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How can the Police in TCI regain Citizen’s Trust and Confidence to help impact crime?



#TurksandCaicos, May 14, 2022 – The question many concerned citizens in TCI are grappling with is, can our law enforcement department effectively combat crime while building trust within the communities it aims to serve and protect?

It begins with finding creative ways to help communities and law enforcement agencies strengthen trust and collaboration, while continuing to reduce crime.

In a small developing nation like TCI with such close-knit communities, gaining the confidence of citizens is of paramount.

What could be a setback is, any community already dealing with uncontrollable and an unsolved spike in serious crimes, citizens will be more reluctant to trust the police or report their suspicions.

Just for a moment, let’s forget about the optics and actually look at the reality to determine why there is such a disconnect.

In the public’s eye, a common sentiment shared by many revolves around the process of how law enforcement respond not only to serious crimes but petty crimes and their ability to solve them.

A good citizen has a moral duty to report crimes committed against persons or property. Likewise, there needs to be sense of security and anonymity when reporting their concerns.

I’m inclined to believe our dedicated police officers are only doing what they are trained to do. Nevertheless, if the public perception differs, maybe it’s time for the leaders to reassess the level of training that’s being provided.

There are several ways to rebuild citizens’ trust. For example; responding to citizens’ reports in a more expedient manner, showing more empathy, being transparent with investigations and providing follow up information on potential suspects.

In my opinion, some of these areas that do not meet the expectation of the public and are lacking in some respect.

Being proactive with policing tactics is also in question.

Case in point, have there ever been any surveys conducted to determine how citizens view police, their confidence in policing tactics, how much they support them, trust them, and so on?

If the police expect the public to engage in crime reduction, citizens must feel confident that regardless of the level of crime it will be taken seriously. Lack of the aforementioned could result in decreases in public trust of police.

Culture within a police department also plays a pivotal role, because building trust should be embedded in the culture of policing.

The head of an agency certainly sets the tone, but it’s also necessary for the immediate supervisors of the officers on the ground to have an incentive to appropriately carry out their duties. That’s where some of the hardest work is done.

Grand Turk in particular, appears to be a training ground for new police recruits. Unfortunately, it comes with pros and cons. If it result in a high turnover rate, this could have an adverse impact on how officers interact with the communities.

I’m afraid, if our communities continue to have a sense of distrust in policing, our young men and women might be reluctant to explore policing as a career opportunity. This will leave the county with no other alternative but to recruit foreign police officers.  There should also be zero tolerance for rogue officers. The objective is to impose rules and punishment high enough to shift a rogue officers’

cost-benefit analysis.

Sadly, like any other civilized country, there will always be a certain level of crime, but I’m afraid this current trend

draws an uncanny parallel to pre-pandemic crimes.

When it comes to curbing serious crimes, we can’t continue to move the goal post and become desensitized with this level of violence. This year, it may be 20 homicides next year it will be 40. Where do we draw the line and say enough is enough?

The public’s perception of how police matters are handled should not be taken lightly. Unless citizens feel like their voices are being heard, they will continue to stay in their own lane.

At some stage in the game, whether it’s perception or reality, our leaders will need to be held accountable.

From a holistic approach, here are some thoughts to ponder.

Improve communication by exposing to the general public the identity of all suspect upon formal arraignment.

As concerned citizens, we also have to get to a point where there is less focus on social media propaganda, and more on our own voices and ideas.

It’s also important that law enforcement control the narrative and debunk the spread of misinformation. Failure to do so only creates fear and distrust among the masses.

With that being said, citizens shouldn’t have to be researchers to find crime data. Henceforth, To counter sensationalism and the spread of misinformation, there should be timely information delivered to the public in addition to public access to crime statistics.

The political rhetoric with Tough-on-crime policies is only part of the solution. This is evident based on the increased violence the country is currently experiencing despite the harsher sentences.

Some may herald it as the best response to violent crimes, but I beg to differ. It will only serve to criminalize some of the same people who continues to deal with the most loss of life and trauma in their communities.

Withstanding the current climate on crime, when was the last time a police representative reached out to a victim or loved ones from various communities where gun violence happened and try to elevate their voices and experiences? This is all part of addressing any existing gaps in public relations.

