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Crime on the Rise: Can Psychology Help?

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Introduction

Crime is an expensive aspect of society and sucks a significant amount of public funds. Consistently government spends money on courts, police, probation services, and prisons. The worst part of it is the human costs that include pain, fear, and loss of life. As it pertains to the recent scenes of violent crimes that occurred in our Beautiful by Nature, Turks & Caicos Islands, I am optimistic that authorities are doing their very best to curb brutal crimes and my mind goes thus far as to assume that the established authorities are gathering every piece of intelligence to eradicate or at the very least decrease crime in our community. One thing I pray is that criminal psychology, which is an essential piece of the puzzle not overlooked.

Public perception of crimes

When violent crimes occur in any society, the tendency is set to blame people who may perceive to be accountable. For example, governments blame law enforcement for not doing enough. In reaction, law enforcement blames the government for not providing enough resources. The church blames the parents for not playing their parental roles in the household. In turn, the parents blame the church for not shepherding the congregants, especially the young people to keep moral and spiritual standards; the school system does not spare from that chain of critics. Then, society blames the criminals and those who supply firearms and ammunition.

In reality, who is to blame?

I believe we should come to a consensus that we must better understand the criminal mindset and work on it collectively since the blame does not help too much in solving crimes. Contrary to public opinion, firearms as dangerous as they can be, trigger the temptation to exercise a greater force that facilitates murders at a faster pace. But in reality, the mindset determines the course of action. This depicts the idea that if the firearms are taken away from the criminals when nothing is done to reprogram the mindset, criminals will use any other means to commit the intended crime. In his famous book Tao Te Ching (the way of Life), Lao Tsu stated, “Watch your thoughts; they become words. Watch your words; they become actions. Watch your actions; they become habits. Watch your habits; they become character. Watch your character; it becomes your destiny.”

Literature review

In a criminal psychology class, a professor made a statement that shocked the students, particularly an Islander man like me who at that time had mere knowledge of crimes. He quoted (Durkheim, 1895) “as arguing that crime is an inevitable and normal aspect of social life. He pointed out that crime is inevitable in all societies, and that the crime rate was in fact higher in more advanced, industrial societies.” Thus, understanding criminology theories are key to determining why people turn to crime, and it is a step toward reducing crime rates and making society safer.

Takeaways from the Premier’s press conference

The minister of Education divulged the findings from the unfortunate incident of violent crime in Five Cays. She believes this phenomenon emanates from the social ill, including children raised in dysfunctional homes or uncaring families. Suppose the reliability and validity of data are proven. In that case, there are significant reasons to believe that we are not facing just a scene of random crimes, but a societal problem that needs to be addressed at the highest cleverness level. I believe psychologists, sociologists, and other critical thinkers have some answers.

After decades of research on criminal minds, irrefutable evidence suggests three major psychological theories that speak to this phenomenon: psychodynamic, behavioral, and cognitive. The psychodynamic theory focuses on a person’s early childhood experience and how it influences the likelihood of committing crimes. The behavioral approach emphasizes how the perception of the world influences behavior. And cognitive theory focuses on how people manifest their perceptions can lead to a life of crime.

In conclusion, while these psychological terms and theories will be developed in the next episode, let us all admit that crime is a deterrent to the socio-economic development of our community, and the “fierce urgency of now” is to uplift conversations about crime from the traditional level to the highest standard of collective and individual intelligence and knowledge. We are all concerned and must engage in the fight with clever approaches.

 

Alces Dor

Psychologist

Caribbean News

Turks & Caicos Islands Cabinet Report, Meeting held January 10

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#TurksandCaicos, January 26, 2023 – His Excellency the Governor, Nigel Dakin, chaired the 1st meeting of Cabinet on Tuesday 10 January 2023 at the Premier’s Office on Providenciales.

All Members were present.

At this meeting Cabinet:

