang violence is a big concern in the country. The trafficking of illegal drugs, and a high rate of firearm both are contributing factors to the high crime rate.

    7. Jamaica (39.3 per 100,000)
    Jamaica has the world’s fourth highest murder rate. Unfortunately, this is a position that Jamaica has held consistently for several years. The latest measurement of 39.3 people per 100,000 is actually a decrease from the country’s highest murder rate of 58 people per 100,000, which was experienced in 2005. Most of Jamaica’s homicides are a result of organized crime activity.

    8. Lesotho (38 per 100,000)
    Lesotho is a small country found in southern Africa. Its murder rate is 38 homicides per 100,000 people, the eighth highest in the world. Most crime in Lesotho is restricted to the country’s urban areas. The capital city of Maseru is thought to be particularly dangerous to locals and tourists alike.

    9. Swaziland (33.8 per 100,000)
    Swaziland has a homicide rate of 33.8 per 100,000 people. The factors contributing to the country’s murder rate include ones such as wealth inequality, widespread corruption, poverty, unemployment, and a lack of infrastructure.

    10. Saint Kitts and Nevis (33.6 per 100,000)
    The tiny Caribbean nation of Saint Kitts and Nevis has the tenth highest murder rate in the world. The crime rate in Saint Kitts and Nevis, which has been increasing in recent years, is mostly linked to organized crime.

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    • hmmm says:

      st. vincent and guyana are not in the top 10 st. thomas is.

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      • St.Thomas says:

        Please Keep us out of you all drama that is going on up in the BVI. The few vincys that is living down here is in check and quiet or else they will be escorted to the airport back to their Country with the understanding that they can never step back on ST.Thomas soil. Thank goodness for Homeland Security, ICE and border Patrol.

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        • @St. Thomas says:

          As a Virgin Islander born and raise, I beg you please can we borrow them please, Homeland Security, ICE and Border Patrol? I say that because it seems like we are not respected in our own country. They are here. We don’t have a problem with that, but one of own was killed in such a terrible way by someone not of our soil and we can’t even vent in peace. It will blow over more than likely, but the ilk of the expats now living among us is frightening when they are jumping down our throats and telling us to shut up. We never go to their islands and create havoc. We visit and we come home. Like one blogger said, there isn’t one case, one statistic that shows a BVIslander has disrespected any of them in their country. But we are hurting and they are making it worse by talking shiggidy about would there be a BVI without them. Well, I know one thing, it would be a lot lighter. The respectful, God-fearing ones can stay. But God will deliver us from the unjust with evil intent. I will pray everyday for our deliverance from evil. Come, work and peacefully exist, that’s all.

    • Kittitian says:

      We have our problem In OUR country. Keep us Kittitian out of BVI news. We are not the problem in this situation. One murder a year is too much but I don’t think SKB has a record of 30 murders for any year, we are on that list because its said per capital.

    • Hmm says:

      No No what about murders against women.

    • Rubber Duck says:

      Note that not a single Caucasian or ethnic Chinese country features.

  9. Son of the Soil says:

    It’s a fact that most murders in the BVI are committed by persons whose parents or grand parents are not Born BVIslanders.

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  10. Bykr55 says:

    …and what do BVI children have to worry about?
    Local men sexually molesting them.

    We should all look in the mirror before we stereotype and criticize!

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  11. No nonsense says:

    The gruesome situation over the weekend has absolutely NOTHING to do with the regularisation of foreign nationals. Mr. Premier continue with your plan

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    • BVI Island Man says:

      They better figure out a way to handle the problem with these Vincys in the BVI. If another Vincy man bring harm to another woman in the BVI. The S**t is going to start. Every Vincy in the BVI will pay the price for it. A shot gun is more powerful than a chopper. That is a promise. Someone has to step up and stop this S**t by will or force. I don’t have a problem taking a free vacation up the hill.

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      • @BVI Island Man says:

        Please don’t speak that way. Violence is violence no matter the reason. Perpetuating further violence because of this totally Satanic act will further harm the BVI. Wrong is wrong and it cannot be condoned.

        A mere 15-20 years ago we lived in a true paradise. A small, quiet, serene place with a low crime rate and people looking out for each other. I treasure those things. I go to the beach sometimes and my son and I are sometimes the only two persons there and I can breathe deeply, look up to the sky and thank God for this little piece of Heaven on Earth. Now, though the influx of outsiders who are not properly vetted as some of them have records when they move through other places in the Caribbean and the world that we do not properly check have now permanently changed the atmosphere of our beautiful islands. I am not blaming any one nationality or race, but we are a small country and the flood gates have been open and we need to slow down this ease of entry into these islands. Whoever wishes to, they take a vacation for two weeks with a plane ticket and the shirt on their back sometimes and when you see them again they are telling you I am here 6 years and on and on.

