Deputy Premier Dr Natalio Wheatley said it was inappropriate for Police Commissioner Michael Matthews to publicly discuss matters of the National Security Council (NSC) during a recent interview with ZBVI radio.
In that interview, Commissioner Matthews responded to Neville ‘Sheep’ Smith’s order for him to present a crime plan in two weeks. The Commissioner revealed details about the plan and said it was already submitted to the Council for review.
But Dr Wheatley said the matters discussed at meetings of the NSC should be held confidential, adding that members take an oath not to reveal details to persons outside the council.
“The Commissioner disclosed a document (the crime plan) that was brought to the National Security Council that was being considered. Certainly, given my oath and pledge, it is not my place to discuss that document with any member of the House or any member outside of the Council … Actually, what was discussed at National Security Council being disclosed over the radio was inappropriate,” said Dr Wheatley, who publicly declared his support for Smith.
In his interview with ZBVI radio, the Commissioner sought to silence who he described as ‘noisemakers’ and ‘naysayers’ who believe the police force isn’t doing enough to stem crime.
But the Deputy Premier said Smith’s plea shouldn’t be dismissed as noise since his impassioned call was made on behalf of the people.
“We cannot say that an honourable member of the House Of Assembly is being naive. What the Honourable member was expressing, was on behalf of the people of the territory who saw the need for more engagement on the area of violent crimes within our community,” Dr Wheatley explained.
The debate over the spate of violence in the community comes amid two confirmed murders since the start of the year, another two that police describe as “unexplained deaths”, as well as multiple high-profile drug incidents, robberies, and firearm-related offences.
Just yesterday, police confirmed the death of another man who was gunned down in Fish Bay.
The man’s identity has not been released but the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force said it will provide further details in a future update.
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