BVI News

RVIPF cops replaced Premier’s bodyguards after undergoing ‘close protection’ training

The RVIPF is responsible for the personal security of the territory’s governor and premier. From left: Governor Augustus Jaspert, Premier Andrew Fahie, and Police Commissioner Michael Matthews.

The Royal Virgin Islands Police Force (RVIPF) has assumed full responsibility for Premier Andrew Fahie’s personal security and has replaced the private security firm that the Fahie administration had contracted around the start of his tenure as Premier. 

Premier Fahie told BVI News in an invited comment on Thursday that the RVIPF took over his security detail months ago. He further described his previously-hired-private bodyguards as a planned temporary solution.

The Premier said the plan was always to have the RVIPF provide security for the Office of the Premier, but upon the initial request, he was informed by the Commissioner of Police (COP) Michael Matthews that officers would have to undergo specialized training in that area.

“It was agreed that a group of his officers would be selected and sent away to be trained. It was agreed that until the officers were trained then a private security company with such specialized capabilities would be contracted. That was done with the blessings of the COP,” Fahie told BVI News.

“As soon as the COP confirmed that the selected officers were now trained abroad, then the contract of the competent private security was closed. All the stages were always known from the inception by all stakeholders. The trained officers of the RVIPF are now in place and performing admirably.”

Bodyguards contracted for 6 months

The Premier also addressed the rumoured assumption that the private bodyguards had been contracted for a five-year period.

He said: “The calculation of putting it to five years has no base. Some Opposition Members said that timeframe knowing full well that it was malicious, especially seeing that we only serve four-year terms. The contract was always for six months and it only was allowed until the selected RVIPF officers were trained.”

Top cop confirms

BVI News also contacted Commissioner Matthews who backed the Premier’s response.

“I can confirm that the RVIPF is solely responsible for security arrangements in respect of the Premier and the Governor. There was a period in 2019 when we worked in partnership alongside private security guards to cover this work but this is no longer the case,” Matthews stated.

“We have also developed a VIP protection capability by training certain officers in ‘Close Protection’ tactics as reported by BVI News in 2019. These can be drawn on as and when the need arises,” the Commissioner added.

All cops who received training in close protection tactics are from the RVIPF’s Armed Response Unit.

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23 Comments

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  1. sure says:

    Whatever…must really take the populace for fools

    Like 24
    Dislike 3
  2. Umm says:

    Wow! So 6 weeks of training makes them ready to protect. This COP is so full of crap it ain’t funny. Premier don’t mind them you hear, you protect yourself. Any sensible person can see what’s going on here.

    If the COP was doing his job for years he would have realized that this was a area to be addressed a long time ago. Just like he has failed to address soo many other things. Who is assessing this guy’s performance? That entire force need looking into from top to bottom.

    Like 6
    Dislike 29
  3. vip heckler says:

    Don’t mind all this hoop la and damage control, THE GOVERNOR PUT A STOP TO IT !!!!!!

    Like 37
    Dislike 4
    • @vip heckler says:

      You sound like a typical house slave. People like you have the governor as a savior when in fact they have their own plot.

      Like 2
      Dislike 6
  4. LOL says:

    Sometimes i does see foy driving himself…like he dont trust them boys or this is all a show?

    Like 20
    Dislike 1
  5. BIG QUESTION says:

    WERE THEY TOLD “SHOOT TO KILL” LIKE THE PREVIOUS SET??

    Like 10
  6. Reply says:

    Based on the comments some of you all make, nobody don’t have to take you for fools. You do it on your own.

    Like 6
    Dislike 16
  7. Quiet Rebel says:

    Ok. If there are credible threats to Hon Premier Fahie and family, I’m not averse to his having round the clock physical security. However, per Comish Matthews, the force needs to be plus up so using RVIPF officers takes much needed manpower off the beat. Though using police officers is a sunk cost, it comes with an opportunity cost. Again, if the threat is credible, the cost to provide physical security is the cost to doing business; it may be a cost going forward regardless of whom is Premier and needs to be budgeted for. Other protective means and methods need to be also looked at.

    For security reasons, the answer to the following questions may not be answered but I will ask anyway. Don’t remember the late Premier Ralph T. Oneal or Premier D. Orlando Smith requiring round the clock physical security. Are these credible threats a recent occurrence? Are person specific or office specific? If office specific, when others are acting as Premier, will he/she be offered the same protection? Will the assigned officers be getting special pay?

    Like 19
    Dislike 1
  8. Rudeness out of control at Immigration says:

    I am completely outraged as a visiting tourist to the British virgin islands to have witnessed such a despicable rudeness and unprofessionalism on behalf of the BVI immigration department. A very overweight immigration officer who today decided to belittle an elderly woman who was a US citizen in the lineup by yelling at her in front of other visitors. What is wrong with you people in this country? You feel that you have to be rude to people that come to visit? I can assure you in my many years of travel I have never witnessed a country‘s representatives behave so despicably. It would it would behoove the government to start training their representatives in politeness Clearly a trait that is missing.I am so out raged that I intend to post this on TripAdvisor so that future visitors to the British virgin islands know what they’re in for when dealing with immigration.

    Like 22
    Dislike 2
    • Tourist, I understand says:

      I was also visiting and I noticed the female custom officers is very rude. I also almost got into it with one, but I held back because I was in a strange Country and was afraid that I might get locked up.

      Like 4
      Dislike 1
    • School child says:

      I agree that was unfortunate, but please don’t post on trip advisor, please?
      My mother and father rely on tourist to support me, so please no further posting necessary, even in baseball you get three strikes before you’re out. Let’s pretend this is strike one.

      Like 1
      Dislike 9
    • Tola says:

      I sure is them in town they are some pigs.

  9. BVI says:

    WE NEED A COMMISSION OF INQUIRY INTO THIS WHOLE MATTER…WE NEED TO GET TO THE BOTTOM OF THIS

    Like 13
    Dislike 4
  10. well sah says:

    The 3 ah dem laughing at we

  11. king liar says:

    Read through the lines from what the commissioner said. He did not confirm the premier’s story one bit. He said they were working in partnership with the private security services. If it was the plan to only have the security for 6 months the Premier would have said that when he was being questioned in the House about it. He wouldn’t let that get away because he has been trying to squash all adverse talks from the time they begin. He lies too much.

    Like 12
    Dislike 2
  12. mmm says:

    The rude fat get immigration woman…need the news more than politrition

  13. Facts says:

    Both the governor & head of police needs to go.

    Like 2
    Dislike 3
  14. -- says:

    Police Officers have always been the ones used for security for Ministers/Governor. Hon. Fahie’s life was threatened and used this to hire a Private Firm (it was more like giving a job to somebody he knew… the X Customs Officer,, etc he played the part well).

    I believe the service was too expensive so….the Police are back in action!

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