Officers in the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force are receiving training on how to control crowds during times of protest or during “any large gathering whether peaceful or violent”.
UK-based company, Red Snapper Learning, was contracted to offer training to 44 police officers over three weeks.
Similar training is being offered to 20 officers at Her Majesty’s Prison to ‘maintain safety’ at the penitentiary.
Commissioner of Police Michael Matthews said a lot of focus was placed on firearms training for his officers last year. This, he said, caused public order training to “take a backseat” because of the limited training budget that was made available to police.
But after receiving funding from the UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), the top cop seized the opportunity to provide refresher training in crowd control to his officers.
“Through the FCO, we were not only provided the funding for public order training but accompanying safety kits, therefore we made this a priority this year. After the three weeks, we will not only have newly trained officers in the keeping public order but local officers equipped to deliver that training to keep skills current and fresh,” Commissioner Matthews said.
Armory and Firearms trainer in the RVIPF, Inspector Ernest Gumbs, said he was pleased officers were being equipped with skills in crowd control, which he said are needed in times of peace time and in times of violence.
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