BVI News

Limited intel sharing, distrust across law enforcement agencies

Police Commissioner Mark Collins (second, left) out with other members of the RVIPF. (Facebook Photo)

Police Commissioner Mark Collins has revealed that there is a lack of trust between law enforcement agencies in the BVI. He said this lack of trust hampers effective collaboration.

Collins said he has had discussions with Chief Immigration Officer Ian Penn and Commissioner of Customs Wade Smith, and found that part of the distrust comes because of fears that intelligence shared between the organisations might be leaked.

“We’ve discussed – certainly myself, Mr Penn and Mr Wade [Smith] about a joint intelligence unit for the Joint Task Force. We need to further that and make that happen. But there is a reluctance, I think, to share some intelligence, for reasons of that intelligence being divulged and information being divulged. It’s a concern,” he said while giving oral evidence to the Commission of Inquiry (COI) this week.

The top cop said he believes the crux of the issue comes down to vetting of law enforcement agents — not just within the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force (RVIPF), but also across other law enforcement arms in the territory.

“If we are going to operate at that level and trust people, we need to be assured that they are vetted to those levels and we’ve got trust and confidence in them as an individual to function in those roles,” Collins shared.

Cultural resistance and lack of training

He described intelligence sharing important and further noted that he did not share the belief that opportunities are maximised around prison intelligence, in particular.

The Police Chief also said there is an overall lack of information sharing across all agencies and departments. He said this is impeded by the fact that computers systems are not linked.

“There are outdated working practices. We are still working on paper files, with many agencies still only accepting paper files and reports — with the exception of the FIA.”

“I also believe that culturally, there is a huge resistance to change – ‘we have always done it like that’ appears to be the attitude within the BVI … There is a complete lack of training within the RVIPF and other agencies,” he said. “I am constantly being asked about opportunities for local officers within the organisation.”

The Commissioner added that a number of officers appear to have the capacity and capability to develop but just do not have the training and experience.

“Again, this all needs to be funded and that funding is not forthcoming. Our investigations seem to be DPP-led and not police led due to a lack of knowledge.”


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  1. ??? says:

    I strongly agree with his Views. CIO and COC can’t be blame for not sharing vital evidence or information with the RVIPF( no trustworthiness) what a shane? Also, what happened to the monies just allocated to the FORCE last year? Persons wanting to be Police Officers should have been vetted before their applications are approved especially those coming from outside the Territory. I mean a deep thorough Research on the individual not just looking at a piece of paper.

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  2. WEW says:

    Same for the politicians “we’ve always stolen like that”

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  3. LILLIAN says:


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  4. Oh boy says:

    Not saying that there is not corruption in the RVIPF but what I will like those Negative bloggers that Customs immigration and prison department is no different and is not better in no way form or fashion.

    I realise you all are basing your arguments and comments on island man Police but please note what was said earlier that the Police Force is not worse that Immigration, Customs and Prison, hell No. So stop singling out the Police.what is it because it has more foreigners. Stop all you bias behavior. You all are so dam racist and calling the Governor racist.

    As a matter of fact the Police is the best of the lot because they are the only one that is locking up and investigating their own.

    If that is not so then tell me or show me another department in Government that locks up or investigate their own and if so tell me when last you see or heard of it.

    Dam racist set of people. Never met a set of black people who hate people so. Unbelievable.

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  5. Gato says:

    The RVIPF is at war with itself. This is a cold war AJ vs JV . The fight for power is on. The Dominican team vs the jamaican team . Who will loose the people of the VI. Poor service, poor investigation ,selective prosecution, bias ,prejudice, mediocrity ETC. Mr. Top cop you are falling in the midst of this fight .

  6. Rubber Duck says:

    The police may be bad but the real real rotten apples are in Customs.

    They hassle tourists and locals but have never caught a drug dealer. Ever.

    Time for a clear out at the top.

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  7. Brick says:

    Those three agencies do not like serious officers like the hill man and Walters man who used to be in immigration. Facts

  8. Jawbone says:

    The force can’t breathe.

  9. 4sure says:

    Commissioner you will come and go just like your predecessors and the people of the BVI will not trust your department unless you get rid of two of your senior officers. Until then you will have trust issues, ask around internal and external, and you will find out who they are asked by the public. They will tell you.

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