BVI News

Should elected gov’t take charge of National Security portfolio?

Local attorney-at-law, Jamal Smith.

One member of the legal fraternity has signalled that it is now time for the BVI to decide whether it wants the portfolio of National Security to be given to the elected government or remain under the Office of the Governor.

The suggestion was made by local attorney Jamal Smith who was part of a roundtable talk on constitutional reform at the H Lavity Stoutt Community College on November 8.

Smith said the public needs to decide whether they are still comfortable with an unelected representative being in charge of such an important portfolio.

“The 2007 constitution put in place the National Security Council for the first time, the whole idea was to share the responsibility of security between the Governor who is unelected and an elected government,” Smith pointed out.

He added: “It is necessary for us to have that serious conversation about whether or not we feel safe as public with an unelected Governor having total control over our security. That’s a conversation we need to have,” Smith posited.

The question of whether the Governor or elected representatives should handle National Security is a hotly debated topic within the BVI’s public sphere. 

The issue was given fresh attention in September when outgoing governor, Augustus Jaspert went against the wishes of Premier Andrew Fahie and invited British naval ship HMS Medway to strengthen BVI’s border security.

Under the constitution, the governor has the right to make decisions in the interest of national security without the approval of elected representatives. This is something that has irked local representatives for many years.

Some members of the public have said they believe a Virgin Islander should be in charge of the National Security portfolio as well as the post of Police Commissioner — which to date, has largely been held by expats from the UK.

Others who disagree with giving the National Security portfolio to elected representatives, say corruption is more likely as elected representatives have strong ties with many residents within the community.

Recently, Police Commissioner Michael Matthews said the BVI should focus on developing local talent in the police force so they can assume the top cop role.

But he said it’s important that the post remain free of political influences and cautioned that it shouldn’t be given to persons simply because they were born in the BVI.

Earlier this year, Premier Fahie said he looks forward to a time where the posts of Police Commissioner and Governor-General are held by local BVI residents.

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41 Comments

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  1. Nope says:

    Absolutely not. Keep it the way it is. Too much corruption in this place. Scared y’all narcotics industry takes too much of a hit with UK oversight?

    Like 105
    Dislike 3
    • Citizen says:

      NO, PLEASE IN THE NAME OF THE UNIVERSE, PLEASE KEEP IT THE WAY IT IS. THAT WOULD BE POURING GASOLINE INSIDE A SIMMERING VOLCANO. GIVE THE GOVERNMENT THAT PORTFOLIO, AND YOU WILL BE OPENING A CANDY BAR. AND WE ALL KNOW HOW KIDS WILL ACT IN A OPEN CANDY BAR. PLEASE DON’T PUNISH THE PEOPLE MORE THAN THEY ARE GETTING PUNISHED/SUFFERING.

      Like 29
      Dislike 1
    • HAHA says:

      They have really done a number on us! UK does not have money laundering, UK does not have drug running, UK does not have corruption. All is well over there so the only way we can be well here is to have them here!

      Like 5
      Dislike 15
    • Rubber Duck says:

      Not possible under the current rules. The governments of OTs are not allowed to have arms. Which is one reason why security remains in the hands of the UK. And long may it.

      Like 13
      Dislike 1
  2. We can’t be serious says:

    Did we ever stop to wonder why the Premier didn’t want the British Ship in our waters? After the government claimed that it was because of the smuggling of people we had a surge in corona. Which government wouldn’t want the help from whomever if they had that problem? Think about? Now the ship is there and you are finding all manner of things happening on the water. Why didn’t the Premier want the ship there? And now we are discussing giving him the national security portfolio? Is the BVI serious about its own country?

    Like 121
    Dislike 1
  3. Are you High!? says:

    Yea, the cops are caught moving drugs…let’s get some cops involved in solving this! REALLY!!
    Where is this a “hotly debated topic”. Around the bong after celebrating a successful drug sale??

    “I has irked local representatives”…when their cousans get busted and they don’t get their cut!!

    When these guys start running their mouths about Independence every time a new scandal comes out (i.e. BVI Airways). It is unbelievable. How dumb do you think we-the-people are??

    We know who is to blame.

    Like 65
    Dislike 1
  4. LOL says:

    Heard yesterday a sailboat with tourists came in passing the 2 barges with our national security without any problem just waving to them. You can’t make that staff up. Anybody who doesn’t want the help of the UK for our border control is very suspect to me.

