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Press statement on Crime from Michael Misick TCI Former Premier



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#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.

Caribbean News

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.”

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Caribbean News

Too much secrecy with Airport Tax increase says former Deputy Premier Sean Astwood



Dana Malcolm
Staff Writer 

#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.

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Caribbean News

Justice system instructed to improve coordination 



Dana Malcolm
Staff Writer 

#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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