The old cliche, “talk is cheap”, is playing out right in front of our eyes on social media platforms.

We should be asking ourselves what am I doing, what are you doing to assist your communities in reducing crime? It’s a shared responsibility.

The police acting alone cannot achieve success, as crime is everyone business. Therefore, until some of these steps becomes reality, only then will we began to see a shift in the public perception with a trickle down impact on resolution of crime.


Ed Forbes,

Concerned citizen of Grand Turk 


Caribbean News

Director of Sports attends General Assembly American Sports Council – Cade 2023 



#Cartagena, Colombia, 30th May 2023 – Director of Sports Jarrett Forbes, attended the General Assembly American Sports Council CADE 2023 held in Cartagena Colombia.  The three-day conference commenced on Wednesday, 3rd of May and continued through Friday 5th May, 2023.  Sports leaders from thirty-plus countries from across South America, Central America, North America and the Caribbean were represented.There were four meetings held during the three-day period: CONSUDE (Meeting for South America); CONCECADE (Meeting for Central America, Mexico and the Caribbean); CADE (meeting with South America, Central America and the Caribbean and North America) and Ibero – American Sports Council (Meeting with Spanish and Portuguese Speaking Countries in the Americas).Amongst the topics discussed were: best practices in hosting major games such as the Pan-American Games in Santiago Chile 2023 and its projected legacies; Transformation of Recreational Sports and Active Living through Active Management; Empowering our Athletes Beyond Medals; Differential approach in Sport, an approach towards an inclusive public policy; the commitment and social benefits of physical activity in schools; Para – Olympic sports; resumption of sports challenges post-pandemic and anti-doping in sports.  

The Director of Sport, Mr. Jarrett Forbes had the opportunity to meet with a number of sports leaders in the region representing the various governments as well as executive members of various sporting bodies and representatives from UNESCO and the World Anti-Doping Agency. 

Mr. Forbes stated, “I was very delighted that the Turks & Caicos Islands had participated in a sports assembly of this magnitude, consisting of sports leaders from the North American Region, Central & South American Regions, and the Caribbean. The topics and presentations were extremely beneficial for the TCI. Many countries shared their approach to utilizing sports to combat crime and violence while others saw the benefits of sports to reduce the sedentary lifestyle in their countries. The benefits of sports are so immense. Member countries expressed how sports improved their GDP; provided opportunities for sustainable growth and development; promoted peace and inclusion; and there was a common position amongst member countries to utilize sports as a tool for sustainable development and growth.” 

Concluding the General Assembly, a common position for the future of sports in the Americas was taken with a final declaration and bilateral agreements of the CADE Assembly 2023.  


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Caribbean News

CARPHA Observes World No Tobacco Day, says Heart disease & Cancer due to TOBACCO leads to 47% of deaths



May 30, 2023 – Tobacco use remains a major public health concern in the Caribbean Region. There is no safe level of exposure to tobacco smoke. The use of tobacco products in any form harms nearly every organ of the body, irrespective of whether it is smoked, smokeless, or electronic.  Of all the forms of tobacco use, most common in the Caribbean region is cigarette smoking.   Cigarette smoking is the number one risk factor for lung cancer. Using other tobacco products such as cigars or pipes also increases the risk for this disease.

Second-hand smoke exposure causes stroke, lung cancer, and coronary heart disease in adults; and acute respiratory infections and severe asthma in children. It is a preventable risk factor for non-communicable diseases (NCDs), which are the leading cause of death, disease and disability among Caribbean people.

This year, World No Tobacco Day focuses on Grow Food, Not Tobacco. This campaign advocates for ending tobacco cultivation and switching to more sustainable crops that improve food security and nutrition. The campaign observed annually on 31 May, also informs the public on the dangers of direct use, and exposure to tobacco.

