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TCI National Physical Development Plan closer to implementation says Deputy Premier

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#TurksandCaicosIslands – December 23, 2020 – It has been 33 years since the last National Physical Development Plan was produced and presented to the people of the Turks and Caicos Islands, informed  Sean Astwood, TCI Deputy Premier and Minister of Infrastructure in the House of Assembly on December 21.

The final report is now received.

“Mr. Speaker, The NPDP final Draft report was submitted to the Department of Planning on November 30, 2020,” said the Minister in his ministerial report in parliament.

An outline of the objectives was a punctuating part of the presentation, which also gave the chronology of physical development plans for Turks and Caicos.  The new plan, which government initially received in the latter part of 2019 will, according to Astwood, “promote and encourage sustained physical, economic and social development while at the same time protecting and enhancing the natural environment which forms the basis for sustaining local livelihood in the islands and attracting foreign investment.”

Other objectives include:

• To secure that physical development occurs in a sustainable manner that protects the environment and ensuring an equitable share of natural resources are protected for future generations.

• To strengthen inter-sector co-ordination of the country’s overall development within a spatial framework and ensuring a balanced mix of land uses, as well as the use of natural resources in an environmentally responsible manner.

• To encourage a more balance development among the islands and bring about a more equitable distribution of the benefits from development.

The guide to growth, development and preservation also haves five key themes, said the Minister.

“Now more than ever, the Turks and Caicos Islands needs an updated, forward-thinking, culturally focused National Plan … A series of recommendations and strategies are included in the plan. They focus on five key themes: (1) Equity: Empowering ALL People of the Turks and Caicos; (2) Resilience, Sustainability, and Multifunctionality: Promoting Economic and Environmental Diversity; (3) Island linkage: Creating Physical, Psychological and Emotional connections across the entire Country; (4) Nature as Beauty: Protecting the Environmental Jewel; and (5) TCI Culture: Preserving the Heritage and Authenticity of TCI.”

A series of rounds of town meetings were held related to the National Physical Development Plan and its ten-year outlook; the Minister told the House of Assembly, the next step is to implement the strategies towards a brighter future that will ensure the Country’s prosperity for many years.”

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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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