of violent crime in the BVI shocks community
COMMENTARY by Oscar Ramjeet
indicated by Chief Minister, Dr. Orlando Smith, violence is unusual in the
British Virgin Islands, but last week the territory has seen a double murder,
the shooting of one of the brightest young lawyers and two days earlier the
shooting of Rolland Serrano at Sea Cow's Bay during a robbery.
violent crimes in matter of days forced the Chief Minister not only to issue a
public statement, but to request the Governor to convene an emergency meeting of
the Executive Council, and the Acting Police Commissioner, Reynell Frazer, to
summon a press conference in which he assured the public that the Royal Virgin
Islands Police Force " is working tirelessly to resolve the recent crimes" and
has requested co-operation from members of the public.
It was only
two weeks before these violent murders and shootings that Mr. Frazer, announced
that he had launched tougher crime-fighting measures after two robberies at a
gas station and a bakery on August 26, by masked bandits.
should seek the assistance of Scotland Yard.
Police Force does not have an excellent track record in solving murders and
other gruesome crimes as well as daring robberies...”
Now it is
not only robberies, but gruesome murders, one in which a born Nevisian, 43 year
old James Bolan, a long time resident of the BVI, whose body was fished out near
the Village Cay Marina with a cord tied around his right ankle and right wrist,
with a six inch concrete block attached to the cord closer to the wrist; the
other in which Bolan's girl friend, 41 year old Toolsiedea Tittle, a Guyanese
born Antiguan citizen was found dead in her home.
suspect that the deaths of Bolan and Tittle are related, but did not indicate
the motive for the gruesome murders.
of Crown Counsel, Kendoy Penn, a young and valiant man is very unfortunate and
the police need to get to the bottom of this callous act as soon as possible. If
they are unable to cope with these investigations they should seek the
assistance of Scotland Yard.
does not have an excellent track record in solving murders and other gruesome
crimes as well as daring robberies. There are a few unsolved murders including
the shooting death of Eoan Watkins on April 21, 2000 at the One Stop Bar in Sea
Cow's Bay. Two detectives from Greater Manchester Police and Kent Constabulary
were deployed to assist, but without success.
Yard officers Det. Sgt Michel Murfin and Det. Kenny Allen were also brought in
to assist in solving the murder of well known Trinidadian cyclist Jason Bally
who was gunned down on the night of October 15, 1999, and after nearly three
years one Darren Hodge who was serving a prison term was charged with Bally's
murder, but was released by the Magistrate after the star witness did not
FOUR MYSTERIOUS DEATHS OF THE EARLY 1990s STILL UNEXPLAINED
have written or said that this is the first time so many murders have occurred
in the BVI. This is not accurate and I am reminded that well over ten years ago
three young men were found “mysteriously” murdered on Joe’s Hill Road. At about
the same time a fourth “mysterious” death took place at the dwelling of a
Baughers Bay resident. These four “mysterious” deaths were investigated but no
one was arrested and charged.
cannot solve murders and other violent crimes. They would need the co-operation
of members of the public, and therefore the community should heed the appeal of
the Chief Minister and the Acting Police Commissioner to contact him or any
police officer with any information that can assist in solving these crimes.
not allow crime to escalate in this territory as it is in Jamaica, Trinidad and
Tobago and Guyana. In fact I should mention that 260 murders were committed in
Trinidad for the year so far, surpassing the total number for the entire 2004.
Kidnapping is also prevalent in the twin island republic since 125 involving
wealthy nationals have been reported for the year so far. In the Co-operative
Republic crime is rampant, so much so that Guyanese who live abroad are
reluctant even to go to their homeland on vacation because they are fearful that
they would be targetted.
coincidental that at the time when Tittle's body was discovered in Tortola, a
Guyanese-born Antiguan, Leyland Roger was shot and robbed in Cassandra Gardens,
just outside St. Johns, the island's capital, and around the same time another
Guyanese woman residing in Antigua was attacked and raped by three masked men.
possible should be done by the authorities to stop the upsurge of crime, and
this can only be done with the full co-operation of the populace. Lets work in
harmony and as the Chief Minister said "united we are stronger than the
criminals. United we are stronger than the hooligans. United we are capable of
restoring our society to what we know it to be: a place of peace, a place of
security, a place of decency."
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