Beautiful Virgin Islands

Friday, Sep 30, 2022

Crime up due to COVID-19- CoP Collins to SFC

Crime up due to COVID-19- CoP Collins to SFC

Appearing before the House of Assembly’s Standing Finance Committee (SFC) last year, as members examined the 2022 Budget Estimates, Commissioner of Police (CoP) Mark Collins spoke to the issue of crime in the Virgin Islands.

Mr Collins, a UK national, claimed that although crime is slightly down from the same period of last year (2020); he saw “an increase in burglary dwelling, robbery, and violent offenses”.

COVID-19 has crime up- CoP


He noted that “some of the offenses could be directly linked to the COVID-19 pandemic and the loss of jobs and livelihoods, with people desperate to make ends meet,” according to the SFC report.

In his testimony before last year’s SFC, Mr Collins told legislators that “between the 2nd September 2020 and May 2021, there were nine (9) homicide cases reported that are being handled by the Major Incident Team”.

Mr Collins reported that six (6) of the cases have been concluded. He added that twenty (20) suspects were charged with the offenses of murder, attempted murder, possession of firearms with intent to endanger life, legal possession of firearms, robbery, assisting offenders, and breach of trust.

During the investigations, according to Mr Collins, “three handguns and several rounds of ammunition were recovered”. In addition to this, the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force seized one thousand four hundred and fifty-five kilos of cocaine and cannabis.

In his testimony before last year’s SFC, Commissioner of Police Mr Mark Collins told Legislators that between September 2, 2020 and May 2021, there were nine (9) homicide cases reported that were being handled by the Major Incident Team.


Scandal in RVIPF


Under Mr Collin’s tenure, the public blasted his United Kingdom officers last month for using a government boat to allegedly go bar hopping on some of the cays and Willi T.

The CoP has denied the reports and said the officers were on a special operation that included getting the officers familiarised with the areas.

Chairman of the Joint Task Force, Wade N. Smith; however, threw cold water on that claim, saying to our newsroom, “if there was an operation he will be involved and informed” and said the way they were dressed suggested, "it was not an official operation".

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