Gov’t To Release $$ To Police Soon

Melissa Edwards, Senior Journalist | 0 Comment
February 13, 2018 9:13 am AST
Photo Credit: Provided
The Royal Virgin Islands Police Force (RVIPF) is set to receive much needed funding from government, to help in its crime fighting efforts.

Governor Gus Jaspert said that Cabinet agreed that monies will be forthcoming.

“We have officers undergoing specialised training, additional staff is being sought to support the RVIPF, and Cabinet has agreed that funding should be forthcoming to strengthen the RVIPF further,” the Governor said in statement on Monday, February 12.

His comments were in response to the double murder in Road Town, which left Clevaughn Sweeney, 24, and Michael Stevens, 26, dead.

In the past the National Democratic Party (NDP) government has been accused of not providing adequate funding to the police force.

Last year, former Governor, John Duncan made a historical move when he exercised his constitutional powers, forcing the government to provide additional money to the police force and legal system.

In a statement yesterday, Opposition Leader, Hon. Andrew Fahie also called on government to stop giving lip service and be proactive in the fight against crime. He called for more funding to be provided to the police.

The force is expected to receive $12.11M of the $721M recovery money, to help with its recovery after the September storms. The United Kingdom (UK) is also providing £1.2M to the police.

Meanwhile, Governor Jaspert reiterated the request of the police for any member of the public, who knows anything at all that may help the police in identifying the individual or individuals responsible for this terrible crime to come forward.

“The people of these Islands have much to be proud of in coming together to support each other in recovering following the devastating events of last year. And this is where we need to work together now,” he said.

He added, “The RVIPF has worked tirelessly in keeping the citizens of the Virgin Islands safe and work to strengthen the RVIPF is ongoing."

The Governor said that safety of its citizens is the first priority of any government and its police force.

“But this cannot be achieved by those in authority alone. Each of us has an obligation to follow and support the law. The Commissioner pointed out that 90% of all solved murders in other jurisdictions result from witnesses coming forward. Why should the Virgin Islands be any different?”

Governor Jaspert stated that, he believes that he speaks for all those who have lost loved ones due to senseless violence.

“We want it to stop. This isn’t a time for people to take matters in their own hands or to bury their heads in the sand about what is happening.”

He asked persons to help put those responsible behind bars before other young lives are lost and others are left mourning.
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