Though the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force (RVIPF) has received more than a pocket-full of funds to repair its police stations, it could be months before works actually start on these facilities.
The United Kingdom (UK) donated £1.2 million (US$1.68 million) to the RVIPF last month and since then, building materials have been purchased.
But, UK representative and Project Manager for the repairs, Paul Brooker said other factors are delaying the rebuilding process.
“Orders are being placed for the material. But, as you know, and like everybody else, that is nine or 10 weeks lead-in time [before they arrive in the BVI]. By the time that equipment gets made either in the US and/or Puerto Rico and then get shipped down here, you know as well as I do we are facing challenges on the docks with containers and just the pure backlog there,” Brooker explained.
“Getting hold of building materials has been a real problem. Everybody is trying to source it … So, we are facing the same risks and challenges that everybody else are,” Brooker said.
He said he cannot give any timeline in relation to when works will start on police facilities.
Real security concerns, Matthews dissatisfied
The government has been implementing measures at the ports to solve the problems.
But, despite the efforts being taken to address the issues, Police Commissioner Matthews is dissatisfied with the speed at which things are being done.
“I am dissatisfied with the caveat. I understand [but] I am dissatisfied because I am an impatient bugger and I feel that we should be getting on and doing these things.”
“The UK Project Manager arrived in the territory in December and his job was to get the infrastructure going on Road Town, West End, and Virgin Gorda. [But], here we are at the end of January and not a single nail or a piece of wood, or a piece of glass has gone in any of those buildings yet because he can’t get the materials. So, even though he’s on the ground and the funding is in place, we cant get the materials in quick enough,” Matthews said.
The commissioner said the delay in repairing police facilities poses a ‘real security issue’ for the territory.
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