BVI News

No curfew for the ‘friendly’ east

“Frankly, these criminals wouldn’t take a lot of notice of a curfew anyway,” said Commissioner Matthews.

Commissioner of Police Michael Matthews said he does not think criminals would be deterred by any curfew that is being proposed for the eastern end of Tortola, especially the troubled Long Look area that has recorded three gun murders so far this year.

Adding that communities in the east are some of the friendliest, most open, and welcoming in the British Virgin Islands, the commissioner made it clear that he too does not support stereotyping of the area.

“I read an awful lot about East End and I am disappointed when I read these negative press. I spend a considerable amount of my time off duty as well as on duty in the east end of the territory, and I have found the people there to be the friendliest, open, and welcoming group of communities that I could come across. I shop there locally [and] I enjoy social times there…” Commissioner Matthews said.

He further stated that he is not even remotely considering a curfew mainly because only a ‘very very small’ number of people are committing crimes locally.

A curfew effectively would require people to remain indoors between specified hours, probably while law enforcers carry out operations within the geographical boundaries of the said curfew.

“I am not remotely thinking that there should be a curfew. Let’s be realistic. Of the significant number of people that live in the territory, it is a very very small fraction that are causing us problems and are breaking the laws and inflicting violence. So a curfew across a whole community would solve very little, and frankly these criminals wouldn’t take a lot of notice of a curfew anyway,” added Commissioner Matthews.

Recently, a youth leader from the Long Look area, Kevon Lettsome, said the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force should consider several measures including a possible curfew for the area and other sections of the territory in light of the violence being experienced. Lettsome also called for social intervention programmes, especially those that will significantly reduce the unemployment rate in the community.

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