British Virgin Islands

Monday, Apr 19, 2021

Younger police officers ‘quite challenging individuals to bring into line’

Younger police officers ‘quite challenging individuals to bring into line’

Outgoing Commissioner of Police Mr Michael B. Matthews has admitted that some persons from the younger generation being recruited into the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force (RVIPF) are a challenge for the force.

He said during the My BVI Radio Show on Tuesday, February 16, 2021, undoubtedly, the society that was once very caring has changed and pointed out to an example of the period following the devastating hurricanes of 2017 where that caring and friendly nature emerged for a while.

The RVIPF had come under heavy criticism last year over incidents of persons being tased while seemingly posing no threat to arresting officers.

In most of the cases, the officers involved were noticeably young.

Commissioner Matthews had publicly defended his officers at the time, following a public backlash.

Commissioner of Police Michael B. Matthews appeared as a guest of My BVI Radio Show on February 16, 2021.

he RVIPF had come under severe criticisms last year over incidents of persons being tased while seemingly posing no threat to arresting officers. In most of the cases, the officers involved were noticeably young.


'Very different mindset'


“I am sure we all accept that the society of today globally is not the same society that we were all born into. But, the reality is the world has changed, and in particular, I don’t want to pick on young people but in particular the younger generation view crime, they view violence, and they view their way of acting way of life as quite acceptable where some of us from the older generation will find that quite astonishing,” he remarked on the My BVI Radio Show with hosts Angelle A. Cameron and Bishop John I. Cline.

Mr Matthews added that he has deliberately sought to recruit more young people to the force; however, there are challenges that have come about as a result.

"I am recruiting and I have been recruiting from some of that generation in the last few years and I will say this openly, and I am sure that some of my own recruits in the force will hear this message: some of them are quite challenging individuals to bring into line and to get them to understand the standards that we look for in terms of service to the public and keeping the laws of the territory.”

He said this is the case “Because their mindset is very, very different to mine and don’t necessarily see that politeness and courtesy, and love your neighbour is the bedrock of what they are about.”

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