#Providenciales, December 16, 2019 – Turks and Caicos – His Excellency the Governor, Nigel Dakin, and the Hon. Premier, Mrs Sharlene Cartwright Robinson, co-chaired a meeting of the TCI National Security Council (NSC) on Wednesday, 11 December 2019, at the Hon. Hilly Ewing Building in Providenciales.
In attendance as members of the NSC were the Hon. Minister for Home Affairs, the Hon. Minister for Border Control, the Hon. Deputy Governor, the Hon. Attorney General and the Commissioner of Police. PS Home Affairs and the Superintendent of HM Prison were invited to make presentations.
At this meeting the NSC were:
· Invited to participate in a ‘deep dive’ on issues relating to security at the Prison. The NSC were updated on recent disturbances and offered a range of options that would, in the short term, mitigate risks to prisoners and staff. An action plan, to be monitored by the NSC, was developed.
· Updated on the issue of illegal immigrants, including repatriation, current detainees, pending court cases and enforcement staffing. The Police provided an overview of investigations and next steps around human trafficking through TCI, and on to other countries, and described the excellent support received from international partners who have been cooperating closely with the RTCI Police Force on the issue of people smuggling.
· Updated on crime statistics, in particular a reduction of burglary and aggravated burglary but a spike in robberies and a very significant increase in gun related crimes over the same period last year (April – October). Balanced against this the Policing response had seen an increase in the number of arrests made, and guns being recovered, following a significant increase in searches of persons, vehicles and houses. The NSC noted that the significant increase in Policing activity had had an impact on the levels of serious crime and discussed how this increased visibility and activity could be maintained.
· Updated on progress made developing the National Security Strategy. This includes six significant strands of work that are all progressing: the work to create a border force; similarly a military force; a national intelligence unit; the appointment of a National Security Advisor with Secretariat; enhancements to our maritime protection capabilities and developments to our ability to respond to natural disasters. The NSC were briefed that the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst will be delivering training to senior TCIG officials involved in National Security in early January. There was also agreement on funding of relevant staff in 2020 and for enhancements to TCI’s radar capability. An in-depth discussion was had about the priorities, structures, policies and legislative change required to take this work forwards.
· Updated on further consultation on the National Security Strategy and agreed a public launch date in early January 2020.