In the wake of the recent London Bridge attack there have been two reactions in the Territory – one, a call for solidarity; and two – a call for the BVI to note the impressive response to the situation.
In addition to claiming eight lives, the London Bridge terrorist attack left numerous persons injured. Days later the United Kingdom and the world is still stunned at the manner in which men wielding knives and one driving a van killed and injured many innocent people within approximately eight minutes.
The 3 June despicable incident came swiftly on the heels of last month’s Manchester bombing which left 22 dead following a detonation at an Ariana Grande concert. It is also shocking that the recent incident resembles the March Westminster Bridge attack when a man also struck multiple persons with a vehicle and used a knife to kill five.
This week the BVI show of solidarity was inspired by a phone call to the Speak Out BVI radio program that was aired on ZBVI Radio on 6 June. The caller noted that the BVI is a Territory of the United Kingdom and he bemoaned the terror attack that took place on 3 June.
In asking that silence be observed the resident said: “This second for our mother country! We are true British patriots can we have a moment of silence. We must have a moment of silence for those victims who did nothing wrong…”
A Lesson in Security
While noting both the Manchester and the London Bridge incidents Hon. Fraser said that something should be learnt by how such major metropolitan cities were able to quickly pinpoint suspects, and swiftly move along the investigations; while the BVI, which is comparatively smaller, is still trying to solve recent and old crimes.
In explaining the lesson to be learned the Third District Representative said: “Manchester is an urban community or city of some 2.5 million people regarded as the second most populated urban area in the United Kingdom; that incident took place and within 24 hours they could have told you what happened, how it happened, who were the most likely suspects in the incident. They narrowed it down to the individual who died; they could have traced him back to Libya within 24 hours,” Hon. Fraser noted.
“In London where these three individuals took a van and started mowing down people at London Bridge — seven people killed… Again, within 24 hours they are able, as a matter of fact, within minutes to shoot the three perpetrators; and within 24 hours they were able to tell you what’s going on. What happened, who did it and all that — that’s London,” he added.
In tying his point together the Opposition Member declared: “If Manchester is the second largest urban center in the United Kingdom…Manchester is 85 times the size of the British Virgin Islands in population, and we have crime taking place in this little place; and see we’re still looking. Still trying to hear what, how, who, where and why. Something isn’t right and I don’t know exactly what is wrong but something is wrong.”
The Third District Representative openly pondered whether the difficulty in wrapping investigations up is due to the community being nonchalant: “Is it because we are not concerned enough to pressure those who are responsible in bringing this information forward? Are we not doing it, why it’s not coming forward? Crime is not a joke!”
The Opposition Member brought up the issue of Police and Customs officers bearing arms and he used the manner in which the United Kingdom police dealt with the situation as an indication of what can be achieved with an armed law enforcement unit: “Those UK officers could not kill those three perpetrators within eight minutes if they weren’t armed. Did you see them? the ones that came out after in their combat ready armor garb, gears, pistols, and some big guns I’ve never seen – big like bazookas.”
“Something happen down town, you call me, the longer I take to get there, the easier it is for them to get away; and go about their business. So I will not get engaged in any confrontation. What we need in this Territory is deterrent. We need to be more proactive and deter crime from taking place. Don’t wait until it happens, perpetrator gets away,” Hon. Fraser said.