BVI News

Police officers are not punching bags — Commissioner

“The individual at Bobby’s, like any other individual, they will have their day and their opportunity to explain themselves to the independent judiciary” — Commissioner Michael Matthews

Police Commissioner Michael Matthews is warning residents that police officers have a right to defend themselves if they are attacked by residents.

The commissioner sounded the warning recently on 284 Media’s Cut Deep talk show, while addressing questions about two incidents involving the use of tasers by police officers. Back in April, video footage of the incidents were widely circulated on social media.

“Police officers are not punch[ing] bags. They are not there to be assaulted and my officers get assaulted a lot. I have a responsibility to give them the equipment to protect themselves, protect others around them and I hope that they will continue to use that wisely, effectively but proportionately to the threat that they face at the time,” Commissioner Matthews said.

He added that the police were authorised to use tasers seven years ago and two incidents in those seven years shows that they’ve not been abusing this method of enforcement.

While admitting that tasing is “not a pleasant thing”, Commissioner Matthews said it is better than the use of batons, pepper spray and guns.

“Look at some of the other options here. Do we start beating someone with a baton? Do we start putting pepper spray in people’s faces? Do we actually draw loaded guns on people? This is not America, that’s not how we do policing. This is the British policing model,” Commissioner Matthews explained.

Meanwhile, the Commissioner said the two incidents involving tasers earlier this year were thoroughly investigated and the officers involved were retrained on the use of tasers as a means of enforcement.


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  1. Dread says:

    My officers are not punching bags. They are killers. And when you get to understand that [sweet voice] we will all be better off – Horton hears a who.

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  2. Hmmm says:

    If he was a local or a Caribbean person he would have been fired long ago.

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  3. surprise says:

    using a lethal weapon, regardless if a teaser, paper spray, or a gun. police should be more vigilant and more careful on the occasion of using the weapon, if someone is unarmed, no need to shoot.

    American or not America, police responsibility is to protect us, not defeat us.

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    • Tass says:

      That paper spray in nasty I got lethal paper cuts all over

    • HUH? says:

      What the heck are you talking about?? What are you 5? First of all tasers and pepper (not paper) spray are not “lethal weapons”. Secondly, Ain’t no police in the BVI shooting anybody.

      Lets not try to project what is happening in America onto the BVI it is a totally different situation.

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  4. Be real says:

    No justice with this guy leading.

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  5. Just An Analysis says:

    Prudent execution of ultimate power, or the lack thereof, and the seemingly selection of a particular segment of the population have contributed to the core psychological issues surrounding officers, hierarchical management and the public.

    Sadly, they are trained how to police, subdue and maintain order, but lost in the formation of that psychology are the consequences and ramifications of mal-policing and mal-law enforcement practices.

    This often accumulates psychological residue in the form of low level resistance, which is then termed “police punching bags” especially, as a reaction to brutal force, minimal community contact, education and rapport. Could this be the weakness in policing across the globe, despite other agendas in each country?

    Form out looking in, there is no difference between it and a military force upon the psyche of a population.

    Than goodness, guns are not standard methods of enforcement within this system.

    Law and order today equates to law and out of order relative to human order.

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  6. ESLAW says:

    He said this is British policing lol. I wonder what his view on systematic racism and police brutality of black people in the United Kingdom. It doesn’t exist riiiggght.

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  7. doh says:


    Police are not punching bags. Lol

    Yes, we respect the law and those who enforce it. Legitimately and lawfully. Not those who use their authority to subjugate, demean, and reign over those they are to protect and serve. Officers are supposed to be the highest public example of a citizen and ours choose to corruption, malfeasance, and power.

    We should never assault another human being, especially an officer. But our officers better start taking their jobs seriously, or we never will.

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  8. we strong says:

    ok yes i agree, he police is there to protect you and not defeat you, so who is going to protect the police?, well guess what the police have to protect you but first they have to protect themselves, they are human just like you, i will support any officer who use force to protect himself from an attack.

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  9. Thanks for protecting Us says:

    As a BVI Islander living in America for the past couple years, I really start to appreciate our police back home…Our police is look like us sound like us goes to the same grocery store and churches just like everyone else .. These men and women put on the uniform to protect us , they risk their life for us and their family.
    This man is just asking for some respect and ayo still have a problem with that … Sometime I just wonder if ayo want the British to send over their police force to help get s**t in line , since ayo so dire to talk about racism and feeling unjust… we literally giving these ppl the amo to start having these police walk the street with guns , because they are “ in fear “ for their life

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  10. Belongers says:

    Please for once use your brains and stop playing the whole race card, I am so over you uneducated belongers it’s beyond me how you think you can do without expats who allow to live a life of luxury with absolute zero education. Learn and open your eyes, look beyond the BVI which clouds your judgement beyond disrepair. You do after all get a UK passport for free and automatically

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  11. Anonymous says:

    Belonger, you a complete hater of BVI, it’s people and yourself.
    Go back where yo come, you might be happier there.

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    • Erica says:

      Listen you all need to calm down. We all are belongers, to this earth.
      I born here into my grand father house on the floor.
      Guess what now I am a teacher in the US.
      We tolian need to stop act like ass,Covid19 did not teach you fool anything.

  12. Belonger says:

    Anonymous, learn how to spell, read my previous message about education

    • @Belonger says:

      What have you written on or about education? Nothing, nada, zero.

      On the contrary, you typed a ranting prose of hatred and insults against and towards the “belonger.” Apparently, you appear jealous of him.

      Leave education to the experts, because clearly you know nothing about it.

      Hatred will die on its own, it will take effort off will and desire to change each mind.

      With regards to spelling, please, spare me. If you were not wired to be negative and hateful, and if you only knew. There is a reason why “yo” was written that way instead of you.

  13. Erica says:

    Mr commissioner you are very wrong to say it like that. Police are train.if they are been punch.i think they should use there training skill to defend there self.not because you are a police you are going to fight someone who is acting for backup.

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