#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.”
Police De-Briefing with TCI Governor Daniel-Selvaratnam
#TurksandCaicos#Anti-Crime, February 23rd, 2024 – De-briefing Acting Commissioner of Police Christopher Eyre held a meeting with Her Excellency the Governor Dileeni Daniel-Selvaratnam and Member of Parliament for Grand Turk North, the Hon. Otis Morris, today (February 21st ) at Police Headquarters, Airport Road, Providenciales.
The debriefing was to discuss concerns raised by residents during last evening’s Anti-Crime Town Hall meeting at the H.J Robinson High School, Grand Turk. Commissioner Eyre expressed his deep appreciation to Her Excellency and Hon Morris for their attendance, saying that work was already underway to address the community concerns.
Commissioner Eyre said: “I acknowledge the challenges raised and wish to assure you that the Executive of the RTCIPF remains steadfast in ensuring the TCI is safe. We listened to your concerns, and I assure you that rebuilding trust and strengthening community-policing relations are top priorities.“
The RTCIPF has taken a holistic approach in the fight against crime. Increased visibility, greater stakeholder collaborations and ongoing dialogue forums to appraise you will occur. We are accountable to you.”
Too much secrecy with Airport Tax increase says former Deputy Premier Sean Astwood
#TurksandCaicos#Tax, February 23rd, 2024 – “The TCIAA should not be allowed to announce and implement new or increased taxes or fees in this already difficult financial climate without more details,” says Sean Astwood, Former Deputy Premier regarding the increase in the Airport Development Fee from $20 to $35 describing the increase as not proactive but premature.
Astwood said there were a number of questions that he believed every Turks and Caicos Islander should ask and have the right to know the answers to including ‘Why now?’
The Opposition PDM member pointed out that only one airport has international flights and it would soon undergo a change in structure, paired with the ‘unexplainable’ delay in the completion of the airport in South Caicos and the possibility of ongoing negotiations in relation to the one in North Caicos, he queried: ‘Why not wait to see what amount or step may be needed in facilitating services in these Airports before a hike in fees?’
“In this climate, taxpayers must have more information and the benefit of a complete picture from not just the TCIAA Chiefs but from the Premier himself. The people must know what the current earnings of the TCIAA is; how has the management of the Airports increased to warrant such a large increase; how much does it cost to operate all of these airports; what is the estimated increase in revenue and how will these monies be used,” the former DP said.
He also questioned the avalanche of resignations that had recently affected the TCIAA
“I have serious concerns with the Premier’s oversight of this matter knowing that the TCIAA is no doubt experiencing a major problem with the vast number of Turks and Caicos Islanders resigning from their positions including high level positions. This alone requires a more in-depth investigation.”
Astwood also demanded information about the ongoing canopy project at the Providenciales/Howard Hamilton International which should have been completed in less than six months but was running on two years.
“TCIAA has quickly developed a reputation for big spending recently and stalled projects. We need answers as taxpayers. Why now? How much do you intend to raise? How will it be used? The people deserve a response. In a “proactive” step, this information must be provided to the public before this increase is implemented,” he ended.
Justice system instructed to improve coordination
#TurksandCaicos#Violence, February 23rd, 2024 – Violence exploded in the Turks and Caicos between January 26 and February 2nd, and with signs pointing to the involvement of recently released convicts the National Security Council is on a mission to reduce the risk of flare ups when offenders rejoin society.
The Police Force, Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, and other criminal Justice partners have now been instructed to review how they coordinate with each other and complete their specific roles to support case progression. Assessments about public safety in respect to offenders during bail hearings are also to be given keen attention.
The NSC is also planning to engage with the Judiciary as part of this review to help with delivering verdicts in a timely manner,
Called after the January 26 killing in Grand Turk which allegedly involved a former inmate, the meeting gathered law enforcement and other partners so that the NSC could get a sense of how effectively they were working with each other to ‘secure criminal justice outcomes.’
“The NSC— sought briefings on the effectiveness of liaison between the RTCIPF, the office of the DPP and wider criminal justice agencies in respect of case progression, including the assessments made to public safety that inform representations at bail hearings,” a statement revealed.
The information detailing the January 30th NSC meeting was released on February 2nd.
With senior leadership from the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force (RTCIPF), the TCI Regiment, TCI Border Force, HMP and the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) in the room, the NSC looked into two incidents involving recently released inmates.
Two days after the meeting the NSC chairs had to be briefed again about another incident involving a former inmate where two men were left dead on February 1.
The Council headed jointly by Washington Misick, TCI Premier and Dileeni Daniel Selvaratnam, TCI Governor says the risk reduction strategies discussed in the meeting NSC will seek to address HMP exit arrangements and risks to public safety.
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