#TurksandCaicos, February 7, 2022 – Despite the notable reduction in serious crimes in 2021 compared to 2020, violent crimes in TCI can still be described as both structural and immediate. The trend is also both longstanding and accelerating in select areas, which is very concerning.
With such trend, the criminal justice system will soon become overwhelmed with caseload. When this happens, any hope for rehabilitation and proper treatment of the mentally challenged offenders will be bleak due to lack of sufficient resources.
Gun crimes remain a major problem for the country as a whole, as many innocent lives have been lost and families destroyed.
Although there is no silver bullet in solving crimes, we are at a point where we must ask ourselves some very important questions to determine where the accountability lies.
Being in top level management positions for most of my career in the crime prevention and the business arena, there are two fundamental leadership qualities I have learned and lived by.
- If it’s not working change the process.
- If the process does not resolve the issue over time, change the leadership.
Regardless of a person’s credentials and qualifications, at the end of the day, the measure of one’s success should be based on their ability to deliver results consistently.
The people of this great country welcome outside talent when it’s warranted, but are we bringing in the right talent?
Case in point: With the number of ongoing fires in Grand Turk, do we have an Arson Investigator? With the rising levels of gang violence, do we have a gang expert?
Furthermore, against the backdrop of these violent crimes, are we using data driven stastistics to help drive decisions? To my knowledge, the public has yet to have access to any recent crime statistics.
How important are crime statistics to a developing nation and what are some of the benefits?
It’s important to note, words like “progress” have no meaning if facts are not the foundation. We cannot fix what we do not properly measure.
The data would identify the exact percentage of the crimes being committed by repeat offenders.
This in turn will enable the criminal justice system to provide additional attention to habitual offenders who commit serious crimes.
The data can be used in helping to project more accurate budget figures in order to acquire the needed resources to fight crime.
It’s also another tool local law enforcement agencies can use to coordinate schedules and concentrate more of their efforts in specific areas.
In addition, Social Services departments can further identify vulnerabilities in families living in those particular areas who may need additional support to help deter them from engaging in criminal activities.
As our communities continue to grow, having such statistics, citizens would be aware of trends in high risk areas which would allow them to be more cognizant during their travel in a particular community or location.
There are three things that appear to be happening at the same time and is becoming even more obvious.
First, in a close-knit society like TCI, citizens are very concerned with the growing violent crime rate, especially since your next door neighbor could be your relative or the perpetrator. Because of this, many still have skepticism of reporting their suspicions and the anonymity of the Crime Stoppers program.
Henceforth, what can we do differently to optimize this program? It may require increasing the reward amount or finding a more discrete way to pay out funds.
Secondly, the sentiment from many in the public is that they have lost confidence in the current top level law enforcement leadership team and would like to see a face of change and a new direction for the department.
Thirdly, the perception be it facts or just chatter, is the lack of transparency and forthcoming of information to the general public. This is in reference to the progress or the resolution of cold case crimes and the continued search for perpetrators.
With that being said, how do we move away from just a resolution based approach when a serious crime is committed, to a stronger focus on crime prevention?
I’m afraid these violent incidents that are occurring in certain areas, should not be discussed as an outlier, but as a systemic one.
At this point, we must question our leaders as to what is being done differently to regulate and to control the mechanisms of crimes.
Have we exhausted all measures with respect to prevention and the implementation of more aggressive solutions?
With the trend of violent crimes in Grand Turk, is it time to reroute 911 calls directly to the Grand Turk police station to avoid unnecessary delays?
Is there mandatory fingerprinting requirement for all arrestees including current inmates?
This will assist greatly in faster identification and eliminating of suspects.
Are there sufficient lighting in areas that are frequently travelled or areas off the beaten path that could create an opportunity for would be perpetrators?
How effective has the community policing initiative been? Initially, in some areas we saw a robust start. At this point the program appears to be lukewarm. This is not the time to pull back on resources.
A program of this importance will need constant reaffirmation and support, and eventually it will become second nature to these dedicated officers in building rapport with communities.
Is there a need for additional CCTV cameras in strategic locations to help connect the dots?
Do we have police substations in high risk areas to respond appropriately to incidents and to help build that needed rapport within the communities?
These are all areas that must to be addressed and exhausted if lacking.
The stain of violent crime can have a devastating impact on the lives of our people, in terms of how it plays out on their mental state, trust, insecurity and fears.
