These sentiments were expressed by Keynote Speaker of the RVIPF Police Week Luncheon on Monday, October 10, 2022, Colin O’Neal, who said the RVIPF plays a critical role in the area of community policing, despite the difficulties encountered in carrying out the task.
“It is because of this very important role that you come under such criticism. Nobody criticises the insignificant or the unimportant. To a greater degree than you realise, the perceived legitimacy of the entire system of justice is affected by you – one solitary member of the Force,” he said while speaking on 55 years of policing in the BVI.
Further lauding the work of the officers in recent drug seizures and arrests over the past year, Mr O’Neil gave two suggestions to members of the force.
“When public order offenses, which so discomfort the general population, are not suitably addressed, the public loses confidence in the justice system as a whole and is less likely to engage with the police on the more serious matters.”
“If we don’t effectively suppress [these violations], don’t be surprised if those practicing small violations step up their game and eventually get involved in more serious crime,” he said as he encouraged officers not to ignore the little things.
Secondly, Mr O’Neal noted that apprehension of offenders is just the first step in bringing offenders to justice, adding that officers must be able to give potent evidence when called to do so.
He further described a well-rounded police officer as one who can combine effectively front-line work with the ability to give potent evidence in a court of law.
At the Police Week luncheon, special guest and former Inspector, and first female officer of the RVIPF, Ms Eileene L. Baronville was also presented with a large plaque with her photo and her history with the Force. The plaque will be installed at the Road Town Police Station.
Commissioner of Police Mark Collins as well as His Excellency the Governor, John J. Rankin, CMG, Premier Dr the Honourable Natalio D. Wheatley (R7) and Deputy Governor David D. Archer Jr all addressed those gathered and pledged their support to the RVIPF.
Commissioner of Police Mark Collins as well as His Excellency the Governor John J. Rankin, CMG, Hon. Premier Dr. Natalio D. Wheatley (R7) and Deputy Governor David D. Archer Jr all addressed those gathered and pledged their support to the institution.