BVI News

Willock’s post-hurricane claims to COI “pure fabrication” — Matthews

Former Police Commissioner Michael Matthews

Former Police Commissioner, Michael Matthews, has lambasted House of Assembly Speaker, Julian Willock for what he termed as “pure fabrication” in a statement Willock submitted to the Commission of Inquiry (COI) recently.

The former top cop was referencing a specific section of Willock’s statement which accused him of hiring police officers after the September 2017 hurricanes, without doing the requisite background checks.

Submitting a response to the COI, Matthews said: “The Honourable Speaker asserts that ‘immediately after hurricanes Irma and Maria the Commissioner of Police hired a number of foreign nationals as police officers without doing the appropriate background checks whatsoever. In fact it is extremely likely that he would have hired persons that were well known criminals elsewhere in the region‘.”

According to Matthews, Willock’s statement was false, inaccurate and in his view, defamatory to him as the Commissioner of Police at the time.

“The statement made by the Honourable Speaker is pure fabrication, and certainly is clearly not based upon any knowledge of the subject that he seeks to use as an example. His baseless allegations are an affront to all of the hard-working officers that supported the BVI at a time of exceptional need,” Matthews said.

He continued: “To my knowledge, the Honourable Speaker was not part of the government of the BVI at that time, nor present in any meetings where security decisions were agreed, including the decision to seek assistance from external police forces.”

In refuting the claims made by Willock, Matthews said after the devastation caused by the hurricanes, widespread looting occurred and only 40 percent of the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force (RVIPF) initially reported for duty.

He noted there were also escaped prisoners on the loose and the community was exposed, vulnerable, and in need of reassurance.

“With operational responsibility for security at the time, I immediately recommended to the Governor, Mr Gus Jaspert that we invoke ‘mutual aide’ procedures from the United Kingdom to urgently increase policing resources within the territory. This was discussed and agreed with the then Premier, Dr Orlando Smith and those BVI government ministers available at the time.”

He said the UK Home Office was approached through the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) and an agreement reached with National Police Chiefs Council to provide unarmed uniformed officers to supplement the RVIPF.

He told the COI that all UK officers are vetted on appointment, and every officer deployed was selected by their respective Chief Constable. All 43 officers sent were experienced serving UK police officers, Matthews added.

Armed support needed

According to the now retired Police Chief, it was determined by the Home Office that armed support could not be made available via UK forces.

Because of the shortage of armed capability, Matthews said the BVI requested support from other UK Overseas Territories.

Matthews said he was able to source highly trained firearms response officers from the Bermuda Police Service and the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service.

He insisted that the armed officers deployed from the other UK Overseas Territories were existing, highly trained specialist officers with many years’ experience.

Matthews stated: “I am aware that both Bermuda and Cayman forces have vetting procedures in place as part of their normal recruitment policies as well as additional vetting requirements for firearms officers.”

At no time, the former top cop said, were any of the officers deployed operating independently, or under any other command arrangement than his command and that of the RVIPF.

“It would simply have been reckless and irresponsible to attempt to supplement policing and security with anyone else other than existing serving, officers from other affiliated jurisdictions. Even in an extreme crisis, as this was, where rapid response and decision making was necessary, all due diligence was undertaken to ensure the safety and security of the residents of the British Virgin Islands,” Matthews added.

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28 Comments

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  1. He sick says:

    Only now you all know that this man tells untruth. He has been doing it for years on his site. Yet many of us who like gossip and melee go there and read the filth and start believing it. If you notice there has been nothing negative about the government and no covering of the COI where it shows the government in a negative light.