Crime is a matter that must be a concern for all of us and we need accountability at every level.
Now, whether or not we choose to confront the problem by being responsible citizens and report our suspicions, or just look the other way, it’s obviously an issue we need to tackle head on.
Let’s stop the violence. In order to do so, it will take responsible citizens such as you, me and others with the resolve to continue the fight for a safe and secure nation for ourselves and the future of the next generation.
Concerned citizen of Grand Turk
New Turks & Caicos Islands Police Force Commissioner announced by Governor
Her Excellency The Governor has today announced Mr. Edvin Martin as the next Commissioner of the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force (RTCIPF). The appointment follows a rigorous open recruitment campaign that included a stakeholder the panel, a separate community panel, and consultation with the Hon. Premier Charles Washington Misick.
Commenting on the appointment, the Governor said: “Following a competitive recruitment process, I have appointed Mr. Edvin Martin as the next Commissioner of the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force. Mr. Martin brings a strong set of leadership skills and regional operational experience, having led the Royal Grenada Police Force. With a distinguished career and commitment to public safety, I am confident that Mr. Martin will lead our force with integrity, innovation, and a firm focus on building trust with communities across our islands. I would like to thank Commissioner Trevor Botting for his dedicated service to the people of the Turks and Caicos Islands over the last six years.”
Commenting on his appointment, Mr Martin said: “It is with excitement, I accept this prestigious position to lead the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force (RTCIPF) as its Commissioner of Police. I look forward with optimism to leading the men and women of the RTCIPF in confronting the law enforcement challenges and applying practical, proactive strategies to ensure the safety and security of all citizens and visitors to the shores of Turks and Caicos Islands. I am honoured to take forward this tremendous opportunity to serve the people of this beautiful nation by leading the police force into an era of modern policing. I am fully aware of the dynamic, complex, diverse, and multi-dimensional nature of the local and global criminogenic environment. This era demands a police force that must ensure safety and security by working collaboratively with colleague officers, and stakeholders to ensure that communities are free of the fear of crime. Be assured, I am committed to
delivering on this intention.”
Mr. Martin was, until June 2023, the Chief of Police of the Royal Grenada Police Force. He served in that role for five years and in the police force for 37 years. He is currently serving as the lead of the CARICOM Crime Gun Intelligence Unit as part of the CARICOM Implementation Agency for Crime and Security. He is a former President of the Association of Caribbean Commissioners of Police and obtained an MSc in Criminology and Criminal Justice from Durham University in 2016, where he studied under the UK Chevening Scholarship program.
Mr. Martin will take up his post at the beginning of February 2024.
Invest Turks and Caicos’ Business Support Unit Partners with RBC (Royal Bank) Bahamas Ltd. and CIBC FirstCaribbean to host Financial Literacy for MSMEs Training
Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands, December 5th, 2023 – Invest Turks and Caicos’ Business Support Unit, in conjunction with partners RBC (Royal Bank) Bahamas Ltd. and CIBC FirstCaribbean, successfully conducted a comprehensive Financial Literacy for MSMEs Training at the Blue Haven Resort on November 28th, 2023. This initiative aimed to empower business owners with essential insights into financial statements, the significance of meticulous recordkeeping, and the specific requirements outlined by leading banks for prospective commercial clients. Attended by fifteen participants comprising both established business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs, the session proved to be a pivotal learning experience.
Ms. Shanice Williams, the proprietor of LLS Consulting, expressed her appreciation, stating, “I extend my gratitude for putting together an exceptional training session. The presenters delivered a wealth of well-digested information that has proven highly valuable for me and my recently established business. I’m delighted to have been part of this and eagerly anticipate future sessions.”
Mrs. Nancy Missick-Rolle, CEO of Executive Tours, shared her positive experience, “I found the training very beneficial for improving my financial literacy. The presenters were well-versed and articulate in their delivery, making the material relatable and extremely practical. The BSU did an excellent job managing the event and advising the group of the programs and services available for assistance.”