    Like 70
    Dislike 3
  5. Local girl says:

    I say h**l to the NO.
    And that’s my final answer.

    Like 38
    • Youth says:

      Mr. Smith, the answer is no.

      You realized that we have a problem bigger than us and is now taking the lives of our fathers and children in our nation. We as parents have drop the ball and now things are out of control. I am calling on the Church of Living God to rise and pray for this nation and go out and reach out to our young people. Not just pray for them but pick up the phone and call them. We christened them and then leave them there and now they are out of control. Oh, how our hearts are broken. So many children are suffering from the loss of their father (either dead or in prison. Mr. Skelton please leave politics alone and if you say you are a man of the cloth start reaching out to us because we need a savior. We need an anchor in this time so please mothers and fathers let us pray to God to take back what the devil has taken from us. We need to get to the core of this plague to redeem our country. Starting within our homes.

      Like 25
      Dislike 1
  6. Tumbleweed says:

    It sends a loud and clear message when there is no comment from elected leaders or opposition other than actually negative ones about our biggest seizure and a successful law enforcement operation. Remember some were previously caught in the act of money laundering as well. Are these people going to cause us to actually lose our local governance because of their actions and inactions? Imagine complaining about free high capability border control provided by our closest ally and then not complaining about drug dealing cops and their family being caught with over two tonnes of coke… is that who we are?? And if it is, who we want to be?

    Like 35
  7. SMI says:

    Why the h**l all of these people don’t stop all the BS and back off. Its plane to see they all have there own agenda cant you all understand that most of the BVI don’t want impedance, The government of the BVI can not handle the Security
    of there government much less the Security of the Islands. Leave it alone Smith

    Like 40
  8. Blindman says:

    Whats wrong with my people it seems like they like corruption and if anyone tries to stop it they want to control the system, truth is we not ready to assume that control the bvi has to much ties so its best the UK Governor keep the control.

    Like 43
  9. Accountability says:

    No, a local should not have responsibility of National Security, holding positions such as Commissioner of Police and Governor. Accountability will be a big issue. We have to be realistic as we are a small community and political influence can steer outcomes. We cannot allow for accountability to fall short in these areas.

    Like 35
    Dislike 1
  10. stinky says:

    you ever heard the term..”having the fox guard the hen house”?

    Like 45
    Dislike 1
  11. the watcher says:

    Mr Smith…thank you for your views. Personally I am extremely happy that national security is NOT in the hands of local politicians.

    Like 59
    Dislike 1
  12. Heckler says:

    No is the answer and when you think of these cats we have in charge and their slipperiness an even more emphatic no. Leave National Security and thr Civil Service undet the Crown lest we become a banana republic with no bananas.

    Like 38
    Dislike 1
  13. Pandora's Box says:

    “Smith said the public needs to decide whether they are still comfortable with an unelected representative being in charge of such an important portfolio.”

    Yes – VERY MUCH more comfortable! Thank you Sir.

    Like 43
    Dislike 1
  14. Reasonable Man says:

    Definitely a bad idea. Division of power is always a good idea. Too much control in the hands of one person breeds corruption and leaves no hope or ways for eradicating it. Particularly important in a small place.

    Like 30
    Dislike 1
  15. Ning says:

    Strange how the moment the British warship has arrived there have been multiple HUGE record drug busts. The natural order of things has been disrupted. That alone should give pause to question.

    Like 38
    Dislike 1
  16. Knock Knock says:

    Over the next few weeks BVI will be rocked by who gets arrested. some very big people getting very worried. Watch the airports to stop then running. Oh and don’t think those pastors are safe, you know who you are and so do many people of BVI.

    I also understand a job vacancy will soon be available for a region host !

    Like 30
    Dislike 1
  17. jimmy says:

    We should investigate the corruption that has allowed a pile of cocaine the size of a truck to get into our islands. The police say if you see something say something but they have no anonymous tip line. When you call they want your full name and address. I am not comfortable telling anyone who might be involved in smuggling my name and where to shoot me. I would like to stop the cartel from using our island as a base of there international operations, but I do not want to suffer or have my loved ones suffer for doing my civic duty.

    Like 27
    Dislike 1
  18. Albion says:

    The BVI has no standing army. So long as any military defence of the Territory is to be provided by the UK’s armed forces, it seems unrealistic to expect that the UK’s Ministry of Defence will send warships to protect the BVI at the UK’s expense on the say-so of local politicians.

