BVI News

Serious concerns! New Police Act proposing to give cops ‘immunity’ when operating under a warrant

The new Police Act that is to be implemented in the British Virgin Islands is proposing to give police officers immunity while acting under a warrant.

This is one of the many changes expected under the legislation, which seeks to replace the current three-decade-old Police Act (Cap 165).

In publicly reading some of the provisions outlined in the new Act, Opposition legislator Julian Fraser expressed several concerns, stating that there are too many ambiguities that will need to be addressed in the proposed legislation.

Police officers not liable under warrant

Such examples include clauses 22 and 185 of the Act. The first states that police officers are not personally liable for acts done under a warrant, while the latter clause provides immunity for police officers acting under the authority of a warrant.

“Really? Absolute immunity? That is something I have to find out — what does immunity mean here in this particular clause,” Fraser stated. “A police officer cannot have total immunity acting under a warrant. [They can] go in a person’s house and do whatever they want and say that they’re acting under a warrant and they have immunity.”

Police state

Fraser further outlined clauses 26 to 36 of the Act which deals with the powers and duties of police officers in relation to the identification of evidence.

“Police officers are given the power to take for use and record in the services registry any photographs, description, measurement, fingerprint, palm print, footprint, or other physical specimens of any person in lawful custody,” he said while reading verbatim from the proposed legislative document.

He continued: “A police officer has the power to seize items found during a search where he or she has reasonable grounds to believe that they were used in a commission of an offence, and where an item is computerized with information, he or she may seize the computer or have access to and be afforded the opportunity to copy that material.”

Fraser said he believes such clauses give true meaning to the terminology of what a police state defines.

RVIPF to be renamed

In addition to these changes, the Act proposes to rename the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force to the Royal Virgin Islands Police Service.

Fraser said that a Bill that has so many significant implications to residents should be discussed at the community level before reaching the House of Assembly.

He, therefore, called on Premier Fahie to take such action to ensure that the public gets involved with the process.

“I’m suggesting very strongly to the Premier that the direction this bill is taking right now, the form it’s taking on, to be directed to a form of public consultation. This bill belongs in the public domain for consultation [so] people can voice their opinion and offer their suggestion,” Fraser stated.

Other members of the Opposition such as its leader, Marlon Penn echoed the need for public consultation and in response, Premier Andrew Fahie pledge to “ramp up” public discourse as it relates to the proposed law.

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64 Comments

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  1. Stupidness says:

    Pure stupidness. Bvi getting stupider and stupider.

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    • Yup says:

      This is a very dangerous move. Not allowing for accountability makes you a lawless society. The BVI is slowly becoming a third world African nation.

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      • SUE says:

        MR Premier stop and think out before you make big decisions I can tell you without a doubt that some of them is corrupt stop doing things like other country do what is best for us. There will be a lot of law suit and you will see and the treasury will feel it.

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      • Sand man says:

        Whats a third world nation and y africa

      • Concerned says:

        I find the allusion to Africa quite demeaning and ill-informed. Be wary of these Western labels that seek to represent everything that is black/African as inferior or uncivilized. Comments such as these emphasize the need for us to revisit how we both teach and perceive history.

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      • Concerned says:

        I agree with the the suggestion of the Honorable in opposition party has raised. Proper consultation ,clarification and interpretation of the act is important .The law enforcement agents should not be above the law, accountability should be upheld.This will prevent lawlessness and ugly happenings in some countries like US will not repeat itself.

    • @stupidness says:

      By the minute

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    • Lol says:

      You the stupid one.. stupider aint even a word

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    • Noo Sahh says:

      Immuni-WHOOOO?!!?!?

      AYO CRAZYYY AWAH!

      16
  2. hog city says:

    Fraser looks out for us all that’s why we need people like him in the house of assembly. Some of them in there don’t fit to be in there because they can’t represent.

