Responding to the “Police in Paradise” video making its round on social media, Premier Dr Natalio Wheatley described the video as inappropriate and said Governor John Rankin will address the matter with Police Commissioner Mark Collins.
The Premier said the Governor shared the same sentiments regarding the clip. Dr Wheatley also describes the nearly six-minute-long video clip which details the ills of policing in the BVI as unfortunate.
“By now many of you have become aware of a video circulating on social media entitled, “Police in Paradise”, produced by the United Kingdom media house ITV, profiling the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force tackling crime in the British Virgin Islands. This is a very unfortunate depiction of the BVI, highly damaging to our image as a tourist destination,” Dr Wheatley said in a statement.
“The video has unsettled many persons in our local and business community because of its highly distorted portrayal of the British Virgin Islands, which gives the impression that our islands are an unsafe tourist destination infested with drugs and crime. This is not true,” he added.
Dr Wheatley, who is also Tourism Minister, said he wanted to assure all guests the BVI is a safe destination.
“I want to assure all of our current guests who are right now enjoying the security of our territory, as well as those persons planning to come to visit our shores to enjoy our white sand beaches, calm sailing waters and friendly people, that the British Virgin Islands is one of the most secure places in the Caribbean and world to vacation and spend your holiday,” the Tourism Minister added.
“We look forward to welcoming you here to our home which is one of the most beautiful and safest places on earth. To everyone who calls the British Virgin Islands home, let us all continue to do our part to promote tourism, which is everybody’s business,” Dr Wheatley continued.
Earlier today, Commissioner Collins offered a public apology for the video that features himself, several officers of the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force (RVIPF), and graphic footage of violence in the Virgin Islands
Despite being seen in an interview saying: “It does constantly surprise me because you go from being an absolute paradise to being in muck and bullets”, the Police Commissioners in a written apology said the video was “incomplete” and not meant for public viewing.