Last night, February 8, during the Virgin Islands Party’s (VIP) official launch of their At-Large team, the issue was raised by the party’s District Five candidate, Mr. Kye Rymer.
The shooting occurred at the Huntum’s Ghut basketball court, that Mr. Rymer recently helped to rehabilitate, and he previously disclosed that the murder victim was one of the persons who volunteered during the restoration efforts.
“As a community, we need to acknowledge some of what is happening within our territory. Just about a week ago, we lost a young man to crime,” he stated.
“We as a people, because it didn’t actually affect us, I’m sure we continue along like nothing really happened. And it’s becoming a norm in our community where we lose people to violent crimes and we go about our daily lives,” he told those gathered.
(Photo Credit: BVI Platinum News)
However, he said it is time that the community gets involved, telling them, “I think we as a people, we need to stand up. We need to stand up and with this crime that's happening within our community. We must reach out to the police. We must give the police the information that would bring these criminals to justice.”
He committed to ensuring that the police is equipped with the needed resources to execute their duties, if elected.
This position was emphasised by the VIP’s At-Large candidate, Mr. Neville ‘Sheep’ Smith, who in an emotional address said, “We are in some serious times.”
“We have to start taking things in our own hands. We have to start being together as one. We have to stop the separation among ourselves. We cannot blame the Government for everything, we have to blame ourselves,” he declared.
He told supporters that they also have a role to pay in the reduction of crime.
“We need to start speaking to our kids about the same thing. We have a lot of crime that’s going on here in the Virgin Islands, and we as parents, when we know our kids are doing something wrong, we have to correct them. We cannot stand for wrong,” he stated.
Added to that, he said, “Nobody don’t know how close it is until it reaches home. The kid that was shot and killed the other day, as Kye said, everybody look at it as if it wasn’t their kid, but when it is your kid then you feel it.”
On Thursday night, Chairman of the National Democratic Party (NDP), Hon. Myron Walwyn also spoke on the issue, and the need for stiffer penalties for gun-related crimes.