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    • Styler says:

      I quite agree with Hon Fraser for some of those Policemen can’t be trusted and they squeezing the locals half of them are criminals when others come from there country and see them in the Police Force they shocked because they know they’re any good only the BVI

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    • SupportingFRASER says:

      Absolutely! WE NEED PEOPLE LIKE FRASER IN THE HOUSE TO DRAAAPE THEM UP!!!!

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      • Yes Fraser... says:

        Time to form your party Fraser. You prove that you always care for the people. You dont always get it right but this time you have and I notice you been getting it right a lot lately. This is all it takes. Fraser for Premier!! Because we know you ain’t in bed with the Commissioner or anyone else for that matter. We know you not no prostitute to sell out the country for a little bit of money.

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        • I agree says:

          For real Fraser, step up your game. What are you waiting on? Build your party. You are the only one that can take Andrew down next election. You gonna sit back and let Myron take Andrew down at the polls or what? Think about that.

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    • Thanks hog city says:

      Fraser might have his ways about him but, he cares and look out for us down here in Sea Cows Bay. Wish Sea Cows Bay was separated from the rest of the Island.

  3. Ooo boy says:

    A big step in the wrong direction. Got a warrant, let’s suffocate somebody

    44
  4. Police state says:

    Help us Jesus

    Jealous , angry , resentful, racist , dirty , I better off being a cop. I can sell drugs once the person I selling it too have a warrant

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  5. My rights says:

    WHAT ARE MY RIGHTS AS A PERSON. WHEN DO I HAVE HAVE IMMUNITY? WHO IS PROTECTING ME

    23
  6. The Beginning of Sorrows says:

    In the USA, giving immunity to police officers has resulted in so many abuses of power and innocent lives lost, why in the world are BVI legislators charging forward to introduce a similar environment here in the BVI? The sense of one having absolute power has always brought corruption and abuse of authority. If they want to foster trust between the police and the community, this is not the way to go, because a cornerstone of trust is mutual accountability.

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    • Love for my country says:

      The proposed amendments to the Police Act need to be carefully thought out. At a time when nations are reviewing and making changes to police work due to overwhelming abuse of power, we are here doing the opposite. The propos4ed amendments cannot work as there will be too much abuse by some police officers. It already happens. The powers that be seem to be on a runaway train and someone should tell them to pull the brakes before its too late.

      22
    • Local says:

      I don’t know what is happening to our government but I think it’s time for all of them to take a vacation. Their decisions are becoming illogical. They are heading in a direction where they no longer represent the best interest of our people. Had the premier still been in the opposition, he would have torn this piece of legislation apart. Premier Fahie and company, get your acts together!

      12
  7. BVIlander says:

    The fact that the government even brought a bill containing this rubbish to the house says a whole lot about their level of competency

    41
    • PEZ KOI says:

      The COMPETENCY level of this Government is very low. What is the next bill on the table to be passed, let’s see, perhaps a passed bill allowing donkeys to marry each other.

  8. ??? says:

    These people don’t watch the news….? Seriously dudes?

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  9. My neck says:

    Well you mean to tell me that we have a premier and four at large candidates forget about the other ministers for now and only Neville smith have something to say . We already know that the education minister is not going to sit back and say nothing. But my gosh three at large just sitting doing nothing?? I said before and i would say it again that at large representatives are a popularity contest. That need to get rid of thats one for the new constitution. Please remove the at large system. Get them in district’s. Please people asked for the at large system to change. We have enough land space change up the boundaries. The at large candidates is a wast of time and has not proven to be effective. Look what the governor and his friend the commissioner of police trying to put their fxxt around our neck. Premier you mean to tell me you just sit back and hardly have any input into a matter as serious as this. This is a black community and none of us should sit idle and not do anything about this police act. My gosh marlon penn this is something that you should have already been on Facebook and other media outlets talking about. Cindy my friend please help wake up these sleeping people. Tell me again what sort of powers do the Police want?? IMMUNITY?? TOTAL IMMUNITY?? WHAT THE HELL IS THIS? SO THIS IS THE REASON THAT THE GOVERNOR AND COMMISSIONER WORKING ON BY HAVING MAJORITY EXPATRIATES IN THE POLICE FORCE??TO PUT THEIR FOOT AROUND OUR NXXK?? .Mr skeleton cline please help your people in this time of need.please mr cline

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  10. Black lives matter says:

    This place so dumb. March for BLM one day then trying to introduce the same s**tty laws that racist countries are trying to do away with. They must be paving the way for some of them fired US cops to come over here.

