BVI News

Governor aims to give police extra resources to probe recent murders

Governor John Rankin. (GIS Photo)

Governor John Rankin has said he aims to provide the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force (RVIPF) with “any extra resource necessary” to investigate the murders that have happened in the territory since the start of 2021.

The BVI has experienced at least two murders and another two of what police describe as “unexplained deaths” this year.

According to Governor Rankin in a late-afternoon statement on Monday, finding the killers behind these homicides “must be the top priority of the RVIPF”.

He, however, did not specify what kind of resources he is looking to give to the RVIPF.

“At the same time, I have agreed with the Police Commissioner that RVIP officers will be further deployed in tackling organised crime and drugs on these islands,” said the governor, who has portfolio responsibility for national security in the territory.

“The RVIPF has already initiated a high-profile operation; increasing its presence on the streets day and night. This has already been met with a positive response from many members of the community and has increased information reaching the force,” he added.

Appeal to those with information

While the governor considers police resourcing in relation to these murders, he is appealing to persons with information about these other serious crimes to come forward.

He said the BVI still remains one of the safest places in the region but the recent incidents of “violence and deaths caused by such crime afflict the whole community”.

“No effort must be spared in strengthening our security, including our border security, preventing those responsible for such violence and loss of life from continuing their criminal activities. I encourage anyone in the community who has information on those involved in drugs trafficking, illegal firearms and organised crime to bring it to the attention of the authorities,” Governor Rankin stated.

“This will continue to my top priority as Governor and I ask all in BVI to join me in a firm resolve to help ensure an end to the unacceptable events of recent days,” he added.

The killings

The territory’s two confirmed murder victims for 2021 are Earl ‘Bob’ Hodge who was shot and killed on February 9, and 40-year-old Waleid Kachhour whose body was found floating in waters in Sea Cows Bay last Friday. His hands and feet were bound together with rope.

In the meantime, the so-called unexplained deaths are Rodney Simmonds, Sr of Threadfall and Andrew Skeritt of Carrot Bay.

“Simmonds was found and pronounced dead at his home in Threadfalls while the body of Skerritt was found and pronounced dead at his home in Carrot Bay,” the RVIPF reported.

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  1. Reality Check says:

    While extra resources for murder investigations is laudable, extra resources for enforcement of the laws which would increase the quality of life day-to-day is just as important. Equip every police officer, regardless of assignment with a ticket book and require them to spend a day on the streets every month enforcing the traffic laws, ticketing all vehicles which are parked on the streets inhibiting the flow of traffic, stop sign running, and enough resources to take care of the scooter / four-wheeler issues of blatant violation of vehicular laws.

    Like 42
    Dislike 1
    • Reasonable Man says:

      Reality Check is so right here. Enforcing traffic laws will improve the quality off life for almost everyone but it will also demonstrate that obeying the law matters. We need to show that we are a civil society and that laws apply to all of us. We should start in the most visible way possible and begin with our streets.

      Like 23
    • @Reality says:

      Totally agree with you and there should a contingent of investigators brought in to solve the murders and the quarter billion drug bust which I’m sure are related. The local mamas have no ability to solve crimes of this magnitude.

      Like 14
  2. I Think says:

    Most Police officers should also be on foot patrol in the City and Villages. I have a family member who is a member of the NYC Police force, once they come out of the training academy, they have to do foot patrol for awhile.

    Like 13
    Dislike 1
  3. great start off says:

    Mr. Governor, Please start by making police presence more visible throughout the island, not only in Road Town where we hardly see them, but throughout the various communities. The visible presence of law enforcement is a great tool. It gives the people a sense of security and it can deter (some) criminals from executing on their activities. Get the police to walk the beat and get out of the air condition vehicles.

    We have the noisy motor bikes that need to be controlled. I take care of a senior citizen in Road Town and I feel for the lady when they start up. It takes long for her to fall asleep and then she jump out of her sleep frighten from the revving up. Bike guys, youall love the thrill and I agree you need your enjoyment, but be considerate.

    Like 16
  4. Sam says:

    Stop And Search more ,Day And Night. Any time Any place .Any where..And in some people home to. To much death in the bvi. Bvi have to much killer. and the loose,

    Like 13
  5. Anonymous says:

    Next, bring the white (EU), Arab and other segregated communities who are outside of law enforcement parameters, inside and accountable also.

    Law enforcement in the territory has been for the African descendant only since its inception into the territory in the 19th century.

    It is time for paradigm shift. People are seeing the the unequal application of law and justice, and are pointing it out.

    Except for the Black man/BVIslander, everyone else lives outside, do as they please, engage in criminal activity, smuggling, selling and using all illicit products, but some how, they live outside law enforcement radar and acountability. Why is that?

    This must change. Law enforcement and accountability for all, not just a few.

    Like 5
    Dislike 3
  6. VG says:

    stop and search cars on the road , easiest way to find drugs and the illegal firearms.
    just stop everyone. i would welcome it if i was pulled over so police coud search my car.
    its easy to see who has the drugs and the guns. spot them miles away.

    Like 5
    Dislike 2
  7. suggestions says:

    its all hot air, specifica can be 1. CCTV throughought the territory 2. foot patrols and stop and search 3. Enforcement of the easy laws! (traffic). 4. Premise search – especially houses with big dogs and a shipping container of drugs in the back garden 5. Use of drones for overhead recon

  8. Gordon says:

    It is a nice move to provide more resources to unravel rampart deaths and criminal cases occurring in the territory .More Cameras should be positioned at strategic locations.

  9. Gordon says:

    It is a nice move to provide more resources to unravel rampart deaths and criminal cases occurring in the territory .More monitoring Cameras should be positioned at strategic locations.

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