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RVPF’s increased oversight of ports improves security

RVPF’s increased oversight of ports improves security

Governor John Rankin said he believes the arrangements established by his office to give the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force (RVIPF) greater oversight of the territory’s ports will improve security and help to ensure the law is properly applied.

The governor also said he felt these arrangements serve the purpose of helping to keep everyone in the BVI safe.

Premier Dr Natalio Wheatley previously indicated that in June, Cabinet approved a Memorandum of Understanding between authorities of inter-governmental agencies – Her Majesty’s Customs, Immigration, the BVI Airports Authority and BVI Ports Authority – on the security of seaports and airports.

At the time, he noted that this was pursuant to Recommendation B40 of the Commission of Inquiry (COI) report for addressing security concerns while more comprehensive arrangements were being considered.

Speaking at a press conference last week, Governor Rankin noted that this arrangement will also allow for a better exchange of information between the different agencies.

Governor Rankin further indicated that he was cognisant of the issues involving the territory’s security, adding that he felt the arrangements that had already been rolled out, were working well so far.

The governor said the Departments of Customs and Immigration will continue to carry out their normal functions, but he noted that the police will also be there.

“Of course, should they have a concern that there may be criminal activity going on, then the police would have the right to intervene and exercise that overall command and the Police Commissioner has devoted resources to this, both to the airport and the seaports to help to achieve what we all hope will be a successful operation,” the governor said.

He added: “It maybe will require some additional resources to make this sustainable over time and I’ll be discussing that both with the Police Commissioner and with the Premier and Cabinet, as necessary, so I’m certainly not complacent in this area.“

Vetting the security forces

In the meantime, the governor said that preparations are ongoing for the appointment of an independent agency to vet staff at HM Customs, Immigration, the Royal Virgin Island Police Force and HM Prison.

He noted that the government is also working to establish a panel with external expertise to review law enforcement and justice systems to ensure that the law enforcement agencies have modern facilities and powers to help better prevent, monitor, and detect crime and prepare matters for prosecution.

According to Governor Rankin, the UK is offering funding and expertise for the implementation of these recommendations.


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