BVI News

Police warn against reprisals following deaths

Commissioner of Police Michael Matthews (foreground) during a press briefing

Commissioner of Police Michael Matthews (foreground) during a press briefing

Commissioner of Police Michael Matthews has appealed for calm amid reports of possible reprisals following the death of two men in separate incidents on the island of Tortola.

Thirty-year-old Ashburn Dawson died in a shooting incident near the Sunday Morning Well in Road Town last night, while the body of 39-year-old Alston Penn was found at daybreak yesterday on Windy Hill Road.

Penn’s body, BVI News Online understands, has signs of violence.

Commissioner Matthews, in a media release this afternoon (March 11), cautioned against vigilante justice especially when suspects’ names are being mentioned.

“Emotions can run high especially when names of suspects are being called, but it is important to let my officers do the work they need to do to bring justice in these cases. Vigilante justice will not work and will only bring about more incidents, injuries, and possible deaths.”

“Therefore, I am appealing to parents to discourage their youngsters from engaging in any activities of revenge. We are actively pursuing suspects in these cases. It would be counterproductive at this crucial time if any other individuals were to seek justice themselves and undermine the investigations,” Commissioner Matthews said.

He noted that police, in the meantime, continue to appeal for information regarding the deaths.

“Persons can contact the Major Crime Team directly at 368-5682 or the RVIPF Intelligence Unit at 368-9339. Persons can also report the information anonymously to Crimestoppers through its Miami-based hotline number 800-TIPS (8477).”

Three violent deaths have been reported in the British Virgin Islands since the start of the year. The third victim – businessman Franklyn Fahie – was shot dead at his bar in the Long Look area of Tortola on the night of January 6.

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