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 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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