Newly-appointed Chief Environmental Officer Lionel Michael is pushing for legislators to grant more powers to litter wardens who he said are abused not only in the BVI but throughout the Caribbean.
He suggested that, like police officers, litter wardens should be given the power to arrest offenders.
He said giving wardens greater powers would help to enforce the fight against littering and deter offenders from being abusive towards litter wardens.
“Absolutely. I will make that recommendation because to control littering your dealing with human behaviour. Your dealing with people and people are not so friendly as before. There was a time when you could stop someone in the road if they litter and get their name and their address. Now, that’s not happening. They are pulling knives at you, they are driving away from you and so on,” Michael said.
Over the years, there have been several reports of threats and attacks against litter wardens in the territory.
The environmental chief said he will also recommend that police officers in the British Virgin Islands get litter warden responsibilities.
“The police have been very effective in other parts of the Caribbean carrying out litter warden functions so I don’t see why they cant be effective here,” Michael reasoned.
“I think the police, the forest officers, and the litter wardens should have powers under the Litter Act,” he continued.
Michael, in the meantime, said though he will be making the recommendations, he has not seen many incidents of littering since being appointed Chief Environmental Officer in November.
He, however, said people need to manage their waste in a better manner.
“Don’t throw it from your car. Don’t load up your truck and dump it in the drains. If you are going to take the waste yourself take it to the approved site that Solid Waste has designated,” he urged.
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