Ms. Shanice Swann, Interim Branch, and Country Manager at RBC (Royal Bank) Bahamas Ltd. expressed her pleasure in facilitating the training seminar. She stated, “It was a pleasure to facilitate a training seminar on the topic of financial statements in conjunction with the Business Support Unit at Invest TCI. This session was an enriching experience that entailed engaging with vibrant small and medium-sized businesses within the islands and cherishing their invaluable feedback on the topic. A popular quote that sticks with me is, ‘Success is not always about greatness, but it is contingent on consistency.’ The participation of business owners in seminars like these solidifies their unwavering dedication to sculpting a consistent path toward success.”
Curley Been, Manager, Business Banking, CIBC FirstCaribbean, stated, “Participating in the Financial Literacy for MSMEs on November 28th, 2023, was truly enjoyable. In our dynamic economy, there are more opportunities than ever for individuals to become business owners and contribute to TCI’s growth. Understanding how to navigate this entrepreneurial journey, secure financing, and achieve growth is crucial for business success. As a representative of CIBC FirstCaribbean, I felt honored to present on the topic of ‘Making Your Business Bankable’ for both existing self-employed individuals and upcoming new business owners. We trust that the insights shared were beneficial to all attendees and eagerly anticipate future collaborations with InvestTCI on upcoming events.”
Mrs. Anissa Adderley, Director of the Business Support Unit, underscored the significance of partnerships between financial institutions and MSMEs. She stated, “The importance of partnerships between financial institutions and MSMEs cannot be underestimated. We are delighted to have partnered with RBC and CIBC FirstCaribbean to provide our MSMEs with this informative, interactive, and impactful training that will benefit their businesses and help them make more informed business decisions. MSMEs must prioritize financial education to allow them to reap the maximum benefits for both their businesses and the wider economy. MSMEs are the lifeline of our economy, and ensuring that they are resilient and sustainable is our core objective.”
The BSU invites business owners to take advantage of its face-to-face and e-learning training programs. The training is offered free of charge, and the information provided is vital to ensuring the success of their businesses. For further details, please contact the BSU at (649) 338-4787 or via email@example.com.
Combined Team of Ministry of Health and TCI Hospital personnel attend United Kingdom Health Security Agency (UKHSA) Antimicrobial Stewardship (AMS) Workshop in Anguilla.
#TurksandCaicos, December 10, 2023 – A combined team of Ministry of Health and Human Services (MoHHS) and TCI Hospital personnel recently represented the Turks and Caicos Islands at a three-day UKHSA AMS Workshop, which was held in Anguilla between November 29th and December 1st, 2023. The team included Mrs. Winsome Hayles-Parker – Lead Medical Technologist in Microbiology, TCI Hospital, Mr. Andre Morgan – National Pharmacist, MoHHS and Ms. Arlene Siebs – Director of the National Public Health Laboratory, MoHHS. The workshop was well attended by physicians, pharmacists and laboratory personnel who hailed from the United Kingdom, St. Helena, Anguilla, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman and Montserrat.
The workshop involved both laboratory and non-laboratory sessions. The laboratory sessions were practical sessions that were geared toward the diagnostic technologies used by the various UKOTs in the detection of antimicrobial-resistant (AMR) pathogens and the use of BioFire in diagnostics. Most territories are now equipped with the BioFire Assay Technology, which forms part of the laboratory setup for molecular resistance markers.
The non-laboratory sessions included parallel professional development sessions on topics including AMS, the use of the MicroGuide antibiotic prescribing App, antibiotic surveillance, situational analysis of AMS in the UKOTs and AMS accreditation. Importantly, the attendees were able to discuss case presentations on clinical management and infection prevention and control.
In providing comments, Ms. Siebs stated, “Medical Laboratory Scientists must continue to improve their skills and competency as we work together in combatting AMR through laboratory services. I was thrilled at having the opportunity to compare disc susceptibility testing with automated analysers for the detection of antimicrobial resistance in microorganisms.”
Mrs. Hayles-Parker believes that “the information gathered will be of value in helping us in the TCI to uphold the standards on AMS and in the long term with the fight against AMR. As we move forward as change agents, we are better able to assist with safeguarding the health and wellbeing of the people of the TCI.”
Mr. Morgan concluded that “the three-day workshop was a major success and I am excited to utilise the information acquired in strengthening the TCI’s National Action Plan for Antimicrobial Resistance, which will, in turn, develop and strengthen antimicrobial stewardship in the Turks and Caicos Islands. I hope that these advances will continue to safeguard against this emerging AMR global threat by implementing strategies that will ensure sustainable pharmaceutical care for the present and future.”
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