The Virgin Islands has been rocked by violent crimes of recent, including daylight fatal shootings and armed robberies. It was only yesterday, April 19, 2021, that a woman died from injuries sustained during a robbery at Paraquita Bay the night before.
This latest incident has sparked outrage among law-abiding citizens and many have been sharing their views on social media.
“When they start to do thing now, who you going to blame? Government need to look into this thing...,” the male caller said.
In the same breath, the caller also opined that the lack of confidentiality by officers of the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force (RVIPF) is a hindrance to crime-solving.
“A next thing is the police station; suppose a crime somewhere and you calling to tell them what’s going on. They going to question you to find out what’s your phone number is and who the person. That’s wrong, from the time somebody call, all you have to do is move the same time,” he reasoned.
The caller said when your personal details are taken and relayed, the life of the individual who tipped police is on the line.
“It’s not an easy thing when you see something, and you go try to hook them up, and they leak it out, your life is in danger. That’s why a lot of things a go on here, and people see and don’t call and say nothing, and they need to stop that.”
Former Commissioner of Police Michael B. Matthews often blamed the community for not coming forward with information that could assist police with their investigations.
Leader of the Opposition Hon. Marlon A. Penn (R8) commented that someone shared similar sentiments with him on the same topic of a lack of confidentiality in the police force.
“You are correct, caller, because I just got a message on my phone saying they are concerned because they don’t know who to report a crime to, they are concerned about the confidentiality, and that is something that we need to fix.
“As a territory, we have an incoming Commissioner of Police, and hopefully, we can address those issues. I know there used to be a hotline that persons can call confidentially and give their reports on crime in the territory, but there is this perception that persons are afraid to call in and afraid for their own safety. One of the worst things you could have is a populous who is afraid to report a crime,” he added.
Mr Mark Collins QPM formally took up the post of Commissioner of the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force (RVIPF) on April 19, 2021, following a brief swearing-in ceremony at Government House, a press release said.
The Commissioner brings to the post more than 30 years of law enforcement experience including leadership posts such as Detective Superintendent in charge of the Wales Extremism and Counter-Terrorism Unit; Borough Commander (Chief Superintendent) for Waltham Forest with the London Metropolitan Police Service; and Chief Constable of the Dyfed-Powys Police, it added.