British Virgin Islands

Saturday, Oct 24, 2020

Any locals? Hunt begins for new Commissioner of Police

Any locals? Hunt begins for new Commissioner of Police

With months remaining in the life of the contract of Commissioner of Police (CoP), United Kingdom (UK) national Michael B. Matthews, the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force (RVIPF) is inviting applications for the top post.

Mr Matthews, who previously served as Chief Constable of the Cyprus Sovereign Base Area (SBA) Police Force, was appointed Police Commissioner in the Virgin Islands in April 2016 for three years and received an extension of two years on his contract in April 2019.


CoP Michael B. Matthews, left, the good buddy of outgoing Governor, Augustus J. U. Jaspert, right, who himself is under heavy criticism following his controversial remarks about slavery reparations and landmarks named in honour of perpetrators of slavery, has also been under fire for the RVIPF’s inability to address the vexing issue of motor scooter riders brazenly disregarding traffic rules and being a nuisance to the motoring public and the community at large.

Michael B. Matthews


The UK CoP quickly developed a reputation of being of friendly demeanour and approachable and one who paid attention to public relations via the media.

He; however, came under criticism this year when his ranks were accused of using excessive force during arrests, including tasing of persons in non-threatening situations.

Mr Matthews was quick to defend his ranks, despite the wave of public condemnation against the actions of the police.

CoP Matthews, the good buddy of outgoing Governor, Augustus J. U. Jaspert, who himself is under heavy criticism following his controversial remarks about slavery reparations and landmarks named in honour of perpetrators of slavery, has also been under fire for the RVIPF’s inability to address the vexing issue of motor scooter riders brazenly disregarding traffic rules and being a nuisance to the motoring public and the community at large.

Additionally, there have been reports of low morale among officers and lack of camaraderie. The latter came out in full display on April 22, 2020, when two of his officers were engaged in a verbal spat, which almost turned physical over what was allegedly bad parking by the entrance of the One Mart Supermarket in Purcell Estate.

The incident was captured on video and shared on social media.

Mr Matthews had replaced another UK national as CoP, Mr David Morris, whose appointment had caused controversy since there were on-going formal complaints against him, including allegations of unfair dismissals and abuse of authority.

Time for a local CoP


Nevertheless, what the Virgin Islands public would want to know is whether the new Commissioner of Police will be another UK national or whether a local will be given a chance at the helm, providing a local applies for the post.

There have been only two local Commissioners of Police since the RVIPF was formed in 1967.

The Virgin Islands last had a local Police Commissioner in Mr Reynell Frazer, who retired in 2012.

The first local Police Commissioner was former Legislator and Attorney Mr Vernon E. Malone.

The tenures by both local Police Commissioners were regarded as successful, proving that locals can effectively serve in such an important post.


Mr Reynell E. Frazer, left, and Mr Vernon E. Malone, right, are the only two locals to serve as Commissioner of Police since the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force (RVIPF) was formed in 1967.

Our own can do the job


Further, it has been the philosophy and policy of the Virgin Islands Party (VIP) administration led by Premier and Minister of Finance, Honourable Andrew A. Fahie (R1) that all senior government positions should be held by locals.

Meanwhile, the deadline for applications for the post of Commissioner of Police of the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force (RVIPF) is October 13, 2020.


The deadline for applications for the post of Commissioner of Police of the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force (RVIPF) is October 13, 2020.


With months remaining in the life of the contract of Commissioner of Police (CoP), United Kingdom (UK) national Michael B. Matthews, the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force (RVIPF) is inviting applications for the top post.

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