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Fingerprint persons entering the BVI

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While stating the need for more joint operations among local police, Customs, and Immigration, Commissioner of Police Michael Matthews is calling for mandatory fingerprinting at all ports of entry.

He suggested that the policy would assist with criminal investigations in the British Virgin Islands.

“I’m advocating quite openly now that, in the future, this territory should be looking at fingerprinting and photographing for people arriving in the territory exactly the same as they do in the US Virgin Islands when we pop on the ferry and go across to St John and St Thomas.”

The police commissioner said such a system would give local law enforcement agencies a better understanding of persons legally entering and exiting the territory.

Commissioner Matthews made the call yesterday while noting the recent serious crimes, and the widespread looting that happened immediately after Hurricane Irma.

Joint operations for police, Customs, and Immigration

“The second thing that I’m advocating … is that we want to do more joined-up operations. We want to create a joint intelligence cell where all three agencies are all working under one roof. And we got to have the right IT to link that up,” Matthews said, adding that he has the support of the Commissioner of Her Majesty’s Customs as well as the Chief Immigration Officer.

“To be fair we would have had an intelligence off the ground had the hurricanes not happened. We’ve been working towards that because we have recognized that joining our forces and making the best use of the resources we’ve got is a better way for the territory. And to be frank, the taxpayers of this territory would expect us be looking at all best ways to use resources.”

Matthews made the statements during the Honestly Speaking radio programme with Claude Skelton Cline last evening.

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