“If politicians are not getting anything done, the citizenry has to rise up and address it,” remarked local business owner Ronford Cline, amidst what he has described as a worsening security situation in the Territory.
Cline recently addressed the public in a breaking news update on JTV Channel 55.
Cline stressed that residents of the Virgin Islands can no longer just sit in their own clusters, speaking about their concerns in light of recent incidents, while the situation deteriorates.
He believes it is time for the people to take a stand and hold the Governor and Commissioner of Police accountable for delivering on their mandate for security in the Territory.
Cline is currently in the process of engaging residents across the BVI to gather signatures for a petition on the matter. While he intends to do a lot of canvassing himself, he has already engaged parties on the Sister Islands to ensure that residents there can participate as well.
The intention is to deliver the petition to Governor Daniel Pruce as the climax of a peaceful protest scheduled for Wednesday, February 14th, at 11 am. Participants will gather at the roundabout in the heart of Road Town and march to the Governor’s residence. The open activity invites all residents with concerns about security in the BVI to participate. “Solidarity is strength,” he said as he called on people to come out.
WHERE ARE THE POLICE? RETURN FOOT PATROLS!
Cline believes that a key contributor to the issue is a lack of police visibility. He recalled days growing up in Tortola, where community policing was evident through consistent foot patrols and engagements between officers and members of the public—a practice he lamented the absence of today.
He joined calls for the return of foot patrols in Road Town and other heavily trafficked areas frequented by residents and visitors, and where local businesses operate.
While he expressed uncertainty about the current plan of Governor Daniel Pruce and Police Commissioner Mark Collins to address the crime situation and the flow of illegal firearms into the Virgin Islands, Cline is urging them to start with the basics and return to the use of foot patrols as a mitigative tool against crime.
He stressed that the presence of police officers will make a difference whether they are armed or unarmed, underscoring the impacts that direct communication within the force during unfolding situations could have on the efficiency and effectiveness of crime response.