TCI News

TCI Police Commissioner says absolute focus is reducing crime, gives some insight into the decreases recorded

#Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands – August 8, 2019 – Getting prolific criminal offenders off the streets is a leading reason the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police is charting decreases in some crimes.

“Without a doubt here, locking up three or four prolific individuals will have an impact on crime.  This place is not rammed full of criminals, we have small cohorts of people going out doing this.  You arrest five or six and that really does suppress it.”

New Commissioner of Police, Trevor Botting gave his first press conference on Wednesday at the Ethel Ingham Centre and for just under two hours, responded to numerous questions about crime, newly instituted crime fighting tools, police officer conduct and police force capabilities when it comes to discouraging and investigating crime. 

“We are very measured in how we send officers out to work and it is very much intelligence led. We have strong intelligence here.  We can do better if we start getting the public helping us along as well,” explained Commissioner Botting, in response to Magnetic Media’s interest in why there are reductions in crime.

There were 80 less reports of crime between April 1 to June 30, according to the most recent crime statistics and that included an over 50 percent drop in burglaries and aggravated burglaries for 2019.  The figure provided to media was 78 reports between April and June 2019 and over the same period in 2018, the number tally was higher at 161 reports.

Still, there is an admitted challenge when it comes to bolstering police numbers year on year; getting solid training for police men and women and ensuring the best use of resources, including human resources.

“Sometimes it is really difficult to gauge the success because we can’t account for a number of things,”  Commissioner Botting said any commendation for the effort and energy which have resulted in decreases belongs to the officers, “but when it comes to the leadership in the Force, we are very careful how we deploy, so if the crimes aren’t happening in a certain area, why would we be there in mass?!”

The decreases in crime are not across the board, however, the murder rate is sadly almost even with 2018 record setting ‘Eight Homicides’.    

There have been seven murders so far in 2019.

Firearms offences are increased for the April to June 2019 period, when compared to last year.  Almost double, with 23 incidents on record.

Robberies are down and a limping detection rate of 19 percent charted in 2018 is creeping upward, and now stands at 23 percent of crimes having seen some sort of arrest in the case.

Commissioner Trevor Botting said his personal commitment and professional promise are intertwined when it comes to policing these islands: “We need to continue to tackle serious crime, crime overall but especially serious crime.  The TCI continues to be a very, very safe place in the context of the region but that doesn’t mean we’re complacent at all.  Any very serious crime, certainly a murder, is one too many.  So, it’s a really good work done over the past few years; we have invested in staff, we have invested in technology… our absolute focus is reducing crime.”

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