Commissioner of Police Michael Matthews announced that the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force has not commenced an official investigation in the Elmore Stoutt High School wall that was subjected to a special Auditor General Report. Instead the Commissioner explained that the RVIPF is currently conducting a scoping exercise into the matter to determine if there is need for an investigation.
The report, which was tabled in the House of Assembly was referred to the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force by His Excellency Governor Augustus Jaspert as well as other government agencies.
Matthews made the comment during his appearance on the talk show Honestly Speaking with Claude Skelton-Cline on 8 January acknowledging that the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force has received the report; however, the Commissioner of Police explained that he cannot comment extensively on the situation because it is a live matter.
The Commissioner indicated that work has already started to examine the report. “At the moment a senior detective has been assigned to scope that out. To look at that report because at this moment in time and in reading the findings of an audit that doesn’t tell me enough. It doesn’t tell me whether the outcome was a result of ignorance, was a result of competence, or was it something more dishonest.”
He noted that the examination will determine whether or not the Police will commence an investigation in the issues relating to the wall. “We are scoping it out, we are looking at the facts that the Auditor General has brought together, we are looking at the conclusions the Auditor General’s Office reached and we are looking at the data that the Auditor General has referred to. From there if we believe that this warrants a proper further investigation then that is exactly what we would have to do, but at this stage we are in a scoping exercise to see what do we actually think this is all about because it could be one of many things.”
The Commissioner said that he is hoping the preliminary process which he referred to as ‘scoping’ can be completed in coming weeks; and he noted that if an investigation is required the RVIPF will have to make preparation to conduct the examination.
Matthews further stated that he is at the moment dealing with the matter one step at a time; but noted that should the resources needed to do justice to the investigation be unavailable he is not opposed to bringing resources into the Territory.
Nonetheless, the Commissioner said that he did not want to preempt anything and give impressions of unknown variables. “Of course we don’t jump to any conclusion, I keep an open mind as you would expect me to do and we remain completely impartial on these matters…I never immediately linked the conclusion that there is something criminal here.”