Ninth District Representative Vincent Wheatley has pledged $20,000 towards the installation of Closed-Circuit TV (CCTV) cameras across Virgin Gorda to assist in alleviating crime on the sister island.
Wheatley pledged to the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force (RVIPF) on Sunday during a virtual emergency community meeting which was held to discuss the recent spike in crime in his district.
He warned perpetrators that their criminal acts can harm the tourism product of not only Virgin Gorda, but the entire British Virgin Islands.
“We want to make this message very loud and clear that the Virgin Islands community condemns this state of crimes that have been taking place over the last three months. It is not something we are prepared to tolerate,” Wheatley said.
“If persons need help, if you are listening now and you are one of those persons, we are willing to help you. But we will not sit by idly and let the reputation of our beautiful island be tarnished as a place where it is not safe anymore … Our tourism product depends on Virgin Gorda having that untarnished reputation,” he further stated.
More than 150 CCTV cameras to be installed across BVI
While thanking Wheatley for the monetary pledge, Police Commissioner Michael Matthews said more than 150 CCTV cameras are scheduled to be installed across the territory soon.
“At the moment, we are just about to roll out the reinstallation of CCTV across the BVI but there are 178 cameras due to go out, which will include Virgin Gorda,” the Commissioner said.
“We’ve also had offers from the business community in Virgin Gorda to assist in the procurement of more cameras and we welcome that and we are working very hard with the technicians,” he added.
Police presence to increase on VG
The top cop said the RVIPF’s long-term plan is to increase police presence on Virgin Gorda to further tackle the issue of crime.
Matthews also said the RVIPF had begun to roll out a rotating initiative where new officers are assigned to the sister island.
He, however, urged residents on Virgin Gorda to assist these new officers with transitioning into their new community by teaching them various aspects of the district.
“As we start to put new faces into that island, just remember that the guys and girls that come over won’t know the community straight away, won’t know how it works on Virgin Gorda, we need your help,” Matthews said.
Within the last three months, the Virgin Gorda community have seen an increase in crimes, ranging from burglaries, robberies and shooting incidents.
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