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TCI: Unpopular fingerprint policy at Police Criminal Records Offices, rescinded

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#Providenciales, March 27, 2019 – Turks and Caicos – You can keep your fingerprints to yourself as the TCI Police Force has rescinded a controversial policy where residents were forced to present fingerprints as identification in order to collect police records.

That policy, after only two weeks on the books, is now withdrawn announced by Acting Police Commissioner, Trevor Botting as suspended. 

However, the concerns of the community have been acknowledged and I have made a decision to suspend the taking of fingerprints whilst a review of the process is undertaken. I thank the public for their understanding.” 

It is a success story for residents who stood up on social media and in news reports and in the House of Assembly to say no to the new measure, which is actually illegal and infringes upon one’s constitutional right to privacy.

The Police explained they were going by the books and Rehabilitation of Offenders Ordinance but at least two lawyers, Mark Fulford and Ashwood Forbes gave strong public messages, telling people to refuse to give their fingerprints to Police.  

Forbes going as far as to say he would take legal action against the Force if the measure persisted.

The Attorney General told the Police to shut the process down and acting PC today said in a media statement:

“In response to these concerns, the Force has considered the legal advice it sought from the Attorney General’s Chambers and, has decided to suspend the requirement to provide fingerprints with immediate effect as part of the application process whilst the legal requirements are clarified and implemented as necessary.”

House of Assembly member, Royal Robinson on Monday championed the cause and called on the Police to end the policy. 

The Police introduced the policy on March 11, 2019 and today explained the reason as  “The integrity of the RTCIPF Police Record system is of national importance. The recent changes are designed to enhance integrity by using fingerprints as part of the identity check of the applicant.”

It is still expected that the police records process will still be more expensive as of April 1, 2019; a cost of $40.

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Caribbean News

New License Plates rolled out for Turks & Caicos

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

#TurksandCaicos, December 6, 2022 – The long-awaited new license plates for the Turks and Caicos have arrived, and notable changes have been made to them.  The new license plates were gazetted to come into effect on December 1st, along with the new rules regarding tints.  Wilbur Caley, Head of the Department of Motor Vehicles, shared the updated designs with Magnetic Media.

Each inhabited island now has their own specific plate, and so too do the highest public officers in the country, including the Governor and his Deputy; the Premier and his Deputy; Speaker; Attorney General; Opposition Leader; and all Ambassadors, Ministers and MPs.

The island-specific plates apply to all private vehicles, charter vehicles and taxis. The new Grand Turk plates feature a cactus on a green background; the North Caicos plates feature; Providenciales plates have what appears to be Grace Bay Beach; Middle Caicos plates show a native basket weaving; Salt Cay shows a depiction of a TC Islander working the salt flats and South Caicos has a red lobster on an orange background.

New plates are also in store for company vehicles, rentals and car dealers.

All drivers in the TCI must get these new plates affixed to their vehicles. Caley explained that over 16,000 pairs were in stock, and the DMV had 4,000 more on the way.

The DMV has had trouble with residents not outfitting their vehicles with the proper plates before. The public has had trouble with the DMV not having sufficient plates in stock, waiting months to be handed a plate.

The Department had explained those days of shortages are in the past, they now have sufficient plates for both front and back end tagging of vehicles.  It is also touted as being part of a crime prevention strategy by Police.

Back in June, Caley had told Magnetic Media that an estimated 3,000 vehicles were driving around the islands with incorrect plates; an offence which incurs a $300 fine.

Residents without license plates have roughly a year to apply for and affix the new plates to their vehicles.  Residents must do so between December 1st 2022, and November 30th 2023.

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North Caicos will get better Roads in the New Budget Year says Premier

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

#TurksandCaicos, December 6, 2022 – With a Triple B+ credit rating and no debt to speak of, even if the government were to slow down development, the Turk and Caicos Islands will still have ample resources to carry out enhancements for all islands according to Washington Misick  TCI Premier.

The premier was speaking at a recent town hall meeting in North Caicos and replying to a question regarding when certain dilapidated roads on the island would be upgraded.

He maintained that the government had made plans to improve on the roadways.

“We are putting in this budget for 23/24 funding for a feasibility study for the road, that has to come, it’s a must!” He reassured them, explaining that better roads would allow North and Middle Caicos residents to have more centralized schools and resources.  Not to mention residents could more easily and safely drive, lowering the social cost on the government.

Misick, who is originally from North Caicos maintained that he wanted the entire country to have access to the developments.

“We are committed to investing heavily in roads,  as I said we have no debt. If you have no debt you have no credit.  Fortunately for the Turks and Caicos we have no debt but we have a Triple B+ credit rating and even with the massive investment we are making in the airport in Providenciales, institutions are tripping over themselves to lend the Turks and Caicos money.”

Still the Government has shown zero interest in taking up any of the potentially beneficial offers.

Recently the PNP government which has described itself as frugal returned a loan that had been procured from Republic Bank in Trinidad to assist with possible economic shortfalls associated with Covid-19.  Consistently registering ‘in the black’ and with an economy outperforming projections, the loan negotiated under the Sharlene Robinson led administration was deemed no longer necessary and retired.

E Jay Saunders, Finance Minister and Deputy Premier, at the time had said that “There was a cost to having this [loan] facility in place, even if it was not being utilized. So, as it was in our economic interest to retire it, we did so,”

At the time of the announcement, this news organisation, as did many others in  the country opined that the loan could have been used on any number of legacy problem areas including improving the public sector, enhancing public infrastructure, undergirding residents through more stimulus money or tackling of the waste management issues across the islands.

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Caribbean News

SCOTIABANK TCI WINS ANOTHER MAJOR BANK OF THE YEAR 2022 AWARD

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#TurksandCaicos, December 6, 2022 – Scotiabank Turks and Caicos (TCI)  has been named Bank of the Year 2022 by internationally recognized UK-based banking publication -The Banker.

The award  celebrates increased product innovation, digital transformation and the widespread recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic and is contested by the leading financial institutions in the world.

The Bank of the Year 2022 award is the third major banking awards that Scotiabank TCI has captured this year including Global Finance Magazine (New York) Best Bank 2022 that was awarded in July and Best Digital Bank 2022 by the same publication in September.

Across Scotiabank’s global operations, similar Bank of the Year 2022 accolades have also been secured in Canada, Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago and Jamaica.

Dr. Suzan Snaggs -Wilson, Managing Director, Scotiabank TCI said “our success, and by extension, this award, is the direct result of the bank’s decision to expand and accelerate our digital transformation over the past two years . This was a central part of both our COVID-19 response strategy and general modernization objectives as we worked to align our operations with customer trends that favour self-service and remote banking conveniences.”

Snaggs-Wilson noted that the Bank has made strategic investments in technology and innovation to better serve customers, and that gains in digital have and allowed it to fast-track the optimization of the many products and services as key financial enablers for customers.

She also thanked her team of  Scotiabank employees who she says “have kept focus on delivering friendly, high quality financial services and enabling the financial wellbeing of the Bank’s customers and without whom, the success of the Bank would not be possible.”

The Banker is the world’s longest-running international banking magazine, providing economic and financial intelligence for the world’s financial sector.

The Banker selects one winning bank for each of the 120 countries judged and ranks them on their ability to deliver results, improve strategic positioning and enhance service to customers. Over 1,000 applications are collected each year and judges select winners based on which bank they believe has made the most progress over the past 12 months.

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