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Defence Bill Passed! TCI Regiment to be formed by Summer 2021

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FIRST trained marines for Turks & Caicos: Captains Francis Glinton and Adrian Parker (L-R)

#TurksandCaicosIslands – December 10, 2020 – Approved and widely supported in the House of Assembly is the historic establishment of a Turks and Caicos Islands regiment.

The Defence Bill made a whirlwind trek through House of Assembly proceedings with first, second and third readings of the Bill completed and the measure passed into law within one day; that day was Tuesday December 8, 2020.

“Thank you very much honourable Attorney General, QC, for yet another piece of landmark legislation; a Defence Bill, for your preamble in committing it to the floor for debate,” said Hon Dwayne Taylor, Speaker of the House.

Premier Sharlene Robinson informed that a compelling report turned over the British outlined the serious national security concerns of the Turks and Caicos, including details on the surge in illegal migration and possible people, drug and gun trafficking happening in and around the islands via the illegal sloops.  The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office responded with a Security Needs Assessment and several key visits from a Border Team and the UK Ministry of Defence.

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“I want to thank the Governor who in the last year or so, with his national security background, would have helped to push a lot of these initiatives that were slowing moving along with a little more speed.  We stand with a strengthened arm, another initiative in the protection of our borders,” said the premier in her contribution to the Defence Bill, which was laid by the Attorney General.

It is the first time modern Turks and Caicos will have its own military branch of law enforcement which as the Governor’s appointed member, John Phillips pointed out gives opportunity for elevation.

 “I think it is a great thing for the islands.  I think it is wonderful that we’ve matured to this stage where we will have our own border security force and we will have somewhere for the cadets to look forward to going,” said Phillips in his comments.

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The TCI Cadet Corps will come under the command of the new unit where all recruits will have to undergo military training before joining and that training continues annually. 

The TCI Regiment is charged with marine border security and its first staff members have already been hired including its commanding officer, Lt Col. Ennis Grant.

The bill also enjoys the support of the Opposition PNP, with one glaring caution expressed as a need to ensure there is equity in the recruitment or hiring of who staffs the regiment. 

Opposition member and shadow minister for Youth, Akierra Misick said:  “I have one little concern there; the ‘and British citizen’.  So the reason why I have that concern there Mr. Speaker is not that I dod not appreciate the support we get from England and Wales and the United Kingdom, what I hope does not happen is that when we are recruiting these 40, as the attorney general has indicated, that a big old plane come from somewhere up the road lands at the Providenciales International Airport with 39 people on it from a certain place. I want to see a lot more people that look like you and I Mr. Speaker,” aid the Member for Leeward and Long Bay, Hon Akierra Missick.

 The regiment will allow individuals currently employed to join, between the ages of 18 and 50 years old.

“I think it is also important that we as a community provide the regiment with support and respect.  As employers, we should encourage those employees who wish to join.  I look forward to the time when membership on the regiment is seen as a positive on any job application and I hope that in the future the regiment can attract some of our young men and perhaps provide an alternative to the gang activities that some get caught up in,” shared Josephine Connolly in her comments on the bill.

Originally published in the Magnate; our brand new E-newspaper. Want it every morning? Contact Deandrea Hamilton: 649-231-9261. We are the News Leader.

Magnetic Media is a Telly Award winning multi-media company specializing in creating compelling and socially uplifting TV and Radio broadcast programming as a means for advertising and public relations exposure for its clients.

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EXCLUSIVE!  Police black CID Vehicle shot up by bandits in Five Cays

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Wilkie Arthur

Court Correspondent

 

#TurksandCaicos, May 15, 2024 – It was an uneasy night on Tuesday May 14 for some residents of Five Cays, Providenciales owing to continuous, serious fire power with gun shots blaring in various areas of the community.

Some say they heard shots in Granny Hill and reported a man walking around with a gun, randomly shooting at unidentifiable targets. Some say shots were heard behind the Enid Capron Primary School.  Some say they heard gun shot sounds coming from a residential area as well.

The most compelling accounts, however, were on reported events in another area called “The Wells”; a community in the depths of Five Cays and South Dock.

