BVI News

Top cop post should be based on competence not local status

Police Commissioner Michael Matthews

Police Commissioner Michael Matthews has stated that his successor should be decided based on competence and not whether he or she was born in the BVI.

The Commissioner made the statement on the Honestly Speaking radio show on October 27 when he was asked to comment on viable locals who could take on his role when he demits office in less than six months.

“In terms of an appointment like this, it’s got to be an open competition. It’s got to be a fair and transparent competition and it’s got to be competency-based. I would hate to think that somebody could get appointed here or anywhere, where somebody could then suggest after the event that he or she was given that because they’re local or because they were popular amongst the people. It’s got to be more than that, personally,” Commissioner Matthews explained.

He added that whoever assumes the post of commissioner should be able to confidently stand on their merit.

Commissioner Matthews also disagreed that competent locals should be given an advantage over competent non-locals.

He said implementing such a rule could compromise the office of Police Commissioner presenting opportunities for political forces to exert influence over the leader of the security forces.

“The problem with the Commissioner of Police post is you have to be completely independent, you have to be completely impartial. The constitution, fortunately, provides for the operation to be completely independent of government, politicians, even of the Governor himself. The minute you say you’ll create a slightly different standard just because somebody was born here, does that not create a degree of risk?” Commissioner Matthews argued.

He added that he is an advocate for giving locals command of the BVI’s major institutions but said “it’s down to the government and governor” to train personnel and prepare them for these leadership positions.

But Commissioner Matthews’ strides are being made in this area. He said since his arrival in 2016, he has reduced by a half the number of UK officers in the BVI police force. He said these officers were replaced by locals who were trained and mentored to take on those roles.

According to the Commissioner, roles such as head of the Forensic Unit, head of Financial Crimes Investigations Unit and Detective Inspector were all taken from UK nationals and given to locals.

BVIslanders have always advocated for a local to assume the role of Police Commissioner. Recently, Premier Fahie expressed that he believes that role and all other senior roles in the territory should be held by locals.

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23 Comments

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  1. What A Total Waste! says:

    Man Matthew, please go sit down with all your BS.”It’s got to be a fair and transparent competition and it’s got to be competency-based” You know anything about what you so speak of, Man cart your **** out of here, you bloody two edge sword. Well, to 2nd, 3rd and 4th what’s you’ll take on that? Did the rumours, ill advice and gossip to him pay off?

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  2. Screw You says:

    Go back home

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  3. Mr.Gage says:

    We all know the only qualification needed for this post is ” I FROM HERE”!!

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  4. Local says:

    Still should be a local competence

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  5. Squatters says:

    He also said there is no police brutality in the BVI. Most times when people of certain race talk like this is because they don’t see pass racism. Once you black, they don’t see brutality, he won’t see it especially on such a long vacation. What work! Not his fault. It a white program thingy. Please hurry get out of here buddy. Overstayed!!!!

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  6. Hodgie says:

    Sir I’m with you on this one.

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  7. Diaspora 3-D/360 says:

    The RVIPF was established in 1967 and since being established only two locals have served as Commissioner of Police, ie, Vernon Malone and Reynell Frazer. In few 53 years only two locals; no woman has yet to serve as CoP.

    The BVI’s desire and preference for local institutions to be headed by qualified locals is not something unique to the VI. All over the globe countries have policies in place requiring agencies to be headed by qualified locals. The BVI too should adopt this desire and practice. If qualified locals are not given preferential status in their country, where will they get it? The BVI must educate, trained and provide its people with progressive levels of increasing responsibility to facilitate making this practice a reality. It is measure of national pride and personal growth and development for VI people.

    Moreover, CoP Michael Matthew position of filling the soon to be vacant CoP position is not surprising. Of course, he will advocate hiring of fellow UK mates. By the way, the RVIPF does not operate independently. It is funded by BVI taxpayers but is under the purview of the Governor. There may be somewhat of a hands off approach yet it falls under the Governor. It is an open secret to where CoP loyalty lies. The RVIPF, along with Civil Service, should fall directly under the purview of local government.

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  8. BVIslander says:

    While I agree with Most of what Mr. Matthews said I wholly disagree with his comments which implies that the Office will be comprised if a local is appointed COP simply because he is a local. While I agree that competence is first and foremost, we have not done a good job helping to prepare locals to assume the role of COP. If the U.K. want to see this happen they could do a lot more to make it happen. For example, a local could be identified upon reaching the rank of Inspector with at least 15 years service providing they show interest in the job and demonstrate that he or she has potential to go higher up the ranks.