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    • Take your foot off says:

      Wake up people these are some of the same laws that England China USA Russia and those countries use to have total dominance over there people. You mean to tell me a white governor and a white head of the police force in a black country came up with such a plan and the black premier that we voted for take the bate so easy. What is wrong with these folks?? These white folks don’t like the black Americans and black englishmen do you really think that when they come to the Caribbean anything is going to change. They don’t like us but we are still the majority so they only putting up with us for the time. This new police act should have met with much resistance from all cabinet members not just mr frazer.

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  11. Hm says:

    Time to strap up.

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  12. Lawd says:

    Why it had to be Fraser behind this ? He need to stop embarrass the bvi with his dumb politics that makes no sense

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  13. voters of the bvi says:

    WE NEED TO REMOVE THE VIP FROM POWER….TODO EL MUNDO

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    • @Voters of the BVI says:

      We have to as voters, this Administration think they are safe and secure, that the stupid voters, so they think will give them their votes come next election. This Administration has a lack of respect for the people. They sit at the round table drinks in hand and make decisions without the voting public input and make the decisions like we the people is stupid and ignorant. The people is slowly waking up to the mind games.The ignorant and inept ones is the ones sitting at the round table with drinks in hand. It amazes me how a little power can cause a man to act like such a damn f**l.

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  14. Smh says:

    This government doing the most nonsense. Clearly we’re not learning from what happening in the US. The very same protocols they’re doing away with we’re trying to adopt. If the taxes and fees don’t kill y’all the police will. Well done VIP

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  15. Wfish says:

    First of all it have dirty cops in the bvi still, you gonna give them the power to plant illegal substances and murder people? Let me move to Canada then.

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    • PEZ KOI says:

      But of course, they are giving the dirty cops the ok to plant illegal substances in people vehicles and on people or the right to blow in people doors and shoot first and ask questions after the fact. This happens, even though I am local, I am packing up my family and moving away.

      10
  16. Fraser says:

    Truth always come to light. The freaking UK Commissioner knows this shite wont fly in the UK. Fahie, I see that the police commissioner has something on you and therefore you cannot be trusted. You were given a chance and now you play the people for a fool. Which part of this move has God in it. Fraser, keep representing us and see if you dont become the next premier. Start putting together your strong party from now. I hope Wheatley join you too. We dont need no ‘always switching mitch’ on it though.

    14
  17. We The People says:

    We the people hire this Government, we the people need to TERMINATE their services ASAP. Besides Fraser, we need to get rid the GHOST, Fat Rooster boy and little man complex. A waste of time and space.Put three stray cats to sit in there seats and you will come out with better results. Everyone on this Island that is in Politics is Inept, uncle Toms, unprofessional who has been bought and sold to the highest bidders. May as well report to HOA with your aprons, gloves and serving trays. Yes MASTER, how may I serve you today.

  18. Sammy jr says:

    Police state

  19. Well, well says:

    They are giving the POLICE CARTE BLANCHE. There are a few dirty police on the force. The dirty street level police will shake down the weed sellers, take their weed and money, keep the money and resell the weed for a profit for their pockets. Don’t let these dirty cops fool you, they know where every trap houses on the Island is located.

  20. WOW says:

    I am from the first district and all I keep wishing is that somebody who can beat Fahie’s a*z would run against him. This man is a law unto himself and he is too comfortable. If they put a goat to run ‘gainst him I will rather vote for the goat. Fahie is the d***l incarnate, his behaviour is at******s. I know a lot of people especially from the first district, will have a lot to say about my comment. But time longer than twine…… you all will soon find out.