        I will not lie. I am a true child of the King, but I am truly scared the way this young lady was taken from the safety of her home at gunpoint, raped, shot and thrown on the road naked to the point that my first instinct is please close the gates. Please don’t let anyone else in. To know that that beautiful Princess of a lady actually sought the Court to assist her from this Demon possessed individual by seeking a Protection Order makes me wonder:- Did the Police know about it, the individual officer on the street? Did they warn him after knowing about it to not get within a certain distance of her? She renewed it, so shouldn’t that have sent a message to the Immigration and Labour authorities that maybe a work permit for this individual should have been possibly reconsidered? What would have saved her life? Mr. Premier, please, please, ensure that the systems: Court, Police, Health, Water & Sewerage, Telecommunications, Fire, etc are able to carry the burden of this new Regularization of persons living here over a certain amount of time and also ensure that your rushing does not regularize hardened criminals from throughout the world, even as far as the Phillipines to our shores because we are very laid back in our processes and nonchalant about people’s lives and well being. We cannot all afford bodyguards. Frankly, I don’t want any. What I want is a safe haven to call home and the peace of God and righteousness surrounding me each day. May the Grace of God cover us all.

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      • Disgusting says:

        You are worse than the KKK.

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  12. Truth says:

    While we continue to self-hate people that look like us descendants of slaves. The British are coming.

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  13. CW says:

    Oh look, RACIST BVILANDERS

    your country is falling apart and YOU BLAME EVERYTHING BUT YOURSELF

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  14. fbi says:

    …you guys think you smart, you hide behind your clever words in your article and create tension in the community, are you saying that only bvislanders lives matters, my brother, everybody lives matters, the constitution says that everybody has a right to life, regardless of race, gender or religion.

  15. Anonymous says:

    I dont know if the problem is Vincy man love women too much or they hate them too much but one thing I know for sure is they have to stop killing the ladies.

  16. Judgemental and Hateful Immigrants says:

    Stop hating BVIslanders for the good, hard working, decent people we are. We are loving, caring and very protective and we have love for all until we see your only plan is to use and abuse us. Don’t mistake or kindness for weakness; our gentleness for meekness else you will see our fire, come up against resistance, learn we are resilient and know we are a force to reckoned with.

    We didn’t just stumble across our lot in life but carved a way out for ourselves and perserved against all odds and that has placed us in a very enviable position.

    BVIslanders arise and stand up to the injustice and persecution we now face. Stand up and fight. We are conquerors. We will overcome. Shallow minds won’t comprehend this and will argue against this but I said what I said and I know what I know. We know who we are!! Proud sons and daughters of the soil!

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  17. fire says:

    Sleep all day ready fo ayo

  18. bad any where says:

    I goin clean it up don’t wori

  19. Concerned says:

    St. Kitts is there because given the population size, the murder rate is very high. This stat is alarming. St. Kitts is pretty close to the BVI. St. Vincent rate is also very high, and the USA. Even
    the BVI is too high as it is 8.4 per every 100,000 and a place like Japan being 0.3 per every 100,000. Japan has a very low Crime rate.

    The Premier must see this Statistics.

  20. Look at that says:

    You all complain about the BVI, the BVIslanders, everything that’s wrong with the place, but you still won’t go back to where you come from. So really, how bad is the place, it’s policies and people? Really, how bad?

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  21. I will say it says:

    Yes Tortola started going down hill when they started letting the down Island people in. They should have never let them come here.They are the ones that turn Tortola into Ghetto City.

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    • Concern says:

      in what way did we turn your country into getto ? U dam idiot bvi don’t even have enough people to keep the country going financially , stop blaming everyone for what someone else did

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  22. Oh yeah, ST.Thomas says:

    The down Island people know ST.Thomas is part of the United States and they canot come to ST.Thomas with the nonsense. They start the BS down here they will get their A** beat or get deport.

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  23. Plain and simply says:

    Get a few cargo ships, round up the Vincys and ship them back to their Country. They are not wanted or liked in the Country and that includes the ones that is married to local men. Some of the blame is to be laid towards the local men who marry the Vincys so they can stay in the Country. They are responsable also.

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  24. Can't get mad says:

    You all Can’t get mad at people for lashing out at the Vincys. People is really upset at what the guy did to the woman over the week-end. You in another man’s Country and this is the way you repay the Country that took your staving ungrateful behind in by killing off the local women…

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  25. PROBLEMS says:

    We cannot blame all the people from any particular island for our crime. But yhat being said I believe we need better control of our borders and those that are foreign and commit crime afyer serving their time they need to be deported and all who have not arrived through legal channels.

    And any locals involved in facilitating their entry illegally into these islands need to be severely punished. And if you wete born foreign but are now a citizen and commit a crime upon serving your time you need to loose your cotizenship and be deported.

  26. Ok. says:

    In the mere 15-20 years there are 54 unsolved murders in the BRITISH VIRGIN Islands. Talk that.

  27. El dorado says:

    Why Guyana getting called up in this?

  28. @Everyone says:

    These are the last days. Stop hating one another like you do. It is ok to be angry but you all are letting anger get the best of you. We should never be so angry that we ourselves have such negative thoughts. It saddens me to see a diverse people at such odds. Unloving and unforgiving. But I am reminded that there will be wars and rumors of wars. It all has to start some how. It won’t be something we see on tv. It will be right in front of us. ‘Followers’ of Christ, let us continue to pray fervently. We know these are revelations of the end.

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