STATEMENT BY HIS EXCELLENCY THE GOVERNOR AUGUSTUS J. U. JASPERT
ON THE VIRGIN ISLANDS CURFEW
Friday, December 15, 2017
As you are all well aware, a curfew has been in place across the Virgin Islands since the passage of Hurricane Irma in September. Since the curfew was first imposed between the hours of 1800 and 0600, the National Security Council and Cabinet have kept the need for a curfew and its hours under constant review, working with the advice and the guidance of the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force (RVIPF). This has seen a gradual reduction in its hours.
It is now over three months since Hurricane Irma and as we approach the Festive period, we have again given very careful consideration to the need to continue the curfew, balancing the need for businesses and individuals to be able to get on with their lives and also mindful that many are still without power to their homes.
Over recent weeks, we have seen progress on all fronts. Electricity is being restored in many areas, tourists are returning, and there is a sense that a degree of normality is returning. I am grateful for all of the hard work and dedication of the RVIPF and colleagues to keep us safe and for the BVI Electricity Corporation’s continued efforts to restore electricity. There is further to go, but I am pleased progress is being made.
In light of the progress, Ministers have therefore given a clear steer that they would like to discontinue the curfew before Christmas.
As such, we have agreed that this should be the final time that the curfew will be extended – from today up until 22 December. The curfew will run from midnight tonight until 0500 daily, and will end at 0500 on Friday, 22 December.
The curfew has been in place to ensure the security of the Territory. The RVIPF, supported by the United Kingdom and other Overseas Territory police colleagues, has and continues to uphold law and order. We are confident that this will continue, with the continued support of colleagues. We also agreed this week to further support the RVIPF, including through the recruiting of additional police officers.
We will regularly review the security position at the National Security Council and receive updates from the Commissioner of Police. If there are indications that the lifting of the curfew is having a detrimental effect on the security and safety of residents, we will not hesitate to reinstate it.