That Was Always The Plan-Police Replace Premier’s Private Bodyguards
The Government is no longer using private ‘bodyguard service’ to protect Premier and Minister of Finance, Hon. Andrew Fahie.
The Territory's leader is now being protected by members of the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force (RVIPF). This comes weeks after RVIPF officers were trained to deliver similar services to the BVI.
Premier Fahie who confirmed the move, told BVI Platinum News that this was always the intention to use the private bodyguards for six months, but they would replaced by members of the RVIPF as soon as officers were trained in this specialized area.
“The police were always going to provide the security to the Office of the Premier. However, the C.O.P. (Mr Michael Matthews) stated from the inception that his officers needed training in this specialized area. It was agreed that a Group of his officers would be selected and sent away to be trained,” the Premier explained to BVI Platinum News.
He said that, it was agreed that until the officers were trained then a private security company with such specialized capabilities would be contracted.
“That was done with the blessings of the C.O.P. As soon as the C.O.P. confirmed that the selected officers were now trained abroad, then the contract of the competent private security was closed. All the stages were always known from the inception by all stakeholders. The trained officers of the RVIPF are now in place and performing admirably,” Premier Fahie said.
Eight officers from the Armed Response Unit of the RVIPF successfully completed a six-week Close Protection Training Course conducted by the Bermuda Police Force from July to December 2019.
The first cohort that included four officers from the RVIPF, attended the Course from July to August 2019. They were also the very first to do so from the British Virgin Islands. The second training session was conducted from September to October 2019 and four more officers attended.
Premier Fahie also addressed the notion of the private security firm being contracted for a five-year period.
“The calculation of putting it to 5 Years have no base. Some Opposition Members said that time frame knowing full well that it was malicious, especially seeing that we only do 4 Year terms. The contract was always for 6 months and it only was allowed until the selected RVIPF Officers were trained,” he told BVI Platinum News.
Several efforts to contact the Top Cop for a comment proved futile.
At the time of the completion of the training, Matthews stated that it is important that the RVIPF stays at the forefront of the latest capabilities developed for policing at an international level.
Premier Fahie had indicated in the House of Assembly that he received three death threats since taking office, and as such, had to contract bodyguards for his personal security.