BVI News

Frustrated: Top cop begs politicians to effect recovery plan

“Whatever side you’re sitting on in the House of Assembly, I’m appealing to come together for the sake of this territory and get some traction going in terms of this plan” — Matthews

By Davion Smith, BVI News Staff

Now more than a year of waiting, Commissioner of Police Michael Matthews said he has grown frustrated about the same appalling state of infrastructure in the local police service and is calling on legislators to initiate the recovery plan.

“Here’s the frustration for me: We just had a very wet weekend (a week ago) and I’m sure we all appreciated that … but my officers were sending me video footage and photos from the front desk at Road Town Police Station where water is pouring through on to the officers below,” Commissioner Matthews said.

“We talk about health and safety in the territory, we talk about the welfare of our people but, for me, there is a frustration growing that we are not taking that seriously enough because our buildings need to be watertight, they need to be secure, I need to be able to offer my staff, safe, effective working environments and I can’t do that at the moment. I can’t stand up and say that I can meet the obligations of health and safety at the moment and I think that’s wrong.”

Matthews said they’ve been able to do minor remedial works to the Road Town Police Station, but all that has been done so far was through grants from the United Kingdom.

Public losing confidence

The top cop further said this week that he is concerned not only for his officers and staff but for the public, who he believes is losing confidence in the police because of its gaping infrastructural deficiencies.

Commissioner Matthews noted that things are currently being stalled in the House of Assembly by legislators bickering over the Recovery and Development Plan.

Act now for the sake of the BVI, politicians told

If the plan doesn’t pass, the BVI will not get the financial support it needs to fix its infrastructure so, Matthews, this week, issued an appeal to members of the House.

“Whatever side you’re sitting on in the House of Assembly, I’m appealing to come together for the sake of this territory and get some traction going in terms of this plan because we desperately need it.”

“I can speak on behalf of those people not just working in the police service but who work in the public service who are working really, really hard in desperately difficult conditions … I went to meeting just the other day in the main administration building … but when I looked around in that building and saw some of the conditions some of the people were working in, I was horrified and to me its time to address this now. We’ve got to stop the talking and start the delivery.”

Matthews noted that his statements are not meant to criticize but are to state unadulterated facts.

Now, more than a year, the top cop said the police and the rest of the public sector have “waited long enough”.

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25 Comments

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  1. MESSENGER says:

    Didn’t the police department received a large sum of cash?

    Like 15
    Dislike 6
    • Anonymous says:

      Nothing will happen until the politicians are able to make deals with the contractors to put money in their pockets. Until that happens nothing will be done. This is why no contractors outside of the Territory are hired. If this is not so, then review the finances of the politicians and their buddy contractors

      Like 26
      Dislike 3
  2. No Words says:

    So shameful, so so shameful!!!!!!!!

    Like 17
    Dislike 1
  3. hmm says:

    I have no more words for this administration!

    Like 21
    Dislike 1
  4. Byron says:

    I agree with the COP comments. Its time to move forward

    Like 20
    Dislike 5
  5. Plebs says:

    Lol…get rid of maintenance unit & the both heads that are utterly useless that even the blind can see. Two of them can’t get things rite for all these years – just look at how DILAPIDATED RVIPF looks to the outside world. Shameful imo! All they concerned about is pilfering the system for personal enrichment – audit required Mr. Guv.

    Like 13
  6. WE says:

    understand your frustrations, and somewhat rightly so.

    Perhaps the “mother country” could donate about five hundred million plus towards fixing the police station and other government structures.

    Such a contribution would be greatly appreciated.

    Most importantly, the ancestral spirits will be quite pleased with such a donation, because they were never paid for making the “mother counrty” rich.

    When will the right remedial action be taken?

    Why do we still see and live under the instruments of colonialism, such as HMS Prison and, RVIPF, but after centuries we are yet to see a building and infrastructure named, HMS Institute of Technology or Criminology and or other?

    Like 12
    Dislike 22
    • devon says:

      The Mother country has tried to help.. the BVI dragged its feet and could not find the will to help facilitate some grants and projects for here with the prison and police stations.. time then ran out because of the end of the financial year for them !

      Like 16
      Dislike 3
    • PROBLEMS says:

      So the British goverment should gave all the money that you suggested so that it can be pilfered away into the pockets of the thieves in the B.V.I.. you as well as I know that it would not be used to help the territory.

      Were the British Goverment to indeed offer any money I would hope they control it down to the last penny.

      So making a statement like that leads me to believe you and yours would benefit were the British goverment to make such a mistake.

      You want people to you first give respect same as disrespect the minister of education showed towards the governor.

      Like 3
      Dislike 1
  7. Citizen says:

    What happen to the money the last governor took from government, how come the governor not asking for a inquiry and what happen to the money uk sent directly to the COP and the Governor after Irma

  8. notice says:

    About time COP resigned. All mouth no action. Were are all the new police?

