While declaring that crime is not an issue that Government alone can address, outspoken citizen Sharie DeCastro has called for residents to support the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force (RVIPF), which she said is also in need of resources and an image overhaul.
DeCastro, who unsuccessfully contested the 2015 general election for the Opposition Virgin Islands Party, told BVI News Online that she wants the government to allocate enough funds in the upcoming budget for more effective crime fighting.
The RVIPF, over the years, has been complaining repeatedly about not being given adequate human and man-made resources necessary to do their job.
DeCastro told BVI News Online “The government in general has an obligation to ensure that those responsible for the safety and security of the Virgin Islands have adequate resources, especially considering that the dynamics of our communities are changing. By this, I would like to state emphatically that sufficient funding is an absolute necessity. This is my expectation.”
“However, an image overhaul of the force which should be geared towards changing the negative perception of the police in general is absolutely necessary. If we restore respect and admiration for this profession, it will attract more interest from Virgin Islanders to view it as a viable career option. This will address the issue of human resource. So while I agree that Government has the weight of the responsibility for a comprehensive police force, I also believe that as a community we must do our part to support the police,” added DeCastro.
She continued: “Those of us who can should seek opportunities within the force, thereby doing our part to ensure a peaceful Virgin Islands, each taking the stance that: ‘One Is Too Much!’ Again, for emphasis, I will reiterate that curbing the rise in crime and violence is not only a government matter; it’s not only a police matter; it’s a Virgin Islands matter.”
DeCastro, in the meantime, yesterday launched a social media campaign dubbed ‘One Too Much’ in light of the first murder recorded in the British Virgin Islands (BVI) for 2017.
In that incident, a gunman invaded a bar and shot the proprietor Franklyn Fahie, who died while undergoing surgery at Peebles Hospital.
Considering that crime, DeCastro wrote on her Facebook page: “In light of the first murder of 2017 in the BVI, which occurred on Friday (January 6), let us be proactive and stand in unity against crime by sounding the alarm across the territory that ‘One Is Too Much!”
DeCastro also revealed her campaign logo (in photo below), and encouraged members of the community to share it on social media. “Please make this (logo) your cover photo as a symbol of our collective disapproval of the rise in crime in the BVI! The RVIPF cannot fight crime alone, they need support from the community.”
The BVI, over the past several months, has been grappling with a number of gun-related incidents.
Last year, the territory recorded four murders. Several other persons were robbed at gunpoint or injured.
Despite those incidents, however, Commissioner of Police Michael Matthews has maintained that BVI is still one of the safest countries in the Caribbean.
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