  21. Diaspora says:

    The VI is a full local self-governing Overseas Territory (OT). No, this is a farce and a charade. Power is shared with the Crown with the Crown being responsible for external affairs, defence, internal security, RVIPF, jail(shared responsibility), civil service and judiciary; local government, the rest, including finance. Slavery was about exploitation through fear, control and power. Take a peek back at history and notice that there is a litany of Her Majesty’s Prisons but what is glaringly absent are no Her Majesty’s High Schools or tertiary education institutions. This is not by accident and is consistent with the control plan. Take a close at the roles and responsibilities and who has the control——Crown. Further, the Governor, the de facto head of state, has disproportionate and tremendous and almost dictatorial reserve powers. Furthermore, the Guv has to assent all bills passed by the HOA. Who has the power and control? A serious constitutional review is needed soonest. The VI needs more autonomy similar to the crown dependencies of the Isle of Man, Guernsey and Jersey.

    The mission of the police is to serve and protect. The police already has tremendous tools and leverage to carry out the police power to serve and protect. Currently, the scale is not balance in regards to police v. citizens. Total qualified immunity would tilt the scale even further in favor of the police. This total tool would give the police the power to brutalize people and violate their with complete immunity. This uncheck power will manifest into a rogue force. Police needs to be held responsible and accountable for actions violating established police rules. Citizens must have trust in the police, not fear it. Agree with Hon Neville “Sheep” Smith (At L) and Hon Natalio “Sowande Uhuru” Wheatley (R7) in request to send bill to a Select Committee. Also agree with Hon Julian “Liberator” Fraser (R3) concerns about the bill weaknesses. Waiting to hear from Hon Sheeren Flax-Charles(At L), Hon Carvin Malone (At L) and Hon Mark “Action Man” Vanterpool (R4). Very surprise with the Hon Premier Andrew “Bomber/Rattler” Fahie (R1) casual approach to such a heavy, monumental and consequential bill. Unconventional you say!

    Moreover, the VI friendly neighbor to the north—-USA—-is engulfed with long-standing police brutality of Blacks. And police qualified immunity is also a vexing issue. There are heated battle lines drawn over the issue. If the VI were a majority White jurisdiction, the UK would not be so quick to institute such a bill. What does the Falkland Islands have?So the VI just cannot gloss over the issue as if it is a routine bill. This bill requires due diligence and all the time needed should be taken to get it right. Hold police accountable fir their crimes. They are not above the law. The US Supreme Court just affirm that President Donald Trump is not above the law; he is a president, not a king.

  22. Doh says:

    Hilarious antics of the BVI government….

    The fools just saw people all over the world protesting police abuse and they try to pass immunity for police actions?

    Total buffoonery

    BVI

    Broke
    Vacuous
    Insensitive

  23. Government is power hungry says:

    The government is going rogue.

    Abusing their power under the curfew act to enforce motor bike laws.

    Now this rubbish.

    We need to march again. Against the Fahie administration and their abuses of power. They are starting violating human rights a bit too often now.

    • No nonsense says:

      Just defund the do nothing police. COP, need to be sacked and try something new. The most of them officers are NOT credible!!

  24. bvi says:

    good legislation hurry up pass this in the house and send to the governor to ascend.

  25. Fingers says:

    With that kind of chat-chat, then I’ll say “Welcome to Hong Kong.”

  26. Vicofpb says:

    Who polices the police!?! All of the corrupt ones who harass and take advantage of everyday people!!? Is there an internal Affairs department in the bvi? We cant manage the level of advantage that these cops do on a daily basis and they looking to give them more power to do worse? Smh wake up bvi. Get ur house in order

  27. Queen says:

    It is my opinion that this legislature keep in mind the human rights of persons under investigation and the rights to due process. In many countries, this tip of the scales where police have absolute power has create opportunities for police brutality and corruptions. It has incited wars and mistrust that have resulted in social unrest. While investigations under warrant gives premission to infringe on rights, those infringements should be in alignment with the overall goal of justice. True justice aims at finding the truth and executing what is right..and in some cases it may not be the presumption of the investigators. This can be very unsettling and traumatic for the accused, especially if unsightful unprecedent actions are carried out and excused because the police are permitted. To avoid ambiguity and loop holes, a ethical and legal review should be made.

