BVI News

Police will investigate any criminally false info about dead COVID patient — Governor

Governor Jaspert

Governor Augustus Jaspert is warning that the police may launch a probe into persons responsible for disseminating false or offensive information about COVID-19 patients locally.

The governor — who has responsibility for the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force (RVIPF) — gave that indication following what he described as a plethora of despicable information being circulated about the woman who died shortly after testing positive for COVID-19 in the BVI.

Speaking during a live broadcast with Premier Andrew Fahie and Health Minister Carvin Malone on Saturday, the governor condemned the behaviour.

“It may also be illegal behaviour and the police will investigate should crimes under our Computer Misuse Act have been committed,” Governor Jaspert said.

Stiff penalties damaging information, police warn

Moments after the governor’s statement, the RVIPF issued a press release reminding the general public to be “sensitized” about the aforesaid law.

The RVIPF pointed to Section 14A of the amended Act, which speaks to the dissemination of false information that is damaging in character.

On summary conviction (at the Magistrate’s Court) a person could be fined up to two hundred thousand dollars or serve up to seven years in prison, or both.

If convicted in a higher court, persons could be fined up to half-a-million dollars or imprisoned for fourteen years, or both.

“The Royal Virgin Islands Police Force is making a conscious effort in asking the general public to refrain from disseminating false, misleading, offensive or malicious information as such cases will be investigated and the offenders prosecuted before the court,” the RVIPF said.

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26 Comments

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  1. Jimmy Smith says:

    This is the problem I have this Gov, the police can not investigate the unsolved murders, but they will investigate this , please

    Like 30
    Dislike 11
    • @Jimmy Smith says:

      U leaving a trail when you use IP addresses – similar to phones. Hmmmmmmmm

      • Whistle blower says:

        Glad you brought this up because the other popular news site has an unsecure connection problem that they will not fix.

        Yet they have the technical know how to block persons from accessing it anonymously.

        What ever you send to that site is collected by god knows who but they specifically want to know your identity.

        That next site is a tool used to gather information. And turn us against each other.

        They allow all manner of senseless, even racist comments.

        While blocking sensible comments that call for positive social change.

        Might as well use your real names when you comment to that site people.

        Like 10
        Dislike 1
        • Yesssss says:

          Plenty of times I have blogged a comment on that news site that makes a lot of sense, they would not put my comment up
          and I would wonder why. Thanks for explaining.

    • Anonymous says:

      Its easy to investigate false info like this because everybody is forwarding the messages through WhatsApp. The police may also has received the same messages. If the police aren’t eye witnesses to a murder it is hard to solve if people aren’t snitching or if the murderers covered their tracks well.

    • To Jimmy says:

      Yep, I agree

    • SUE says:

      I RESPECT THE GOVERNOR BUT I JUST WANT TO TELL HIM THE HOSPITAL HAVE A LOT OF FLAWS THAT NEED FIXING THAT IS GOING ON FOR YEARS AND TO START SPEAKING ABOUT INVESTIGATING THE HOSPITAL WILL HAVE MORE LAWSUITS THAT IT WILL CAUSE THE ONLY HOSPITAL TO CLOSE THIS IS NOT HEAR SAY THIS IS FACTS.

      Like 10
    • Online Now says:

      @Jimmy Smith;

      – someone knows about the murders. Come forward and stop protecting your family members.
      – whoever released the information about the patient has caused untold damage to the community and should be prosecuted.

      • LCS says:

        If its true, the ones causing the damage are in the hospital, who sent the poor lady (RIP) home, twice! Those are the rumours, but it should be investigated to confirm that information. Previously, there was a blog saying she was ill, but “did not want to go to the hospital”. For a 3rd time? Hard to know the real truth without investigating further.

        • The blog says:

          Hon Malone was quoted as making a similar statement in the blog, saying that was his understanding. Should the statement have been made be off record until the facts were confirmed? Should it have been included in the article? I don’t know but it definitely got people wondering.

          Condolences to the family for their loss…

        • Lexi says:

          I agree that this should be investigated. If it is true that the hospital sent the lady home, even though she was showing signs of Covid 19, then whoever was responsible should be disciplined! Should even be dismissed!

    • @Jimmy Smith says:

      Thanks for your Comment. However, false information about someone is a tort and only the person themselves or their estate could bring the necessary legal action. So I am not sure why the government is wasting limited resources on this matter.

      Like 2
      Dislike 1
      • It is a front.... says:

        …to cover up their own shortfall in failing to implement proper protocols to ensure the lady was tested, maybe, not sure.

  2. Sure... says:

    And who investigating the arguably unreasonable use of taser guns by police officers on individuals, I ask??

    Like 9
    Dislike 10
  3. well sah says:

    Now I see what every one does be talking about lol for real. The Gov.need to cart he rasss people gonna say what they wanna say.the truth hurts and you and your blue gang needs to look into the halfway fraudulent rumors these Mins.and Reps. Broadcast on the media
    Hmmm

    Like 7
    Dislike 4
  4. Sure... says:

    When people present half arse news that dont make sense, people will ask questions. Freedom of speech. Now that the truth is out there, people can start asking the real questions. Why was she not tested when she first reported symptoms, or the second time she reported, or the third. Have the health aurhorities’ actions amounted to a breach of our national security? Who going to pay for that failure?

    Condolences to the family and I hope you all get the compensation that you deserve.

    Like 23
  5. Huh? says:

    Criminally false means that someone, who knew the truth, knowingly and wrecklessly disregarded the truth and proceeded with false statements. At this point, I think only the health workers and the government are in a position to know the truth therefore should be the only ones capable of spreading criminally false information. Otherwise, freedom of speech says one has a right to state their opinions or to ask questions. What the message instead should be is, people, please be mindful of how you state opinions or ask questions, as this may come across as offensive and hurtful. I think the good civilised people of this territory will understand that approach.

    Like 13
    Dislike 1
  6. Enki says:

    Well said Huh !

  7. Agreement says:

    Well Gov you have said it so follows through…. unfortunately you have no teeth. You lost them when you promised to prosecute the looters after Irma…
    If you are not going to do it don’t say it…
    Just saying!

  8. @ Huh says:

    Thanks for the informed clarification of rhe law.

    Like 2
    Dislike 1
  9. Longahanks says:

    Why is this Gov getting involved in this. Nothing to do with the governor. Get out of our faces and let us out of prison.

    Like 4
    Dislike 4
  10. dictators says:

    It reach to ditcatorship now.ppl just your mouth
    let we call the shots.

    Like 1
    Dislike 3
  11. boy says:

    Heavy Dictators

    Like 2
    Dislike 2
  12. Interesting says:

    Police officers also forward those messages. I have seen it happen.

  13. babs says:

    I read your comments everyday and I say my people are ignorant jack**s

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