    The next step would be to identify the relevant training courses to help build their leadership experience etc. at the same time they should be given a scholarship to attend university to obtain a Bachelors degree in a related field such as Criminal Justice, Criminology or Law and where possible a masters degree. This could be followed by a six Months or more attachment with a police force in the U.K.

    Upon return the individual could then be assigned to understudy both the Commissioner and Deputy Commissioner for a period of one year each in the capacity of Assistant Commissioner. The post of Assistant Commissioner could be temporary. In the end it’s about preparing the individual. If the will is there it can be done.

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    • Free Soul says:

      Deputy CoP is the issue; been frustrating locals for years out of the force or making it difficult to get in. Actually this keeping locals out been going on since the 70’s.

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    • Comprehension. says:

      You completely misunderstood the message. You disagree with something he never even said.

  9. Agreed says:

    I agree 100%.

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  10. Please says:

    That plan you speak of was once put in place and then it was removed by the same people who are now setting the criterion and it was with the approval of those asking for a chance now.

    Too late is the cry now for local officers or blacks in the force on the whole. We have to be careful when we are making our bed for the day will come when we must lay in it and we can only blame ourselves in this case we should not blame those setting the criterion now.

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  11. offical says:

    MR COMMISG WGY YOU DONOT GO AND LEAVE THESE PEOPLE WIYH THEIR MESS YHE POST OF COMMISSIONER OF POLICE IS NOT A SIT DOWN JOB AS PEOPLE THINK ONE OF THESR DAYS THEY WILL FIND OUT WHAT IS THE REAL ISSUE OF THE POST OF THE CHIEF OF POLICE,

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  12. ReX FeRaL says:

    The Hill man who used to be in immigration could be a competent choice in my opinion. But then again…..hmm

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  13. @BVislander says:

    Both you and comish are right, the job requires a competent well trained and knowledgable individual to execute to extablished standards.

    Indeed, all vetting for the position should and must be afforded to the local as first preference. Only when and if no local is available then should outside resources be afforded.

    However, it is a known historical fact that such a position and other are set asides for the colonial representative.

    Meanwhile, it can be stated with confidence that there are local candidates who possess the qualifications you metioned and can exeute said position with competence.

    However, as was stated, the colonial overseer will not relinquish those post easily. It will take a shift in the political representative paradigm to realize such a progression.

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  14. Corruption says:

    We already have politicians supporting criminal activity in the BVI, if they are permitted to appoint a puppet, dummy or stooge Commissioner the territory will self destruct

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  15. expat says:

    All jobs should be base on competency. Locals who are qualified should get the first interview. Same goes for anywhere in the world.

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  16. Er says:

    The cop should not be politically appointed or only base on your status. It should be o competence. Beside ms Vanterpool is a local,she needs to be consistent as well. Three months do not make someone qualified to handdle this job. Additionally,she escapes the chief inspector to become superintendent now she is going to escape DCP to become COP. You don’t need any training and experience to become a politician but you do need training to become a police. I think it would be better if we allow her to take part in the process ,compete with other candidates and and get to know the philosophy of the job first. We are talking about the national security of a country.

    Like 4
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  17. @expat says:

    You sound so stupid what about the case with the wall and Tpp and airline that your ex-pat governor and commissioner throw around like a football not giving the public an explanation if charges will be filed.

    They just pretend like the investigations never happened. I don’t think any local would have done that, the people would have chewed them up.

    The problem in the BVI is that despite local outcry those in power to bring justice to the people refuse to do their job and they not from here. Furthermore the corruption where you come from is much worse.

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  18. Born here says:

    RVIPF IS MOVING FROM GOOD TO GREAT WITH THIS local COP APPOINTMENT. ALL CRIME WILL BE SOLVED. ALL COLD CASES WILL BE solved.LOOK AT HISTORY A LITTLE BIT. VERNON MALONE FAILED AT 98% REYNELL FRASER FAILED AT 120% . NOW IS……HISTORY WILL TELL. MR . GOVERNOR THE FINAL SAY IS YOURS.

    • @Born here says:

      Its obvious that you are stating a narrative and not historicalfact as is the case with 90% of the History that the world has been taught.

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