Beautiful Virgin Islands

Thursday, Dec 01, 2022

‘Complexity’ blamed for missed law enforcement reform deadlines

‘Complexity’ blamed for missed law enforcement reform deadlines

Governor John Rankin has acknowledged that several missed deadlines arising from the framework of Commission of Inquiry (COI) reforms were due to what he described as complexities.
The missed deadlines he spoke about in his first quarterly report issued recently is in relation to the implementation of recommendations B38 and B41 in the framework document. These recommendations speak to a review of the territory’s law enforcement and justice system (subject areas for which the governor is directly responsible) and the facilities and powers which the agencies have to detect crime and prepare matters for prosecution.

Rankin noted that these missed deadlines was as a result of the complexity of the review and the need to secure a panel with the expertise to ensure a professional, independent review.

“I am pleased that His Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services (HMICFRS) has agreed to lead the review, which the UK Government has agreed to fund,” Governor Rankin stated.

The governor shared that a panel led by the UK HM Inspectorate will visit the territory in the coming months to carry out the work in cooperation with the law enforcement and justice agencies.

In his report, the governor reiterated that a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was agreed between the relevant agencies and approved by the National Security Council (NSC) in June.

The MOU has meant there is now a division of responsibility for security of all ports and airports. These have been placed under the command of the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force (RVIPF) until security concerns are effectively addressed and new constitutional and legal arrangements are considered.

While the governor said that the agreement under the MOU is working well so far with additional officers due to be deployed, he cautioned that it was still in the relatively early stages.

He also added that additional RVIPF access and responsibility for security at ports and airports, working with other agencies, will enhance protection for the BVI.
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