BVI News

Slew of curfew offences will spike BVI’s crime rate and may affect tourism when it returns

Commissioner of Police Michael Matthews

Commissioner of Police Michael Matthews has said he believes the high number of curfew offences committed in the territory this year, may have a negative impact on tourism when it resumes.

He said 172 curfew offences were recorded up until May 1, which he said will skew the overall crime rate and present figures that may not reflect the reality of serious crime in the territory.

“When we get to the end of this calendar year and I have to report to the government and people on crime and how we’ve reacted to it … we’re actually going to add at least 172 additional offences on to our books that, if this curfew didn’t happen, we wouldn’t be registering,” the commissioner explained during a recent airing of the Honestly Speaking radio programme with host Claude Skelton Cline.

“When we start recovery, and I don’t know when government will be determining when our tourism product will be switched back on … But, whenever it comes … what we don’t want is for that [to be] the first thing the tourists look at. They’re going to go: isn’t that the place that crime went through the roof last summer?”

Push to have curfew offences categorized separately

The top cop then said he believes the curfew offences committed should be in a distinctive category of its own.

This way, when the 2020 crime report is published at the end of the year, residents and tourist alike will have a fair representation of crime in the BVI.

“I’ve even suggested to the National Security Council [that] perhaps we should, when we publish our data, keep that separate so the people aren’t misled by the figures. Otherwise, what you’re gonna see is a steep rise in crime recorded,” Matthews reasoned.

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  1. Ticket says:

    Just give ppl a ticket instead of processing them. No need to waste manpower on such a petty occurrence. The people down there really need to lighten up a bit… yall be doin thee absolute MOST for no reason.

    Like 13
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    • Really says:

      Your worried about curfew breakers increasing crime rates and tourists stay away? Worry more about the hike in serious crimes like murder and robberies. Banks held up, grocery stores held up. Don’t worry and the stupid curfew. Anyway Foy keeping the tourists away so it doesn’t matter.

      Like 15
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    • Anonymous says:

      The MOST! This is an idiotic response from someone that you would think is more intelligent than this. We are in a GLOBAL PANDEMIC and he’s trying to do things as if the world isn’t readjusting to the “new regular”.

      Sounds like he’s trying to justify his salary. Disappointed.

      Like 3
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  2. Concerned about Self says:

    Sir you are only concerned on how this looks for your record when it comes to contract renewals. Statistics are always broken down to show the type of crimes committed, 11 more months on your contract so yes it goes to show crime went up during ur tenure. You blasted initially when it was down due to curfew now you are singing a totally opposite song now that it’s up.
    Remember lately a crime is merely defined in the terms of he who has the power; murder, robbery, domestic violence, stabbing and the list goes on are crimes, walking the road for water, walking the road because hungry, no place of abode, allowing another individual to purchase items in store this is what you are saying will hinder our tourism package?
    You are only concerned about you Mr. Sir

    Like 10
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  3. Truth says:

    The real “crime” that will keep tourists away are the reckless scooter riders, with the non existent mufflers. Maybe if the BVI launched a campaign “The louder the scoooter, the shorter the dickydoo” the message might get out. They really are a deciding factor for MANY land based visitors as to whether to return.

    Like 21
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    • @ Truth says:

      You are so right. If he went after the law breakers like the scooters then the statistics would show more crime during his tenure. He should be more concerned with his rate of solving crimes and bringing order to this place. Allowing the lawless use of scooters shows clearly his inability to have his officers do their jobs. That in itself is the real issue.

      Like 12
    • To Truth says:

      The police should be cracking down on those scooter riders AND those on ATVS on the public roads….but, they’re busy waiting time on people on the beaches SMH

  4. local says:

    Go discipline your police officers

  5. Ticket Master says:

    No license, No insurance, No registration, No Regard. Try that s#!+ in the UK and U going clink.