Criminals took on law enforcement in a gun battle involving the armored truck and a CID vehicle.

No members of the Royal TCI Police were hit.

Not the same for the other side.  One person was hit, a young man not known to police and it’s not clear if he was one of the men shooting at the police or an innocently caught in the crossfire.

The man was arrested as a possible suspect.  He is also in hospital with an “entrance and exit” gunshot wound.

During the shootout in The Wells, the CID vehicle was shot at repeatedly, disabling its movement as gunfire damaged the engine. Concerning to us, these shootings were at different times and locations but came in rapid succession; one right after the other, I was told.

Most described the sounds as coming “from some big guns.”

Police the morning after allowed me in to see up close.

Video, photos feature my EXCLUSIVE, close-up look at the damage done by criminals; it is clear high powered rifles were used by these suspects still at large.

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Charred Remains Found in Back Seat of Completely Burnt Vehicle

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Wilkie Arthur

Freelance Court Correspondent

 

#TurksandCaicos, May 21, 2024 – A gruesome discovery was made around midday today (Sunday, May 19th, 2024) when police and fire rescue teams responded to a call at a location on Blue Hills Back Road, off Millennium Highway. The area, situated next to the Fortis Sub-Station, is accessible via a long, secluded dirt road.

Upon arrival, authorities found a vehicle completely engulfed in flames. The vehicle was later removed by police after being alerted by an anonymous source to its burnt-out location. Local residents indicated that the fire had been ignited around 2-3 a.m. earlier that morning, but authorities were not notified until later in the day.

Residents could not provide details about the individual inside the vehicle or even discern its color due to the extensive damage caused by the fire. Videos of the discovery location are available, but footage of the vehicle itself will be provided once it has been located. The vehicle was reportedly still burning when police arrived at the scene.

Official Royal TCI Police Report:

Media Release – May 19th, 2024: Active Investigation Officers of the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force (RTCIPF) are currently on the scene of a vehicle fire in the Blue Hills, Providenciales area. Acting on received information, officers arrived at the location along North Side Close and discovered a burnt vehicle with what appeared to be a body inside.
The RTCIPF is conducting a thorough investigation to determine the circumstances of this incident. As this is an active investigation, more details will be provided to the public as they become available.

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NATIONAL SECURITY SECRETARIAT INFORMATION NOTE ISSUED MAY 17, 2024

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May 21, 2024 – The Turks and Caicos Islands have clear laws prohibiting the possession of firearms and or ammunition without a licence and strict penalties in order to serve and protect the community. Our Firearms Ordinance, which was amended in 2022, states that:

No person (other than a licensed gunsmith in the course of his trade) shall have in his possession, discharge or use any firearm or ammunition unless he is the holder of a firearm licence with respect to such firearm, or in case of ammunition he is the holder of a licence for a firearm which takes that ammunition.

Firearm and/or ammunition offences carry a mandatory minimum custodial sentence of twelve years plus a fine. Where a court finds there are exceptional circumstances, the sentencing judge has discretion, under the law, to impose a custodial sentence and a fine that are fair and just in the circumstances of each case rather than impose the mandatory minimum.

The Chief Justice is advancing sentencing guidelines in respect of the application of exceptional circumstances. Wider work is also ongoing with criminal justice partners to review the efficiency and effectiveness of case progression, in driving justice outcomes.

It is the traveller’s responsibility to ensure their baggage is free of firearms and/or ammunition. Permission from an airline carrier does not constitute permission to bring firearms or ammunition into the Turks and Caicos Islands. Travellers are also strongly advised to search their luggage before they travel to the Turks and Caicos Islands to ensure they do not bring in forbidden items inadvertently. Such offences will result in arrest.

The Turks and Caicos Islands is a British Overseas Territory with a common law legal system, and reserves the right to enforce its laws. All persons, including visitors, must follow lawful process.

The Turks and Caicos Islands welcomes all visitors but reminds travellers that persons in the Turks and Caicos Islands do not have a constitutional right to carry firearms. Equally, the importation of firearms, ammunition (including stray bullets), and other weapons is strictly forbidden, unless licence to do so has been issued by the Commissioner of Police.

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