BVI News

Housing, transport problems hurting policing on VG

Sections of police barracks on Virgin Gorda were damaged during the hurricanes.

Housing and transportation problems are hurting police operations on the sister islands – especially Virgin Gorda.

That is according to Police Commissioner Michael Matthews who spoke on local radio recently.

“We’ve recently tried to increase the number of officers on Virgin Gorda except we got nowhere to house the officers if they, for example, live on Tortola. So, we are sending the officers across using the public service, except, the ferries don’t run particularly late at the moment and so I’m having difficulty in sustaining the coverage I want because those officers have got to get back.”

Matthews said the police force has tried to rent accommodations on the island but their attempts have been fruitless.

He said the available accommodations on the island are either “exceptionally expensive” or unsuitable for officers to stay.

“You then say ‘OK’ you’re going to force their hand and say ‘no, you got to stay in Virgin Gorda’, which is easy to say but the barracks virtually don’t exist there.”

Police operate from a vehicle on JVD

The police of Jost Van Dyke, in the meantime, is struggling with a different sort of housing issue, Matthews said.

He noted that Jost Van Dyke Police have no police station or office space to operate from.

“My officers on Jost Van Dyke: they are operating most of the time just out of a police vehicle. We are fortunate that we have a Customs and Immigration team over there who got a roof over their head so we are able to sort of access occasionally a telephone or something like that. But there is no computer access there.”

“These are facts that the public sector are working in conditions that are far from acceptable and I will continue to fight for safe and effective places to work that is secure for my officers and staff. But, at times, I do feel I’m a voice in the wilderness and, with each day that passes, I don’t see any difference,” Matthews said.

He said police and security have taken a back seat for too long and has called on local legislators to pass and execute its Recovery and Development Plan that is being debated in the House of Assembly.

The Jost Van Dyke Police Station is still in disrepair now more than a year after Hurricane Irma. (Photo captured October 22, 2018)

 

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4 Comments

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  1. ok says:

    Now i understand why fraser say we’re like a third world country

    Like 3
    Dislike 1
  2. Gumption.Official says:

    I’m sure the UK would be upset yet not surprised that our officers and police station are treated like poo. Especially the officers on VG. Post Irma they had a really hard time getting the needed rest. People always bashing police this and That forgetting that officers are people children too. Officers have family too, officers have bills to pay etc. it’s over due and time for our community to re-start respecting officers, yet officers should continue building a public relationship. We need them and they need we. I hope the needed attention reach them soon.

  3. Where're says:

    all the allocated moneies going/went?

    all the bugetted monies?

  4. Concern says:

    I am really concern that the government essential workers buildings are not been fixed. The Fire Station, The Police Stations and other Government workers. These officers are asked to risk their lives and not even a office space. It bad.

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