In the Caribbean Region, non-communicable diseases (NCDs) are the leading cause of death and disability – 76.8% of the total deaths (non-Latin Caribbean, excluding Haiti) were due to NCDs in 2016. Cardiovascular diseases 30.8% and cancer 17.2% are the leading causes of death due to NCD, both linked to tobacco use. Many of these persons die in the prime of their lives before the age of 70 years old. The prevalence of smokers for overall tobacco products ranged from 57.2% prevalence (95%CI 48.4 to 65.4%) to 16.2% (95%CI 11.2 to 23.0%). According to the Report on Tobacco Control in the Region of the Americas (2018) Caribbean countries have the highest levels of tobacco experimentation before the age of 10.[1]

Dr. Joy St. John, Executive Director at the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) “Smokeless does not mean harmless.  Nicotine in e-cigarettes is a highly addictive drug and can damage children’s developing brains.  Children and adolescents who use e-cigarettes at least double their chance of smoking cigarettes later in life.  Preventing tobacco product use among youth is therefore critical.  It is important that we educate children and adolescents about the harms of nicotine and tobacco product use. We must work to prevent future generations from seeing such products as “normal”.”

In 2008, the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) endorsed the recommendation to ban smoking in public spaces.  Later, in 2012, CARICOM regulated a standard for labelling retail packages of tobacco products with health warnings. Caribbean civil society organisations (CSOs), working in collaboration with local governments and international partners, have led the charge in fighting for significant gains in tobacco control in the Caribbean region.

Dr. Heather Armstrong, Head, Chronic Disease and Injury: “At CARPHA, we believe that reducing the harm caused by tobacco use requires a collective approach, where government, civil society, and the individual play a critical role. CARPHA promotes the prevention of tobacco use in all forms and commitment to the WHO FCTC. The focus on tobacco control deals with the youth of the Region.   Children and adolescents who use e-cigarettes at least double their chance of smoking cigarettes later in life.”

The Chronic Diseases and Injury Department of CARPHA provides leadership, strategic direction, coordinates and implements technical cooperation activities directed towards the prevention and control of NCDs in CARPHA Member States. CARPHA’s message for prevention of tobacco product use has spread across its Member States.

In 2018, CARPHA in partnership with the University of the West Indies (UWI), Global Health Diplomacy Program at the University of Toronto, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), and the Healthy Caribbean Coalition evaluated the Port of Spain Declaration to learn which mandates helped to prevent and control NCDs. Taxation, smoke-free public places mandate, and mandatory labelling of tobacco products are some of the leading policies making the biggest impact on reduction of tobacco use in the Caribbean regions.

CARPHA urges Member States to work together to prevent and reduce the use of all forms of tobacco products, and scale-up efforts to implement their commitments under the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC).  By doing so, the negative impact of smoking and its consequences on the health of our people, especially the younger generation, and the tremendous burden on the economies of the countries in our Region, will greatly be reduced.

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Caribbean News




Updates to the Proposed Development Will be Discussed at a Supplemental Public Consultation 

on Thursday, June 8, at Queen’s College



#NASSAU, BAHAMAS, May 25, 2023 – Royal Caribbean International has published the first public consultation report for the development of its Royal Beach Club at Paradise Island as part of the stringent assessment required by The Bahamas’ Department of Environmental Planning and Protection (DEPP). The report addresses questions received throughout the public consultation process, during and following the public consultation meeting held in September 2021, covering topics from environmental impact to economic opportunity created by the new development.

The government of The Bahamas and Royal Caribbean agreed to postpone the publication of the report while the economic proposal for the development was under renegotiation, which concluded earlier this year. Publication of the the report follows an approval-in-principle by the National Economic Council, subject to appropriate due diligence.

After discussions with DEPP and noting the company has reduced the site plan from 20 acres to 17 acres, the cruise line, in conjunction with DEPP,  has scheduled a supplemental public consultation to be held on Thursday, June 8, 2023, at 6:30 p.m. EDT at Queen’s College to discuss the existing Environmental Impact Assessment (submitted to DEPP in December 2020) and share updates to the proposed development. The additional consultation will provide the public the opportunity to comment and ask questions about the project.

“Royal Caribbean has made six key environmental commitments in the development and operation of the Royal Beach Club at Paradise Island that exceed nearly all similar land-based development projects. These include: zero waste-to-landfill, achieving 100% renewable energy production by 2030, best-in-class wastewater treatment, no dredging, protecting and enhancing the surrounding habitats, and local environmental monitoring during construction and operation,” said Jay Schneider, Chief Product Innovation Officer, Royal Caribbean International. “We value the engagement of the community and look forward to sharing these details, among others, at the upcoming supplemental public consultation.”

Further details on the project can be found at

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