Premier and Minister for Finance Hon. Andrew Fahie said the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force (RVIPF) will soon have 50 vacancies.
He informed that in 2018 following the development of the new territorial security plan, it was agreed by the then cabinet to increase the RVIPF by 45 posts over three years, with 15 recruits in 2018, 2019, and 2020.
“Mr. Speaker, the force successfully recruited in 2018 and 2019 the numbers agreed, but due to the challenges of the COVID-19 global pandemic government placed a temporary halt on recruitment in 2020 so they did not get their full complement of their additional 15 posts,” he said during the House of Assembly on Tuesday, April 20.
He added, “The RVIPF budget for 2021 allows for 12 new regular recruits, and five auxiliary officers, which is anticipated will commence in late May 2021. In addition to the authorization of the Ministry of Finance, some further seven specialists regular posts are being recruited in 2021; however, because of retirements and the limited recruitments in 2020, the force will soon have 50 vacancies in regular police officers and auxiliary officer’s posts.”
In the meantime, the Finance Minister said millions is being pumped into the RVIPF to aid in its fight against crime.
He said in terms of recurrent expenses, in 2018 the force received $18,457, 200; in 2019, $17,615,900; in 2020, $18,581,500 and in 2021 it was $18,351,100.
In capital acquisition in 2018, the figure was $763,898; in 2019, $2,9059. 33; in 2020, $387,400 and in 2021 thus far, $1,315,100.
“In terms of the capital acquisition for the three years, it’s a total of $5,864,149 and in terms of resources, recurrent capital and everything the total in the last three years given to the police to assist in their task has been $84,295,280,” the Premier stated.
He also placed on record his government commitment to assist the Governor with his responsibility to create a peaceful BVI.