46 Arrests is Not Great News: Is Montserrat Now a Police State?


Vaughn Barzey

Release Date

Friday, April 17, 2020


Great news: In several publications on Google and elsewhere, Montserrat is listed as one of the safest places in the world in which you can reside or visit, and believe me I have on occasion and at every opportunity afforded to me shouted it from the rooftops.

So please someone, somewhere, tell me what has gone wrong that in only a very few days the Royal Montserrat Police Service has had to arrest in excess of 1% of the total Population, and what is even more worrying a staggering and unprecedented more than 2% of the adult population and this is SET TO INCREASE. To put this in some kind of context; it is the equivalent of the police in the UK arresting a WHOPPING 840,000 people of the Forty two million adults in just 10 days.

Is there anyone out there who thinks there is something incongruous about those two facts? How in the name of Christendom could Montserrat be one of the safest places in the world, and at the same time needed to arrest such a large proportion of the population in just 10 days? The courts I’m sure have never been so busy in the whole history of Montserrat, Not even in the time of the Red-Pole riots.

This policing method is TOTALLY out of character with the Montserrat way of life. There are ways of policing, of which I’m sure the Governor is aware - that does not result in criminalising a large proportion of the population. And if he is not aware of such policing methods may I suggest that he makes it his premier priority to inform his naivety. The relationship between the police and public has recently been quite tenuous and this only serves to alienate the population further.

May I pose a few questions?

  • Is Montserrat Now a police state?

  • Has the Government of Montserrat got anything at all to say as to why such a large percentage of the population they represent have become criminals overnight?

  • Has the government got any say at all in how this curfew is enforced? Remember you are going to want those same people to vote for you next time.

  • Does anyone think that having such a large proportion of the population being labelled criminals will boost tourism? (These statistics will circulate worldwide)

  • Who ordered the lockdown restrictions, the Government or the Governor? Not the person who read it on air, the person who ordered it.

    I have set my search-engine the rigorous task of finding out if there is any other country in the world that have arrested up to 2% of their adult population ever, or even in the last 14 days, I have also enlisted other research houses. The answer has come back. There is NONE. No other country has arrested such a large proportion of their population. I cannot find a single instance, not even in dictatorships or police states where this has happened.

    I urge the Government of Montserrat to address this problem as a matter of urgency; it cannot wait nor be put on the back burner for another day. It is surely in your interest to do so.

    Premier, you must know that it cannot be right to criminalise such a large proportion of the population in such short order, you also know they are not criminals. You must therefore make representation to the Governor (to whom the Police report) to make a change for the betterment of police relations with the public and for the population as a whole.

    The police are only acting on the instructions they have been given, and as you know only too well Premier, the Governor has it within his gift to issue guidelines, although he chooses for the moment not to do so.

    According to Andrew Pearce, Per capita Montserrat has more ventilators than the UK. Per capita I guess RMPS have arrested a greater proportion of our population than anywhere else in the world. What a feather to stick in your cap? Not exactly where I would like to stick it?

Premier, I know for a fact you have legs. So please use them, Stand-up. Stand on your own two feet and defend the people whom you represent to the fullest. Do not shirk your responsibility in their time of need. There are many more people arrested than actually have the virus. (Several fold in-fact) Surely you must ask yourself which of the two is the greater threat to the population? And which of the two would be the longer lasting in the community? Eventually Covid-19 will go away, however a criminal record will be there forever.

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