The government has not been thrown into despair over the escalating challenge it faces in relation to serious crime in the territory and has promised to do more to help stamp out the scourge.
Premier Dr Natalio Wheatley gave that indication in the House of Assembly (HOA) this week and said the territory’s most recent double murder occurred just a stone’s throw away from a he was conducting at his district office next door.
“The Government of National Unity and myself as Premier, have not given up hope, and I know the people of the Virgin Islands
are also filled with hope,” Premier Wheatley told the House. “We believe that as a community, with each of us doing our part and working towards a common vision, our beloved BVI will conquer this scourge.”
The territory’s leader, who previously decried the murders, also disclosed that both of the murder victims are relatives of his and said he had spoken to one of the men earlier that day about securing a job within the government.
Premier Wheatley said his government will do all that it can with the resources available to empower persons to reject a life of crime and to choose a positive path. He also noted that his government will ensure the police are equipped to deter and prevent crime, and ensure those who insist on doing wrong are brought to justice.
Dr Wheatley made an urgent plea for youth in the territory to reject a life of crime and violence while arguing that such a life could only be filled with regret.
“The behaviour and activities being displayed and pursued by a small minority is damaging and hurting the peace of our community, tarnishing our reputation and jeopardising the vision that our ancestors held for us when they embarked on the journey to achieving self-determination over 70 years ago,” the Premier said.
He urged persons to say something if they see something and to pass on any information about criminal activity to the authorities through the anonymous channels that are available. Passing on information, the Premier said, can save a loved one’s life.
“If you know a family member, a friend, or a boyfriend or girlfriend is engaging in wrongdoing, plead with them to stop. Let them know you disapprove of their wrongdoing,” Premier Wheatley said.
He added: “Let them know you will not accept anything they bring you that was not legitimately obtained or which was not bought with clean money; because when they court danger, they put you in danger. They put your family in danger, they put your children in dange,; and they put all of us in danger. Tell them to stop it.”