Amid the coronavirus pandemic that is affecting the globe, members of the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force (RVIPF) have been forbidden from taking vacation leave outside of the British Virgin Islands.
Deputy Police Commissioner Alwin James gave that indication while speaking during a live social media interview with the Government Information Service on Monday.
He said: “We had to make some difficult decisions. One of them was, for instance, to cancel or suspend leave outside of the territory.”
“Officers are not able to travel outside of the territory because we want to ensure that we have the sort of resilience given a situation where the virus spreads at a very rapid rate in the territory. Of course, if officers need rest and relax on island, we are still open to consider that to ensure their welfare,” James added.
And with territory’s air and sea ports being closed to international traffic, Deputy Police Commissioner Alwin James said the RVIPF will also be ramping up its border patrols.
This, he said, is being done in partnership with Her Majesty’s Customs.
“We are deploying our marine assets and resources to protect our borders, especially in those vulnerable areas that we have identified,” Deputy Commissioner James said.
He did not specify where those vulnerable areas were.
Numbers to increase soon
Meanwhile, James said the RVIPF’s numbers and capabilities are about to increase soon.
“We are at a point where we’re just about to complete training of some additional firearm officers so we have greater capabilities and we are going to put up more high-visibility patrols. We are going to keep the business community informed, especially within the hours when their businesses close at 8 pm and remain close until 6 am,” he noted.
“We’ve got some officers who are just going to be graduating this week — more or less — out of training. So we are going to increase the numbers as it relates to our district stations to ensure that we have more resources out there. We have about 80 trained public order and public order command so we are in a much better position,” the Deputy Commissioner added.