    Like 6
    Dislike 24
  9. BVI lander says:

    dear mr commissioner, money is not the only way to solve crime, what we need is a new commissioner who upholds the laws of the Virgin Islands wether in high places or in low places, look at the people going to jail lately, mentally ill and elderly while politicians and smugglers committing crimes without fear. Please resign mr commissioner and let our governor bring someone here who willing to turn this place up side down and root out criminal activity.

    Like 10
    Dislike 16
    • Citizen says:

      That’s the problem, we always brining in somebody, we have no confidence in our own people, no one wants to hold the COP and governor accountable. They have failed in everything, we need to investigate the Governor and the COP.

      Like 4
      Dislike 15
    • wow says:

      That is so true Police looking help from politicians and the police is not helping people deal with there social problems. Parents beating there children for misbehaving and police dragging them before the court. Commissioner one hand can’t clap. .

      Like 1
      Dislike 1
    • Send alwin James home says:

      Send the corrupt a—- J—— home

  10. Wow says:

    He is a politician now. He is acting like he wants to be. He has no right to call for the quick start of the recovery plan. Like the rest of us he just has to wait. He is in the mode they sent him in, request what you want and they will have to give it because you from the U.K. Shhh

    Like 8
    Dislike 19
  11. SMH says:

    Call for the dissolution of the present administration. It’s time for a Snap Election! Enough is Enough!

  12. what about us says:

    i wonder what they have to say bout the fire station too look the state we in it only got to drizzle water is pouring downstairs. the area we sleep full of mold fans broke down till they growing mold water leaking thru into our baracks.. our compound cant be close for safety. we have one truck to respond in… the next one you drive it the wheel shaking like it want fall off n telling us we must respond still but drive 10 mph like seriously they got us for jokes round here…. we dont self have a proper kitchen to try cook a meal when we in here for long hours its a shame we are working in these conditions just today tourist drive pass taking picture n watching us as wow this is the fire station

    • Online Now says:

      What are you doing to help yourselves? Are you cleaning the fans? If not, why not? You have hours in-between call outs, try and make your own lives better.

      • Her we go.. says:

        Have any of you heard the term: “duty of care”? The employer (BVI Government) has a duty to ensure a safe and comfortable working environment for ALL workers! Stop chatting pi$$ and go take a class up HLSCC and understand your employment rights. Where is the Labor Dept. to ensure that the firemen/women H&S are not being violated?

    • can you imagine... says:

      … ANY other fire crew on the planet just leaving their fire station in that condition? It’s not a good look, even though indeed by now the Government and opposite should have stopped blocked the recovery and we should have properly built and properly located essential services.

      As the PoPo still thankfully under the Crown, may the UK should be allowed just get this done and have rebuilt stations for not an awful lot of money.

      Anyone talking ancestors, imagine how they would feel looking at their descendants collecting billions of dollars in recent years yet having no basic infrastructure and importantly no proper schools. Just sitting around getting fat and diabetic. Other ex-colonies around the world are thriving, energetic and financially and culturally rich by now

  13. Political Observer (PO) says:

    Undoubtedly, the recovery process is slow, the RVIPF plays a critical role in serving and protecting the public and that police officers like other public servants need a safe and healthful working environment. True, the RVIPF needs to get its commensurate share of public funds. Further, the RVIPF funding needs to be centralized. Now, the process seems to be fragmented. There is a pot (grant) from the UK and a pot from government. All police funding (grants, public funding) needs to be funneled through and approved by the HOA. The current practice of UK grants flowing from Governor to the CoP is not the best way to operate, bypassing the local government.

    The HOA should be accepting the grants earmarked for the RVIPF; the MoF should ensure that grants are used efficiently and effectively for their intended purpose(s). Finance was shifted from the Governor to local government several years ago. The reserved powers of the Governor in regards to finance needs to be adjusted. Two budget cycles ago, the Governor didn’t think that RVIPF got enough of the pie so he unilaterally acted to give it more money, dissing the local government. Public safety is not the only need. Every budget cycle, all department heads cry that they didn’t get enough money; however, the Governor didn’t used reserved powers to give them more money. Why???

    Moreover, recently a magistrate waded from adjudicating cases based on the law and evidence into politics. Now, the CoP is wading into politics, publically dissing the elected members in the HOA. No doubt, the CoP should aggressively advocate for resources for the health, safety, security, morale, welfare and functioning of the force but it should be done through the established protocols. How would UK Parliament react if a law enforcement leader publically lambasted Parliament? The CoP would not publicly wade into politics in the UK so why do it in the BVI? Is it because the BVI is just a colony led by some y….. HOA get your sh…t in one sock and let’s roll on the recovery plan. The RDA is a sheep in wolves clothing; it sets back the people and territory. We need to look in the mirrow for how we got in this state. Let the debate begin.

    Like 6
    Dislike 3
  14. Public worker says:

    You think they care ,honestly think about it ?

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