Governor John Duncan speaking to members of the media, this afternoon, March 16, 2017
Photo Credit: BVI Platinum News
In a surprise and bold move, Governor John Duncan has invoked his powers under the Constitution for the Premier to allocate more monies in the sum of $800,000 to the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force (RVIPF). The move came this afternoon, March 16 during a meeting of the National Security Council (NSC).
The force has been battling for additional resources and has faced a continued reduction in the past five years, beginning in 2012 after the National Democratic Party (NDP) took office.
Governor Duncan made the announcement to members of the media immediately following the NSC meeting.
"I just came from the National Security Council meeting where I met with the members to discuss the shortfall in the budget for the police force...After a long discussion, I informed the Premier (Hon. Dr. Orlando Smith) that I am not prepared to allow the situation to continue," Governor Duncan told reporters outside of the Admin Complex.
He said, "Invoking section 103 of the Constitution, which allows the Governor to authorize that expenditure and (the Governor) shall also be monitoring the expenditure closely."
The Governor commented that there has been a failure to disburse adequate amounts of money to the force to fight crime.
"One of the big problems we have had is the failure to disburse funds. The Premier has been repeatedly given instructions to disburse and they have not been disbursed."
The police force has been grappling with an apparent increase in violent crimes with the use of firearms.
More details to follow, including comments from the Commissioner of Police, Mr. Michael Matthews.