The United Kingdom (UK) government has donated £1.2 million (US$1.68 million) to the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force (RVIPF).
Commissioner of Police, Michael Matthews said the funds were made available late last month to help bolster overall operations and restore RVIPF facilities that were damaged by the hurricanes.
The top cop specified that the money will be used to repair police stations across the territory, buy three armed response vehicles, and train police in tactical and firearms response.
Some of the funds is also being used to hire UK detectives to help solve the BVI’s 2017 murders.
“We have to spend the money by March 31 because, of course, the UK operates on a slightly different financial process than us and their financial year ends on March 31,” Matthews said during a media conference this morning.
“We are trying to spend it as quickly as possible. I haven’t actually got the figures… [but] there is a fair bit of that money being spent as we sit here now,” said Matthews, who added that building materials and new vehicles are among the items already purchased.
The police commissioner said Governor Augustus Jaspert had a major part in securing the funds for the RVIPF.
“I have to say that I am hugely happy that at least some of the monies for restoring our estates have been made available now through the UK funding and that we don’t have to wait for local government to do all that must be done. Government presently has many establishments to get up and running and many competing demands,” Commissioner Matthews said.
The UK has appointed its own representative as Project Manager to effectively oversee spending.
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