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Eight Resorts caught on camera; Taxi Drivers say ‘stop stealing our jobs’

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#TurksandCaicos,February 13, 2021 – Public Service driver license holders say the times are just too rough economically for resorts to be allowed to breach Road Traffic rules and act as taxis, which cuts down on jobs and incomes in an already depressed industry.

At least eight resort complimentary vehicles were caught red-handed dropping guests off at shopping districts, restaurants and tour sites as taxi drivers sat waiting for the opportunity.   The complimentary vehicles were filmed and photographed.

“Stop it!  Because we are already at a disadvantage right now.  We are all looking to feed our families and we are paying our business licenses and you’re taking away from local drivers.  You’re breaking the law,” said a driver who reported what was seen to our news organization and relayed what needs to happen. 

“Drivers are at all of these resorts and watching what is happening to them; it is unfair.”

It is unfair and it is illegal, agreed Wilbur Caley, the director of the Road Safety Department which licenses motor vehicles. 

“I have just written to two resorts about this very complaint.  In the letter I have informed the resorts that the are in breach of Section 5, subsection 2 of the Road Traffic Ordinance,” said Caley in a telephone interview.  “My advice to them was to cease and desist.  You simply cannot do it and I have copied the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police and the TCI Tourist Board on the reported violation.”

The fine for breaking this law is $1,000 and in extreme cases, the license of the complimentary vehicle could be suspended by a court of law.

“There are 300 drivers and since Covid-19 and the country’s reopening, we have not been seeing the same number of tourists.  We are at about 30 percent of the business we had before the pandemic hit. If we are lucky, we get one job a day now and the load is cut in half.  We used to be able to take 10 passengers, now it is five people which is 50 percent.  So we are earning a lot less.“

The driver speaking to Magnetic Media said the new curfew  which runs from 6pm to 6 am is also hurting them too.

“There are drivers who worked mainly at night; I would say they’ve lost 40 to 50 percent of income because they no longer have those dinner runs.”

The Ford Transit and the Chevy E350 are the transport vehicles of choice for taxi drivers in the ground transportation industry.  

“What you could have made in one day, now you have to work two to three days and you have to re-fuel and fuel is more expensive.”

Public Service Drivers have also embraced the changes in health protocols to fit this post-COVID era.  Capacity is reduced by 50 percent; drivers must wear gloves and face covering; there must be sanitizer for use when people enter and exit the vehicles and the electrostatic foggers – which were donated to the drivers by Beaches Resort – continue to be useful. 

“We use the foggers between runs.”

 Complimentary vehicles, owned by resorts are only permitted to shuttle guests between properties. 

Government

Washington MISICK challenged, and holds onto Leadership of the PNP

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#TurksandCaicos, February 24, 2024 – Magnetic Media can report that WASHINGTON MISICK has emerged and remains LEADER of the governing Progressive National Party.It has been a contentious battle today at the PNPs National General Congress (NGC) for party leadership with interest coming from: Jas Walkin, the party’s 2021 campaign manager who this week publicly withdrew his bid; Dameko Dean, former Wheeland candidate who had published an article revealing his quest to lead the PNP and E Jay Saunders who today unsuccessfully challenged MISICK for the role.Saunders has tried for leader before and has served as the party’s deputy leader, at the pleasure and selection of Washington Misick since June 2019.The run for party leader was a risky maneuver by Saunders, son of former PNP Party leader and Chief Minister Norman Saunders.Delegates cast votes, giving E Jay Saunders 58 votes and Washington Misick 88. The elder statesman convincingly retaining delegates’ confidence.It is also reported that, based on the PNP Constitution, Saunders needed 70% support from delegates in a preliminary run off.  He was unable to secure that much backing.A constitutional motion to change the selection process of the deputy leader to a delegate vote reportedly failed.It is therefore unclear what the immediate future, politically is for Saunders whose party and government roles are hinged on Washington Misick’s prerogative to have him or someone else in these posts.However Misick is already promoting a strict focus on uniting the party following the NGC meeting held at the Shore Club.

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Crime

TCI Community College staff struck and robbed, another chased in car by attackers

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Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer 

 

#TurksandCaicos, February 23, 2024 – Attacks against several of its staff members last week have forced the Turks and Caicos Islands Community College to reassess its security.

“The college is robustly ending in immediate steps to review and reinforce our campus security protocols,” said a February 16 letter to staff seen by Magnetic Media.

The letter puts the date of the incidents as February 15th at one of its Providenciales campuses.

In the first,  a male member of staff was attacked and his car stolen after he left a meeting. When Magnetic Media queried police about the event, they released additional details of the robbery.

We were told around 9:15 pm, Thursday February 15, a 39-year-old male and his colleagues were leaving the TCI Community College Campus, Princess Drive, Providenciales, when a group of men surrounded his vehicle.

The man, noticing that one of the men had stopped at the rear of the vehicle, approached him to investigate and was struck on the head. In the immediate aftermath, the assailants escaped in the victim’s car, leaving the TCICC staff member injured at the scene.

The victim was transported to the Cheshire Hall Medical Center by police officers, and up until news production time, the car had not yet been recovered.

Following this incident, the Community College also revealed that a car chase had taken place.

A female member of staff this time, was chased down by suspected criminals as she left the campus. The employee managed to outdrive the people pursuing her and arrive safely at her destination, but she was described as shaken.

Now both, police officers and campus administration are urging residents to remain vigilant, especially when heading into their cars at night.

Safety tips that can help residents avoid attack, robbery, injury, or worse include:

  • Stay alert when heading to your vehicle; don’t be distracted by your phone; pay attention to your surroundings.
  • if you see anything or anyone suspicious, do not investigate on your own; go back and get a security guard or similar personnel to assist.
  • Have your keys ready in your hands before approaching your car, so you can enter the safety of your vehicle immediately.

The police have not yet arrested anyone for the robbery attack against the employee.

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News

Royal TCI Police share CAREER DAY Highlights

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#TurksandCaicos, February 23, 2024 – On Thursday, 8th February 2024, between 9 am – and 2 pm, the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force attended a Career Day event at the Enid Capron Primary School, Five Cays, Providenciales.

Under the theme “Be aware, choose a career”, the RTCIPF showcased the many career options available in policing.

Members of the Community Policing Unit, Safeguarding and Public Protection, Anti-Gang and Drugs Unit, Marine Branch, Traffic Enforcement, Air Support Unit and Mechanical Department were present.  Officers answered questions posed by the young, impressionable minds.

Insp Ensa Wilson lectured students on various topics, including: “Good Touch, Bad Touch”, alerting adults to inappropriate situations and the importance of calling 911.

Students were asked questions following the lecture and were given RTCIPF tokens.

Sgt. Kavin Mars, along with PC Fitzlewis McDonald and Kiyon Doughty of the Anti Gang and Drug Unit, freestyled “Don’t Huff, Don’t Puff, Don’t Do That Stuff” and warned students of the dangers –health and legal – of using drugs.

Superintendent (Community Policing and Divisions) Dwight Gardiner commended the school’s initiative and applauded the representation of officers present.

Supt. Gardiner said: “Career Days often highlight the importance of community policing and underscore law enforcement’s vital role in fostering trust, collaboration, and safety within neighbourhoods.

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