The Virgin Islands (VI) under the United Kingdom Commissioner of Police Mark Collins has faced an increase in crime in some areas.
This was unearthed at the House of Assembly's Standing Finance Committee (SFC) Meeting last month, as the 2023 Budget Estimates were examined.
While testifying in a closed-door meeting before lawmakers last month, Mr Collins admitted that crime has “increased in the areas of sexual offenses, domestic violence and drug-related matters” and decreased for burglaries, robbery and serious offenses.
Lots of issues in homes!
The UK national noted that “domestic violence is significantly the most reported crime in the Territory.”
The top cop further stated that during 2022, there were six (6) homicide cases dealt with by the Major Crime Team with one (1) successfully concluded and significant progress with the outstanding cases.
Mr Collins also informed the Committee that two (2) persons were charged with murder while one (1) of the persons arrested was connected to thirty-six (36) firearms.
He claimed to have recovered eleven thousand (11,000) kilos of cocaine, sixty-eight (68) firearms and two thousand and sixty-four (2,064) rounds of ammunition. There has been no independent agency to confirm these figures, knowing the residents' mistrust of the police.
Social media had been erupting with
questions about accountability in the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force
(RVIPF) and even the Governor’s Office, following the publication of
videos showing what is believed to be UK nationals who have been
recruited to the RVIPF visiting at least two bars in the Virgin Islands
using taxpayers-funded police vessels on Sunday, January 23, 2022.
Matters arising from CoI Report
The Police Force under Collins has faced and been rocked with a number of scandals, allegedly including human trafficking, using government vessels for UK officers to party on the cays and controversy surrounding evidence disappearing in the case of the person held and released for allegedly causing the death of popular musician Frandy M. Martin Jr.
The police force; however, was not the subject of the one-man Commission of Inquiry
But after the publication of the CoI
report, a Headquarters Investigation team was set up. It is a standalone unit that reports directly on a weekly basis, according to Collins' testimony before the SFC.
There are over 20 plus UK police officers without uniforms here on that assignment and residents have asked why some 99% of them are Caucasian.
The Royal Virgin Islands Police Force
under Mark Collins has faced and been rocked with a number of scandals,
allegedly including human trafficking, using government vessels for UK
officers to party on the cays and controversy surrounding evidence
disappearing in the case of the person held and released for allegedly
causing the death of popular musician Frandy M. Martin Jr (in photo).
Double Standards: one for blacks & one for whites!
Many have also seen it as a double standard where Mr Collins released a video, which many described as offensive and racist, depicting the Territory as crime-infested and a major narco-state. He had said he did the video in consultation with the BVI Tourist Board; however, the Tourist Board strongly denied it was ever involved.
There were loud voices calling for his resignation; however, his pal Governor John J. Rankin, CMG, said he was pardoned.