#Providenciales, October 14, 2019 – Turks and Caicos – This week and the past few months have been a crazy time for us here in Turks and Caicos Islands. We have gone from having almost no crime and especially no homicides per year to having thirteen (13) murders already for this year. Crime and gun violence has completely take over with criminals feeling emboldened to the point where they are robbing persons and businesses in broad day light.
While all this is happening, this week being the worst, the new Governor and new Commissioner of Police are busy on private matters in the UK. The Acting Governor and the Premier have made a poor attempt at a press release that is not comforting at all to the public and completely devoid of any solution to this mounting problem that we are facing.
The premier came to office with a mandate for change. We have seen absolutely no change in any of areas of governance or life in these islands for the benefit of our people. In fact, things have sadly only gotten worse. Crime and the influx of illegal immigrants are at an all time high as the Governor and the Government sit idly by offering no solutions to the problems.
What happened to the 12 point crime plan we heard so much about during the 2016 election campaign by Premier Robinson? The Premier, as leader of our country, must take responsibility for what is happening and stop hiding behind the Governor saying he is responsible for the police. History has shown us that governors come and go enjoying our islands and all the perks that come with the office in a colony, basically living the life of royalty. They quickly and brazenly trade in their rides on the London tube for tinted chauffeur driven Land Rovers and produce no results in the areas that they have responsibility for.
What policy initiative has this PDM Government introduced to reduce crime? What measures have the Government taken to address the root cause of the wave of gun crimes that are taking place?
Let’s be honest with ourselves; there is an epidemic we are facing where our young people, mostly young men, in our country feel that they have been marginalized. They are not getting good jobs or other opportunities for economic empowerment so they are resorting to a life of violence.
While we keep importing labor and having our people bypassed, whether they be Turks and Caicos Islanders or Turks and Caicos Islanders of Haitian descend, we should be working actively as a government to secure opportunities for them.
What are we doing to reverse this alarming trend? Even when they go to prison at such young ages they come back out as hardened criminals because there are no programs designed to reform and rehabilitate them once incarcerated.
Here are five (5) suggestions for the Government that they should embrace that could reverse the criminal activity we are experiencing:
1) Establish a defense force and make it mandatory for young people between the ages of 18 and 25 to serve at least a year and/or a few months a year as part of a national service. Exemption could be made for those who decide to go to college or who are working in steady jobs.
2) Invest in building a base on French Cay with holding facilities for any illegal immigrants. Invest in buying a substantial gun boat that can patrol our waters 24/7. In fact consideration should be given to ceasing all sea travel between Turks & Caicos and Haiti until we can fully arrest this problem in our country.
3) Restrict the issuance of work permits in certain areas and stop the practice by PDM Government of allowing foreigners to get business licenses in the reserve category of businesses. Use the jobs and business opportunities that are being created to empower our people, especially our youth.
4) Establish a gun amnesty program with a gun buy back policy to get illegal weapons off the streets. And create stiffer penalties for gun related crimes.
5) Establish the main central police station downtown in the building that houses the Public Library. Establish sub-stations in all of the communities in Providenciales with police officers doing foot patrols and other community policing initiatives. Hire an extra 100 police officers from the Turks and Caicos Islands and pay them and the existing officers properly with suitable benefits commensurate to the work they are required to do.
These are just five (5) recommendations for starters that can immediately change the landscape on the ground. I don’t believe bringing in more foreign police is the answer. The root cause of the problem needs to be addressed and we have adequate resources within to tackle this problem.
I call on the Premier to stop hiding behind this “Instagram Star Governor” who is more concerned about getting likes than getting the job done.
The people of the Turks and Caicos Islands voted for you to lead, not for you to follow and be a “backside kisser” of the Governor. If you are unable or unwilling to do your job and to fulfill your mandate, than do the honorable thing and resign.
The silence of the People’s elected leader, Premier Robinson, is deafening. Whenever there is an issue that has grave consequences for our country she is nowhere to be heard. True to form in this regard is that we have yet to hear from her on the issuance of (or to be issued) close to 200 citizenship statuses. There is nothing at all to be heard from this inept government on any of these serious and vexing matters.
This last week has been a major crime incident every day and night with people being shot and/or killed and still nothing heard from this Premier. She has earned the reputation as the “I can’t Premier”. Either she is lazy or incompetent or a mixture of both.
I call on the Government to do something to resolve this crime issue or resign. I am sure there are others out there who may have a plan and the courage to save our country before it is too late.
May God bless us all and keep us safe. And may God bless the Turks and Caicos Islands is my Prayer.