(July 14th, 2016) Providenciales – As Former Premier, I am appalled by the level of crime that is taking place in our beautiful by nature country, especially the spate of unsolved murders.
Last evening the discovery of the body of the latest victim catapulted our need for effective crime fighting to a new state of urgency. The senseless killing of any human being cannot be condoned and must be condemned in the strongest possible terms.
While not being officially informed of the details of recent homicide investigations, the general feeling is that there is a morbid trend that indicates a possible serial offender or offenders who are preying on vulnerable young woman in this country. This is a matter that should concern us all.
It is also quite evident that the British-appointed Governors and Commissioners of Police are incapable of managing the crime situation in the Turks and Caicos Islands. They stand accused of only paying lip service to crime and failing to provide the police force with adequate and necessary equipment and resources.
By their own admission, crime is rising and the detection rate in this country is extremely low. The Turks and Caicos Islands is now paying a very dear price for the gross incompetence of the Governor and the Commissioner.
I therefore call on Commissioner of Police James Smith to resign and be replaced immediately by a Turks and Caicos Islander Commissioner in whom the country can have confidence. The powers of control of the force must be accountable to the people and answerable to the needs of the voters in the TCI.
It is indeed high time that the Police Force falls within the ambit and responsibility of the Local Government under a Minster of National Security.
In the meantime, I am calling on Premier Dr. Rufus Ewing and his government to urgently provide funds for the installation of closed-circuit television (CCTV) throughout the islands in order to protect our citizens, residents and tourists alike.
I further call on the government to host a crime symposium in order to engage the community so we all can devise and formulate solutions to the crime situation before it spirals completely out of control.
Now, more than ever, there must be collective effort between law enforcement and the public to combat this worrying crime wave which poses a real and serious threat to the tourism industry which is the country’s economic engine.
Finally, my deepest sympathies are extended to all of the families who have lost love ones at the hands of gun violence and any other form of violence in recent weeks, months and years.
May God give you strength in your time of sorrow and may He provide us with the courage and will power to secure our country and make it safe and prosperous for all.