Almost every day, members of the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force (RVIPF) arrests and charges someone for a drug-related offense. This was revealed by Commissioner of Police, Michael Matthews.
During an exclusive interview with BVI Platinum News, Commissioner Matthews said that while there hasn’t been a significant increase in drug-related arrests and charges, the drugs situation in the Territory is concerning.
“We arrest people almost every day, certainly every week, for some quantity of a controlled drug,” he stated.
This, he said, can be attributed to the Territory’s location.
“I guess geographically, when you place where we are compared to where the main drug producing countries, we’re kind of in a direct path Between South America and North America. So, it’s to be expected that smugglers will endeavor to try and bring drugs through the Territory, as well as keep drugs in the Territory for use here by local people, and, also, to sell and make profit.”
The lawman believes that it is time that legislation in relation to small quantities of marijuana should be revisited.
Photo Credit: BVI Platinum News
“We’ve got to be more mature of a society now and say what we believe is acceptable for the future for the Territory. There is a lot of talk as to whether legalization is something that should take place here,” he opined.
He added that while he is of the view that custodial sentences should not be imposed for small quantities, as the person at the helm of the Police Force, he will adhere to enforcing laws set by the government.
“But, I think my opinion is that there should certainly be a very healthy debate about that.”
In the meantime, he said, “I am looking to encourage my officers now for very small amounts, for very small amounts for possession, that we should be warning people about that rather than arresting and charging people.”