Press Release

Office of the Governor
Office of the Deputy Governor
Royal Virgin Islands Police Force
Release Date:
Thursday, 31 December 2020 - 1:49pm

Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) Alwin James has been awarded the Queen’s Police Medal in Her Majesty the Queen’s 2021 New Year Honours.

DCP James received this medal in recognition of his significant contribution to the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force, where he has served for 35 years at both operational and strategic levels.

Acting Governor Mr. David D. Archer shared warm wishes to DCP James, and stated that he was thrilled to see the Deputy Commissioner receive this recognition from Her Majesty the Queen.

“I have seen first-hand his commitment to serving this Territory and his incredible bravery and self-sacrifice in the line of duty. He is an exceptional leader and an asset to the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force and the Territory. I wish him my warmest congratulations on this distinguished honour,” the Acting Governor said.

Commissioner of Police Mr. Michael Matthews said the award is a richly deserved recognition for the Deputy Commissioner of Police, and it not only highlights his excellent services to policing, but also is a testimony to the dedication he has given to the communities of the British Virgin Islands.

Commissioner Matthews said, “I have enjoyed the privilege of working hand in glove with Alwin James for the past five years, and he is without doubt one of the finest police officers and deputies I have ever worked with. This award speaks volumes for his commitment and professionalism, and not only reflects highly upon him as an individual officer, but upon all of those who have supported him within the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force."

DCP James in his response said he was caught by surprise as the award was not one he had anticipated. He added that he was however both honoured and humbled to be nominated and awarded the Queens Police Medal.

He said, “I took an oath to serve the communities of this Territory 35-plus years ago, and this is a proud moment for the RVIPF and its members that contribute daily to assist me in delivering to the Territory despite the challenges."

DCP James was appointed Acting Deputy Commissioner of Police in 2012 and was promoted to the rank substantively in late 2013. He served as Acting Commissioner for an extended period in 2015, and played a critical part in the response to the catastrophic hurricanes in 2017. In the aftermath of the hurricanes and despite the lack of police resources and infrastructure, he worked to re-establish the Territory’s security.

More recently, DCP James has been instrumental in the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force’s response to COVID-19, including efforts to secure the Territory’s borders.

Throughout his career, DCP James has consistently delivered high quality, professional and dedicated service to the BVI community, whilst also ensuring the recruitment and development of policing capability within the Territory.

DCP James remains highly respected across the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force and the BVI community for his strong and supportive leadership and his enthusiastic approach to policing. He has been the driving force between numerous community focused and charitable events, including planning the BVI’s annual ‘Police Week’, raising funds for the BVI Autism Centre and appreciation events for senior citizens in Tortola and Virgin Gorda.

The Queen’s Police Medal was established in 1909 and has become one of the most prestigious honours given to law enforcement officers. Each year, it is awarded to a small number of individuals who have shown gallantry and distinguished service.

Her Majesty the Queen’s 2021 New Year Honours List was published on Wednesday, December 30 on

CAPTION: Deputy Commissioner of Police Alwin James


Chrystall Kanyuck-Abel
Information & Education Manager
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