Governor John Rankin made that statement after Commissioner Collins was sworn at a brief ceremony at Government House on Monday, April 19.
“My main priority going forward will be the security of the islands and the continuing battle against serious and organised crime, which seeks to make the islands an unwelcoming environment for groups wishing to engage in any of the aforementioned criminal activities,” Collins said.
The new top cop has inherited the post at a time when the territory’s involvement in the drugs trade seems to be quite active.
He’s also inherited what seems to be a climbing murder rate for the BVI. By BVI News’ tally, at least five homicides have happened since 2021. Five murders in four months can be described as highly irregular for the territory.
Collins has more than 30 years of law enforcement experience, and among other things, has held leadership positions such as Detective Superintendent in charge of the Wales Extremism and Counter-Terrorism Unit.
“I am delighted to welcome Mark Collins as the new Commissioner of Police,” Governor Rankin stated. “Mr Collins brings a wealth of senior-level policing experience and expertise into the role. I am sure he will be a dedicated public servant to the people of BVI. I look forward to working with Mr Collins, alongside the committed officers of the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force (RVIPF), in promoting the security of the British Virgin Islands.”
Governor Rankin also recognised the former Commissioner, Michael Matthews, for his service.
He said: “I would take this opportunity to thank the outgoing Commissioner, Mike Matthews, for all he has achieved during his term in office and for his signal service to the British Virgin Islands. I offer him every best wish for the future.”
Commissioner Collins said he was particularly grateful to Matthews, whose work forms a foundation on which to build during his service in the territory.
Collins’ Oath of Office was administered by Senior Magistrate Tamia Richards and witnessed by Superintendent of Police St. Claire Amory as well as the Premier and Deputy Premier, the Deputy Governor, the Attorney General, and other public officers and members of the RVIPF.