  28. Norris Turnbull says:

    The death of George Floyd has forced US law enforcement to take a second look at ” Qualified Immunity ” over there, ..Now this in the Virgin Islands. Hmm.

    • @Norris Turnbull says:

      Yes, after the Premier himself just did a big publicity stunt in support of the black lives matter movement, now this. Isn’t that fishy. The premier was silent on the inappropriate tasing of some men during arrests recently. The commissioner boldly said that if the premier had a problem with it, let him say something. From then, I knew that the commissioner got something on the premier. Premier better just come out and say what it is because this foolishness here is not making any sense otherwise. I don’t want to think the premier flat out retarded.

  29. Vision lost says:

    Some people cannot handle a little bit of power buddy. I knew this would happen. Anyhow, the commissioner need to start doing press conference to explain the reason for these things:

    1)community policing and efforts to encourage good relations between the police and the public – NON EXISTENT.. it works very well in the UK. Why have you not implemented that here.

    2)competent police – SERIOUSLY LACKING. what measures are being put in place to train the officers. I need to know that you understand the weak areas and you care to explain in detail how you fixing them.

    3)police complaint system – RUBBISH (how you plan to address the failures of this system and the failure of your staff to do proper investigation and competently write up findings in a report that makes sense to the reader and addresses all points raised in the complaint.

    4) Search and Recovery efforts – RUBBISH. care to confirm in detail the areas you know the force fails in and how you specifically intend to address these areas?

    5) National security plan – INVISIBLE. As far as I know, the UK responsible for national security in bvi. Can you publish a copy or evidence of the national security plan that has been put in place following consultation with the governor, the ministers, the public that addresses risks to the territory, concerns of the citizens and how the capacity of the force will be developed (with UK funding) to properly address all shortcomings and concerns including in what time frame.

    You see, there are more pressing concerns here than the asinine introduction of legislation that will promote police brutality against the public. Is that really the most important thing to the commissioner. People are not stupid, people are not blind, this is part of a bigger plan. The commissioner might have something on Fahie but Fahie work for the people. Fahie can be replaced and then what leverage would be had. You ministers better put the commissioner in check or find one that is fit to do the job.

  30. Do the right thing. says:

    If Fahie knows that the Commissioner has such on him that he is mute on police matters and he is being forced to sacrifice on the integrity of national security in the BVI, Fahie should just do the honourable thing and step down willingly.

  31. SMH says:

    Giving Cops immunity just means that they will become open targets. People will not tolerate abuse of their lives for long. Policing calls for Respect, Service and Protection of People not the other way around.

  32. All For The Comments says:

    Who else went straight to the comments? Hit “Like”

  33. alt says:

    And yall want to cuss and get on over a picture another site had up the other day all this is a prime example of what yet to come.

  34. mmmm says:

    Y’all need not worry black police gonna treat you properly. What them ilo

  35. Mr fraizer says:

    Mr fraizer please organize a protest and March so we can join you to stop the government from passing this disturbing act.

  36. The bum says:

    The identical events with police overpowering civilian rights ending in wrong actions or death that have circulated on the internet since George floyd death will happen right here in nature’s little secret. Unfortunately by an economic graphic web it will be emigrant police officers (the majority)on local bvislanders (the minority) while giving their fellow countrymen an ease. We’re small populated islands and the corruption in the police force is %100 visible. Just look at the positions of the local police officers,a very good job is being done to get them weak or out the force. Get the economy up to a standard with people at the bottom of the food chain is taking care of and have hope then monitor crimes to see what goes down. Be careful leaders you cant feel no heat if you’re not in the kitchen. Until you or a close family member been exposed to their police power on monkey in the middle or no about it and won’t do nothing about it because you are a part of it then bvi is not to small for a LOCAL LIVES MATTER conclusion.

  37. really says:

    pure corruption

  38. xyz says:

    Saw it coming.

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