BVI police unveil plan as crime rates increase

ROAD TOWN, British Virgin Islands, February 27, 2009 – Police Commissioner Reynell Frazer unveiled a three-year strategic plan for the Royal Virgin Islands Police (RVIPF) as he revealed statistics that show an increase in major categories of crime last year.
 
In a review of the 2008 crime statistics and , he told a press conference on Wednesday that there was “a rise in just about every major crime category” when compared to 2007, even though overall crime was lower than in 2005 and 2006.
 
The statistics show that guns were used in the major crimes – homicide, which increased by two; robbery which increased slightly by one; and attempted murder, which recorded a jump of nine more cases than the previous year. There was also an increase in the number of arrests made for gun related crimes.
 
Other crime statistics show that burglaries are up 28 per cent and serious assaults are up by 19 per cent. There has also been an 11 per cent increase in the number of thefts.
 
In an effort to clamp down on the crime, Commissioner Frazer said the activities of the RVIPF would be guided by in the next three years by six priorities outlined in the 2009-2011 Strategic Plan for the Force.
 
He identified these priorities as improving public confidence and trust in the RVIPF; improving operational policing performance in order to reduce crime, improve detections and bring offenders to justice; protecting the Virgin Islands borders and strengthening counter terrorism capability; creating a dynamic workforce by attracting quality staff as well as improving the morale and motivation of existing staff; maximising efficiency and improving service delivery; and embedding a culture of strategic planning and performance management within the RVIPF.
 
“You will see that one of our priorities is to ensure that we monitor the delivery of this plan. I am committed to ensuring that this document is not just words on paper but that it will lead to genuine changes in the way we ensure the security of this Territory,” the top cop said.
 
“In order to bring the strategic plan to fruition, we will develop an annual work plan for each of the next three years. These work plans will include specific actions we will undertake in each of the strategic plan areas. Along with my management team, I will be reviewing and tracking progress against these actions on a bi-monthly basis. This will ensure that we are clearly aware of our progress on an ongoing basis. We will not wait three years to determine what we have achieved but will undertake ongoing evaluation against the plan.”
 
The top cop said that lawmen are already working to arrest the crime situation, particularly the use of guns.
 
He said there have been stop and search operations specifically targeting those who carry illegal firearms. He added that through increasing traffic checks for minor infractions, the Force “will increase its chances for detecting criminals carrying guns, hence reducing the probability of gun crimes”.
 
“The Royal Virgin Islands Police Force has also adopted a multi-agency approach to tackling the smuggling of firearms into the Territory. Both the Customs Task Force and the Police Marine Unit have been deployed to patrol our Territorial waters specifically targeting vessels entering our waters with illegal weapons,” Frazer added.
 
“This course of action is intended to reduce the opportunities for the importation of weapons and to identify the source of these weapons.”
 
Frazer said the police force is also enhancing its criminal intelligence capacity, the main focus being to improve the collection, analysis and sharing of firearms related intelligence and information with other external law-enforcement agencies.
 
He explained that the overall focus is to expand the use of new technology for a more effective investigation.
 
The Commissioner said the Force is also working with internationally acclaimed forensic laboratory service providers to increase forensic opportunities for successful results.