Providenciales, TCI, July 21, 2016 – The Police Commissioner is taking exception to the strong words from Premier Rufus Ewing uttered last week; not only laying out the things which have been accomplished under his watch but clarifying that he and his officers are working hard to crack down on crime. Commissioner James Smith, in commenting following a press conference by the premier last week and in the aftermath of a riotous outburst where some of his men were assaulted by Dominicans after a peace rally turned confrontational, the Commissioner disagrees with some statements and clarifies others including why it is taking so long, it seems to get CCTV.
“I operate within the budget limit set by Government and seek to get the best value for Turks and Caicos. It is for that reason that I recommended to Government that we should continue to work with partners to install CCTV in the country and utilize our limited resources to purchase other much need equipment and support.” – Commissioner James Smith
The Premier was adamant with a message that went like this… if you need something Commissioner, tell me and we will get it. But the Commissioner explains that it takes more than money, it takes the right laws, the proper systems to protect and training for understanding… these seem to have been lacking in the Premier’s plan. Magnetic Media asked the Premier during that media conference what his government plans to invest financially on CCTV, he did not have that figure as yet and could not say.
Commissioner Smith said not only is expertise being brought in due to his efforts to get to the bottom of so many unsolved cases, he shared in the media release issued late today that he saw to it that the National Security Council was set up and that there needs to be laws so that police can take DNA samples and set up biometrics. This is the same biometrics which Blue Hills Member, Goldray Ewing called for publically and in the House of Assembly, even getting a motion passed since 2014.
The Premier, last Thursday admitted that the laws are still in limbo and there is no announcement about biometrics being done on a wide scale. The PDMs shadow Cabinet minister responsible as the watchman on crime told Magnetic Media that biometrics is being done department by department – that it is haphazard and impossible for Police and Immigration for example to share information easily.
The Commissioner gave lots of attention to antiquated laws that undermine their investigations, he said we need the “capabilities to solve crime and identify perpetrators, updated criminal evidence legislation, a change to the way we manage our roads, vehicles and driving licenses, along with a number of other legislative improvements that I have already discussed with government, should combine to significantly improve safety and security.” All of this, according to Premier Rufus Ewing is in the works. Read the Commissioner’s complete statement at MagneticMediaTV.com.