    Like 80
    Dislike 5
    • Kool Aid says:

      You get the drift…some like the yellow flavor

      Like 19
    • nine says:

      ok is another blog fest about a wig, which is part of the gig the final touch in the imperial costume! Under the UK system it is required. Enough of that yes and unto the information at hand. Who vetted these 43 persons? What vetting process and by what or whose standards? Why that is a no no to  have the audacity to question anything UK does and their immaculate unblemished standards! Most appalling! Tell that to the ex footballer family. How do we judge the vetting procedures/standards, when we have no knowledge of it to determine either way? While mothers milk is best at times it may be harmful for the child. MM should be quiet as he's left the force worse than how he met it. Not my conclusion but the new CoP

  2. WTF says:

    I’ll take Mick’s word over that i***t Willock’s any day of the week. Willock should resign. He is clearly unable to uphold the integrity required of his office.

    Like 83
    Dislike 4
    • 2,000% says:

      I BELIEVE EX COMMISSIONER MATTHEWS. THE SPEAKER THINKS HE IS ABOVE THE LAW AND HE SEEMS TO THINK THAT HE RUNS THE BVI.HE IS NOTHING MORE THAN A D***A Q***N. AS RUPAUL SAYYY, GIRLLLL, SASHY AWAYYYYYY. SNAP.

      Like 24
      Dislike 2
  3. Unconventional leadership says:

    That’s ok, no one takes the robes one seriously,his days are numbered.

    Like 48
    Dislike 2
  4. Unconventional leadership says:

    Have you noticed that the other news site is having a very slow day today, hmmm.

    Like 43
    Dislike 1
  5. Anonymous says:

    I with willock on this one yall

    Like 5
    Dislike 76
  6. Yrath says:

    The black prince in white wig needs to be sent packing.

    Like 69
    Dislike 2
  7. The pompous one. says:

    This guy is soo full of it that he start spewing it out now. These were officers temporarily seconded to help us in a time of crisis. Theses were serving members of the security forces in their respective countries. They are not people who were recruited off the street.

    Like 33
    Dislike 1
  8. WELL SA!!! says:

    ha, the black prince in white wig, so ironic, yet don’t want to be controlled by those who always wear the white wig. Just want to be sophisticated and at the same time have no dignity.

    Like 17
    Dislike 2
  9. How much longer says:

    How much longer will Willock be allowed to bring the seat of the speaker into further disr****e?

    Like 44
    Dislike 2
  10. Windy says:

    Why do we address the ministers as Honorable when they’re the farthest ting from it.

    Like 23
  11. Wig Head says:

    I know he wish he could wear that wig everyday to match who he really is.

    Like 14
    Dislike 1
    • Frodo says:

      Some men just like wearing wigs. It’s just their “thing”. Long flowing clothes, also a niche gig. Maybe they just prefer the way it feels on their skin. Weird as s**t but not for us to judge.

  12. .. says:

    i trust our esteemed speaker words any day over lying MM

    Like 2
    Dislike 28
  13. reality says:

    Speaker of the house is not an elected position and he will be removed by the end of the COI …

  14. Guest says:

    I thought a certain site used to pride itself on being 1st with the news. Why is it for the past couple days now I have to come to BVI Platnum and BVInews for the news of the BVI for the day??? Sometimes some of the full news of the day is no longer being presented, what happen they no longer want to be first??

  15. hmmm says:

    A certain website not carrying any bad news from the COI on the government side… I’d be damned to think that this very news media who is usually on top of things in parliament, local media, crime, breaking news etc now suddenly not on top of the COI happenings.

  16. Captain Flint says:

    We were very grateful when the extra police and army showed after the hurricane. Road Town was not a safe place to be. Looting was going on and there were truck loads of men with machetes. I spoke to Cayman police officers – they were very reassuring.

  17. CoP says:

    Matthews stated: “I am aware that both Bermuda and Cayman forces have vetting procedures in place as part of their normal recruitment policies as well as additional vetting requirements for firearms officers” Really? Seems simple; ask the questions:
    how are you aware?
    what are you aware of?
    where is the evidence?

    ‘Highly trained’? ‘additional vetting’? I doubt it.

  18. Well sah says:

    Tell mr. speaker i say pride still cometh be a downfall and he cannot change that……

  19. Jack says:

    Willock is correct as always mm is a failure the new police boss said the same thing that the esteemed said bam now ayo got sit down from hating on the bvi king

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