BVI News

Police facing problems serving court summonses

The Royal Virgin Islands Police Force (RVIPF) is struggling to serve court summonses to people who are charged with breaches of the law.

According to Inspector Dervent Murray, the police is facing an inadequacy with regards to gathering specific information of those being called to answer for crimes committed.

Murray, who is attached to the Police Prosecution Unit of the RVIPF, said some of the information on the summons lack specificity. This includes the lack of specific home addresses for persons in question.

“Some of the issues are the lack of information in order to gear ourselves directly to a particular person or a particular place and that makes finding who we’re looking for, kind of challenging. I mean, a lot of persons are known by their alias names. As such, when you will go and try for X — somebody with the correct name — a lot of people don’t even know who is that because more people go by the aliases” Inspector Murray said in an interview with BVI News on Tuesday.

“So, that is also one of the difficulties that we face; inadequate information. And then sometimes some people would have left the territory before the court did something and some might not be coming back and others may be coming back. You know, there’s a lot of logistical difficulties here,” he added.

Manpower problems

Inspector Murray said the best way to combat this issue is for his officers to gather specific information from people who are reported for a crime and wanted by the court. He also said the police force faces manpower problems which means it does not have sufficient staff to effectively carry out this function.

The police inspector, said the lack of evidence on whether a summons have been issued to the correct person can result in the case being dismissed by the court or the prosecution can ask for the case to be thrown out.

“If the court believes that it is on the list too long, and the court wants to take a certain course of action by dismissing the matter, the court can do so. The prosecution can also either ask the court for an extension to continue or find the person. If not, then we have to ask the court to probably dismiss it,” he said.

Over the past several weeks, the Magistrate’s Court has had to adjourn cases because there was no evidence that summons were served for a person of interest.

This has led Magistrate Khadeen Palmer to question the effectiveness of the police force in identifying and serving people called before the court to answer for crimes.

Inspector Murray said the police force usually relies on the person identifying themselves or from law enforcement’s general recollection of the person.

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21 Comments

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  1. Anonymous says:

    the new officers them donot kno9w these people because they want to be transfer to a specialised unit without learning the people and the country. most of these officerts are not from here dont know the people dont know where road town is located. what do you expect?

    Like 10
    Dislike 2
    • Lol says:

      I have seen literally dozens of “officers” who seem to be bussed about constantly and if you look they are all on their phones in the back of the bus, what i have not seen is any of them on the streets , i have no idea what they do once they “pass” and become officers, maybe they all sit in a back room on their phones picking up their paychecks for doing nothing every month

      Like 13
      Dislike 2
    • Freedom from fat says:

      This is basic as it gets. And we think we can be independent?
      We act like 4 year olds in an adult world.

      Like 11
  2. Ting to talk says:

    BvI news this photo doesn’t represent the face of the RVIPF. THIS OFFICER SHOULD BE CHARGED FOR UNTIDINESS AND NEGLECT OF HEALTH. PLEASE REMOVE IT.

    Like 4
    Dislike 1
    • Talk talk says:

      Nah, the officer good. So she put on a few pounds an hits the rotis hard but she moves like silk when she needs to. Those rolls are really her holding a hippo.

      Like 4
      Dislike 1
  3. no address? says:

    God forbid if I had an emergency and had to phone Police or Fire and had no address… How will they ever find my home or apartment??

    Like 5
    Dislike 1
    • Easy says:

      Drop a pin and send it. Oh wait. You are all too stupid to be able to do that both on the sending and receiving side. Just can’t fix stupid.

      Like 1
      Dislike 4
  4. Resident says:

    the police are incompetent at best and corrupt at worst

    Like 8
    Dislike 1
  5. Popo says:

    Hey! Not fair! I’m an officer and I’m incompetent AND corrupt.
    Give me some respect.

    Like 2
    Dislike 1
  6. Lies says:

    They know but is usually friends and acquaintances and big ones and untouchable that why they not getting served.no respect for the authority of the court. Small island and they can’t find peo6…rubbish!!

  7. Police says:

    You can go through a whole week and don’t see a single Police officer in town. There should be a daily foot patrol schedule in town. The last time I see a police officer on foot patrol was for the queen birthday.

  8. Slippery slope says:

    Some of the dummy officers cannot take a proper report ..If proper written account is given, it would be easy to find the person . HeHe indigenous position . The only criterion for putting people in position … BVI is going down a slippery slope

  9. Magistrate’s process says:

    The Magistrate process is a 3rd world mess. The BVI needs to allow police to write tickets on the spot and collect fines like the rest of the world. Having to go to court over traffic offenses is just a waste of time and another excuse to over hire and put incompetent locals in positions of power.
    This whole thing could be much simpler and would produce more gov funds…but it would also mean there will be consequences for EVERYONE when you break the law (so chew on that a bit)

    • @Magistrate's process says:

      The individual can refuse to pay the ticket( if they feel they are being fasely ticketed) and go before the Magistrate.

  10. ex cop says:

    if there is any truth to what the Inspector has said, then the Police unit is in dire straits. How do you correct incompetence? Start disciplining delinquent officers? Or amend the Evidence Act or other relative legislation, that compels a defendant or accused to submit proper identification to the Police after been told r informed that they will be prosecuted for allegedly violating the BVI Laws? Is the Inspector saying, that the Magistrate cannot hear the prosecution’s side if the defendant deliberately absents herself or himself from court and pass a sentence if the case is proven? New broom sweeps clean, but old broom knows the corner. Training is foundational, it must be instilled during initial training and practiced until it becomes engrained. Beat Duty exposes officers to their community, spent more time on foot patrol, mixing or interacting with. Know at least two persons on every street, young and old it will serve you well. The better you know your community reduces crime and strengthens the fabric of that society. body or group.

  11. Observer says:

    The police got to much time on their hands not to serve the summons. Too much security work and engaging themselves in all kind of nonsense. Many can’t even spell common names.

  12. Riddick says:

    Police them eh punks

  13. watchers says:

    what a lawless society. police in the bvi not beating okilling anyone. yet so much hate. for your lawlessness is y the country falli g. go ahead time only time will tell. change will.come wther u lime it or not.

  14. Level says:

    Years ago we used to know who the Police were whether they were from here or not. They showed a least a basic interest in people and the country. Now, some of newer ones that come to the BVI have no interest. Met a few Officers in recent years that have that true community policing spirit.I do not know if they are still there. A very tall slim dark young man from BVI, professional and helpful, younger Jamaican Officer, saw him in action during a search party and he even came off duty and returned again when of duty. A Fillipino Officer and a few others.

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