    Like 14
    Dislike 7
  6. What a joke says:

    Drive down the North side or Sea Cows Bay and see men without masks playing dominoes right on the road or bay. Go to Sopers Hole and see a bar open, no sign of food, same thing Trellis Bay. Officially there might be food, but no one is eating it, just drinking. It seems the police are stopping and arresting who they want. This is so unfair everyone should be let go rather than some persecuted.

    • observer says:

      Look closely at who there and i sure you will see police officer right there in the mix of it all drinking and playing domino so what you expect stop the noise stop ratting out the spots.

  7. Laugh out loud! says:

    And no one arrested in All that trafficing and boating went on and still going on on Smugglers Cove. Your officers keep turning a bling eye even now with NO vending on the beach and vending WHATEVER else!! Like them have a share in that pie??

    Like 4
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  8. Diaspora says:

    Typically, the mission of any police agency is to a)enforce the law, b)apprend offenders, c)prevent crime, d)preserve the peace and d)provide services. Moreover, the VI is faced with the challenge of safely managing Novel Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, a deadly, highly contagious and easily spreadable disease. Clearly, the intent of the curfew was to protect the health and safety of the community, reduce the opportunity to contract and spread the disease, avoid a major outbreak that may overwhelm the health system.

    The RVIPF was tasked with enforcing the curfew. And though enforcing the curfew is important, it seems as if the RVIPF employed a strictly legalistic approach to enforce the curfew, i.e., enforce the letter of the law with no discretion. Police officers employ much discretion in performing their attaining conformance with the law.

    Moreover, the intent was to attain conformance with the curfew. If the violators were out committing serious crime(s), ie, burglary……etc, they no doubt should be arrested and charged with a)violating curfew and b)burglary. On the other hand, if violators were just out and about, they could have been issued a written warning and directed to go home. Repeat offenders arrested and charged.

    Undoubtedly, a low crime rate is in the best interest of the quality of life and standard of living of the community, a key decision driver for investors, a key metric for tourism industry ….etc. Nonetheless, IMO, it seems as if there is more concern about the numbers than the human factor. The concern about curfew violations driving up the crime rate seems to portray a ticket punching concern for the next gig perhaps. This may be a case of just a job and perhaps no serious connection to the territory, the community.

    Further, if the unemployment rate persist, violent and property crime may increase.

  9. Smith says:

    This man don’t like the bvi and he don’t care what happens here..when things are down and his time is up he can jump up and leave..we as carribean people need to see what going on ..this is our home and this is were we help our family’s back home

  10. Quiet Rebel says:

    The VI is not a perfect territory but it aspires to be better than where it has been and it yearns to be better going forward. The VI is a multicultural community with expats way out numbering locals. Many come to the VI, contribute to its growth and development and some are passionately in love with the VI and call it their home.

    On the other hand, a few others see the VI as just a job, a stepping stone……etc, dissing the VI, its people, its culture, its customs, its courtesies…….etc at every turn. To be fair, some of my fellow Virgin Islanders may not be as welcoming as they could be. Both of us got some work to do.

    Nonetheless, the VI is a territory with a rule of law jurisdiction. And the lack of treatment protocols, cure and vaccine, the deadly nature of the Coronavirus and the ease of contractibility of the virus, no doubt necessitated the need for the curfew and conformance with the curfew was important to protect the community. Nonetheless, as with many other enforcement actions, the police had some discretion in enforcing the law. True, in some cases of violating the law, discretion not to arrest is not an option.

    However, every violation of a law does not require an arrest and charge to achieve conformance with the law. As others have suggested, some curfew violators could have been issued a warning and the curfew intent met. And some other curfew violators left no choice but to arrest and charge, ie, seeing curfew hours as an opportunity to engage in violent and property crimes.

    Nevertheless, what is annoying and concerning is the apparent priority of putting the crime rate over people. The apparent attitude in my view comes across perhaps as it is just a job and I don’t give rats a….s about the people and their life, for I will be long gone. Why the fuss about wanting to separate out curfew violations other than to make oneself look good? I could be wrong and hope that I’m and was way out in the deep with my view.

  11. Brick says:

    Police is a joke really. COP IS A WEAK WASTE OF TIME.

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