    Like 7
    Dislike 1
  19. Boo says:

    Time to catch the big fish and big wigs of the Third Pillar and put them in jail in the UK

    Like 18
  20. Cuff link says:

    ERRRR JAMAL SMITH? H*LLLLLLLLLLL TO THE ‘FREAKING NO!!!!!!. THAT IS SOMETHING THE PEOPLE SHOULD AND WILL HAVE INPUT IN. I CAN’T SPEAK FOR THE PEOPLE BUT I AM ONE OF THE PEOPLE WHO WILL SAY NO, ABSOLUTELY NOT!!!!.

    Like 24
    Dislike 1
  21. A RESOUNDINGGGGG says:

    NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO….DA FQ

    Like 12
  22. You Scared? says:

    The Governor(IE: Thank you UK!) is making actual progress with the corruption here. You want it taken away? What…. are you running drugs too?

    Like 21
    Dislike 1
  23. Yeah says:

    EVERYONE IS RUNNING SCURD. IF THE UK DROP SOME SCOTLAND YARD HEAT ON THE BVI, NUFF, I REPEAT, NUFF PEOPLE FROM THE TOP TO THE BOTTOM WILL BE SAILING AWAY ON THE MILITARY SHIP IN LOCK UP. THE WHOLE WORLD KNOWS HOW INFESTED IN CORRUPTION THE BVI IS.

    Like 17
  24. BVI says:

    NO!!!! END OF STORY

  25. Local BVISLANDER says:

    If they question these two guys with that drug hauled a few days ago, lots of big names will go down, including politicians, lawyers, local pastors, top educators, police in the hierarchy, custom officers, immigration officials those with 3 stripes, and mothers.
    Ah you think the people on Nature’s little secret nice? People here need to quit pretending that there isn’t corruption in high places on this island.
    Our local government needs to come clean , all of a sudden they gone silent, there’s more in the mortar beside the pistle, these young greedy idiots aee just the fall guys, there are bigger names in this Territory that need to go down also, this drug belong to people with good societal standing whom we would not believe are into corruption, let it play out and let thise two greedy idiots talk , some of you going lose your salvation.

    Like 15
    • And you know what? says:

      THOSE TWO KNOWS WHERE THE BODIES ARE BURIED
      AND WHO THE BIG PLAYERS ARE. DUDES IS F***ED ANYWAY YOU RUN IT. THEY SHOULD MAKE A DEAL AND SING LIKE CANARIES ON CRACK. BELIEVE IT OR NOT, A LOT OF PEOPLE IN THE BVI IS RUNNING SCARED TONIGHT. SCOTLAND YARD AND THE MILITARY IS COMING FOR YA’ALL SOON.

      Like 10
  26. really says:

    Make themprove their wealth:

    How can people who work in jobs not their own businesses have boats in excess of $1/2million

    Ever wonder why there is a glut of delivery trucks,dump trucks that never get used only sold on?

    Prove where your wealth comes from or lose it.

    I asked before how a person owned a million dollar boat but works at the ports. Now the answer is clear.

    Ever wonder why he got reinstated to that position and now this???

    Like 11
  27. Help US says:

    Help US lord. We have battle ships, helicopters, fighter planes and an army of less than 200 police to protect us so we do not need the UK any more. Get the Facts straight you only handle your own security when you are independent. As Pico said count the cost before you leap and don’t assume the US must rescue us. You might just have another Trump in the white house who don’t care one bit.

  28. Long look me come from says:

    Yes it’s about time we pay our own bills

  29. Well Sah says:

    Uk, bring on the chains! your subjects are ready and waiting for you to bind them up. Need not worry about their minds, they are already still enslaved. Well meh boy. This is beyond pitful.

    Like 1
    Dislike 1
  30. Bvi says:

    This government must go.vip must go.

    • Nothing new says:

      This is an old song playing again,, Only England and Scotland yard can change this old song until They get the courage to do it,, the old song will continue playing

  31. Okro says:

    Andrew keep pushing for independence those white English people trying to scare you but we know you have the balls to handle them we BVI LANDERS WITH YOU IT’S YOUR RIGHT TO SEEK FOR SELF DETERMINATION WE LISTENING AND WATCHING TH WHITE COMUNITY BEHAVIOUR

    Like 1
    Dislike 6
  32. Nonsense says:

    He needs to sit down . As long as we are an OT the portfolio
    Must remain under the governor. Stop
    Talking BS

    Like 4
    Dislike 1

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