BVI News

New Police Act to address challenges in relation to policing crime locally

Deputy Governor David Archer, Jr.

The new Police Act 2019 legislation which is likely to be passed in the House of Assembly in 2020 will be aiming to address the present and future challenges faced in relation to policing crime in the British Virgin Islands.

This was revealed by Deputy Governor David Archer, Jr who told BVI News that the new legislation — which will replace the current Police Act (Cap.165) — is necessary for the advancement of the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force (RVIPF).

“In its current form, the Police Act (Cap. 165) is not fully reflective of modern police practices, contemporary human resources practices and current technological advances in the prevention and detection of crime, such as DNA testing and electronic data analysis,” the Deputy Governor stated.

“It was therefore proposed that in an effort to fulfil the mission of the RVIPF, which is to maintain the safety of the British Virgin Islands, a clear modern legislative structure was essential in an effort to deliver this vision and address the criminal challenges facing the territory now and in the future,” he added

Changes expected

Archer also said other changes the public can expect once the new Act comes into effect include powers and safeguards in relation to DNA samples, fingerprints and photographs, drug testing and breath testing, powers to seize electronic data and computers, and police bail provisions.

He also listed powers to detain suspects past twenty-four (24) hours and to apply for extensions in specific circumstances; clarity on the role and responsibilities of Custody Officers; restrictions for officers communicating on social media; and powers to introduce Codes of Practice for the treatment of detained persons.

The Deputy Governor said these new measures will better facilitate the RVIPF into executing their mandate to serve the people of the BVI.

The Bill to replace the current Police Act was introduced in the House of Assembly on November 14.

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5 Comments

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  1. Sea Cow says:

    More things change the more they stay the same. Need more action and less talk!!

    Like 5
    Dislike 3
  2. i mean says:

    ok, but who going to police the polic?e

    Like 2
    Dislike 5
    • @I mean says:

      This is what we all would like to know when you have officers working with others to hide criminal acts, not enforcing warrants, etc.

      Like 1
      Dislike 1
  3. ONE THING FOR SURE says:

    The cops that were here after the hurricane did a better job….They had the criminals under siege

    Like 6
    Dislike 1
  4. Legal eagle says:

    It is welcome news that there shall be the repeal of the police Act in its current form and will be replaced with other attractive crime fighting provisions.The question for the legislators is….have you considered the use of body cameras by the police and their engagement with the public and what offence and penalties an officer would face when he fails to use same in such an engagement with the public ?…my say

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