British Virgin Islands

Thursday, May 06, 2021

HoA must ‘find a way forward’ to address crime - Hon Penn

HoA must ‘find a way forward’ to address crime - Hon Penn

Opposition Leader, Hon Marlon A. Penn (R8) has called on all members of the Virgin Islands (VI) House of Assembly (HoA) to chart a way forward to tackle crime in the territory.

Hon Penn’s comment came during a three-minute allotted time to speak in the HoA on the recent shooting death of Catherine Pickering, a local businessman who succumbed to a gunshot wound on April 19, 2021.

“We need to sit down around the table, all 13 of us elected by the people of this territory and find a way forward. We can’t depend on anybody else but ourselves, this is our country, these are our people,” he said.

Hon Penn said the death of Mrs Pickering was one that was close to home since the family has close ties to his.

Meanwhile, Third District Representative and senior legislator Hon Julian Fraser RA said the House of Assembly (HoA) has a responsibility to the people of the territory regarding addressing crime.

Hon Julian Fraser RA (R3) in calling the recent shooting deaths 'unconscionable' said the House of Assembly (HoA) has a responsibility to the people to address crime.

Shooting was 'unconscionable' - Hon Fraser

“What has happened recently with this recent shooting, Mr Speaker, it's unconscionable… it is as unconscionable as all the others but this one in particular, Mr Speaker, should have driven home a nail within all of us that we need information.”

“We cannot continue to walk the streets of the BVI believing that if it didn’t happen to me, it didn’t happen,” he said.

Hon Fraser also made calls for the legislature to make addressing crime a priority in the House; reminding HoA members that they are representatives and must look out for the interests of every member of the community who is impacted by crime.

Acknowledging that the police and crime-solving come under the responsibility of the Governor's Office, Hon Fraser said elected officials should not sit and wait for the Governor's Office to address the problem.

“I stand 100% behind the families of the victims and I stand 100% per cent in seeing that these type of things are stamped out of the territory,” Hon Fraser told the House.


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