#Providenciales, Turks and Caicos – July 28, 2020 — Turks and Caicos young men are killing each other and the majority of serious crime is linked to turf or gang wars according to Nigel Dakin, TCI Governor who on Monday (July 26) addressed the nation in a message capturing the highlights of his first year in the post.
“Beyond the sadness when a member of our society is a victim of crime who has no association whatsoever with the world I’ve just described – indeed has lived their life standing against this sort of nihilism – the horrible truth is that our young men are killing each other; increasingly the victim knows the perpetrator and visa-versa,” explained Governor Dakin.
Crime statistics for 2019 remain unpublished, but in the Governor’s presentation there is strong indication that upward trends in violence remain vexing. His Excellency said 70 percent of serious crime victims were under the age of 30; that 95 percent of those victims were men and 90 percent of the violent crime involved a firearm.
Retaliatory crime is driving these disturbing trends and the Governor, who heads National Security shared, “We increasingly observe that even those seriously injured in attacks, often as collateral to a murder victim who they are associated with, choose not to provide the Police with a statement.”
Governor Dakin is an avid Instagram user with over 4,350 followers. During his remarks, a peppered perspective on what could alleviate the seeming surge in crime was shared.
“A regular contributor to my Instagram account therefore quite reasonably asked yesterday for timelines as to when she could expect changes. This was my response: Almost immediately if public outrage about crime converted to the public providing information about crime in equal measure…”
Nearly 30 new members added to the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police was touted to bring concrete changes in public trust of the Force and investigative capabilities.
“… serious financial investments made in Policing by the Premier, at the recommendation of the Commissioner, should start to be felt this year – that includes community policing which helps provide the confidence the public need if they are to support the Police. In the last 12 months 27 locally recruited officers have been trained for six months overseas and they are now back with us and ready to serve.”
Investigative specialists have also been identified, and with funding support from the United Kingdom, two Superintendents will embark on a two year stint in the Turks and Caicos as part of the Tactical Unit.
“Both are tough and knowledgeable in detecting homicide – they will join the Force, mentor and support their TCI colleagues who will replace them in two years, and report to the local Police Executive Leadership.”
Appointed to the newly created post in January, the Permanent Secretary of National Security is fixed on crafting a long term remedy, which is expected to do in the Turks and Caicos, what it has done for other overseas territories including Bermuda.
Bermuda managed, through intervention, to reduce its murder count in 2019 to zero.
“Those that have properly got to grips with crime (Bermuda and Glasgow are great examples) have brought crime down in a sustained way. They however have found that is a 10-year programme. The National Security Permanent Secretary is pulling together, for the Premier, the programmatic disciplines this approach needs,” said the Governor on Monday.
Ninety percent of murders are recorded in Providenciales, which is the economic hub of the country; yet the Governor was resolute that for tourists, the islands are safe.
“As we unpack and understand the figures, this therefore remains an incredibly safe tourist destination; but that’s certainly not the case if you are a young man living in Providenciales who is running with the wrong people.”
According to Magnetic Media records, there were 13 homicides in 2019 and 12 people murdered so far, in 2020.