  • Approved the Fiscal Strategic Policy Statement (FSPS) 2023-27 which includes the fiscal targets of the Government for the next four (4) years to be submitted to the UK Government before being submitted to the House of Assembly for approval. Members also agreed a wide range of associated steps going forwards.
  • Approved an application for duty concessions on the importation of construction materials, furniture, fixtures and fittings from Grace Bay Club Ltd. to allow the resort to complete refurbishment work.
  • Approved an extension and revision to the MOU between the TCI Government and TCI Finance Limited, which leads on the development and growth of Financial Services in the Turks and Caicos Islands.
  • Approved adjustments to the Agriculture Finance Support Programme (Agro- Grant Incentive) for the provision of compensation for registered farms that incurred damages due to Hurricane Fiona in 2022. Members also supported the adoption of a “Farmer Information System”.
  • Approved proposed measures to control the roaming of livestock in the country covering the registration of livestock farms, construction and maintenance of holding facilities, and the transport of livestock.
  • Approved a proposed model and structure for the New Destination Management and Marketing Organisation and Tourism Regulatory Authority. Members also approved an implementation process, the composition of the appointed Board of Directors, staffing implications, and a financing model, including the establishment of Tourism Improvement Districts and the payment of fees by tourism entities.
  • Approved amendments to the Schedule of the Ports Authority (Stevedorers, Fees, and Charges) Regulations 2008, introducing a variation of stevedoring tariffs. Members also agreed next steps.
  • Noted the impact of the moratorium on the issuance of new visas to Hattian nationals originating out of Haiti and approved the implementation of a moratorium on the issuing of all visas to Haitian Nationals entering the Turks and Caicos Islands for six months with effect from 11 January 2023.
  • Approved the granting of a licence to a named individual for the purpose of erecting a swim deck protruding from the Crown parcel 60400/366 into the adjoining sea and the payment of associated annual fees.
  • Approved the renewal of a lease for the rental of office space for the Government’s Planning Department on Providenciales for a period of three years.
  • Discussed the renewal of a lease for the rental of office space for the Government’s Gender Affairs and Social Development Departments on Grand Turk and agreed next steps.
  • Approved the use of existing funds for the use of retrofitting the Turks and Caicos Islands Community College.
  • Approved the gradual outsourcing of janitorial services for government buildings, including schools.
  • Approved the observance of Public Holidays on 8 May 2023 to mark the King’s Coronation and on 19 June 2023 to mark the King’s Birthday.
  • Was updated on issues related to the Ministries of:
  1. Tourism,
  2. Education, and
  3. AG Chambers,
  4. Office of the Deputy Governor, and
  5. Office of the Governor

Further information on these matters will be provided by Ministers in due course.

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Caribbean News

JAMAICA: Multibillion-Dollar Shipyard Project Launched

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#Kingston, Jamaica, January 23, 2023 – Economic opportunities are expected to abound for Jamaica, through the establishment of a multibillion-dollar ship repair and maintenance facility in the country.

Called the German Ship Repair Jamaica (GSRJ) Shipyard, the project will provide dry docking (lifting the ship out of the water) for commercial vessels up to 20,000 tons, and a range of maintenance and repair services to vessels operating in and around the Caribbean and Central America.

Phase one of the project, which is to be completed by October/November this year, is being undertaken at an overall cost of nearly $6 billion (or US$37 million), with financial partner Sagicor Bank committing to half of this amount as a bank loan. This will see the first floating dry dock, JAM-DOCK 1, becoming operational.

Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, who  delivered the main address at Tuesday’s (January 24) launch at the Kingston Harbour along the Sir Florizel Glasspole Highway,  said that “this project will earn foreign exchange”.

“It will provide high-quality jobs, and it will contribute greatly to the prosperity of our country,” he added.

Mr. Holness noted that the development will contribute to the positioning of Kingston Harbour as a global logistics hub, pointing out that each year, Jamaica receives approximately 3,000 port calls while approximately 180,000 vessels operate within the region.

“With the investments that are being made in improving Kingston as a logistic hub, we are certain that we have now closed one of the major gaps that have existed and that more ships passing through the region will be inclined to come to Jamaica,” he said.

For his part, GSRJ Limited Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Colonel Martin Rickman, said that the project “represents a new industry for Jamaica with great opportunities for other spin-off businesses, hence even contributing more to the economy”.

He pointed out that Jamaica’s “excellent geo-strategic location” makes the country particularly suitable for having a shipyard.

Detailing the specific operations of the facility, Colonel Rickman explained that “we here at GSRJ Shipyard will be able to lift that ship out of the water to conduct many types of work on the hull, the propeller, engine repairs and the entire nine yards, so this is significant for us”.

By international maritime law, all ships are required to be dry-docked to check for safety and integrity once every five years and attain class certification.

The CEO said that the training component of the project is crucial to enable  workers to meet the international standards to carry out the required operations.

He informed that some persons have already been trained.

In his remarks, President and CEO of Sagicor Group, Christopher Zacca, said that as lead arranger, the organisation is “confident that this new development will make a significant impact on the country’s shipping industry while also contributing to our productive economy”.

“We want all Jamaicans to share the vision of the stakeholders; this is a big deal for Jamaica and we want Kingston to have the leading ship repair and servicing port in the Caribbean,” Mr. Zacca said.

The GSRJ’s partners include Harren and Partner Group, Germany; Kingston Holding, Jamaica; Kloska Group, Germany and HAT-SAN Shipyard, Turkey.

Government agencies involved in the project are the Development Bank of Jamaica (DBJ), the National Land Agency (NLA), National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA), the Attorney General’s Department, and others.

Several private-sector entities are also involved in making the project a reality.

The GSRJ started business in Jamaica in 2016 with the intention to build a ship-repair facility at the Kingston Harbour to boost employment and introduce the country to viable economic activities in the shipping and maritime industry.

 

Contact:  Mickella Anderson

Release: JIS

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Government

DELANO ARTHUR APPOINTED AS COMMISSIONER OF ENERGY AND UTILITIES

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#TurksandCaicos, January 26, 2023 – The Office of the Deputy Governor of the Turks and Caicos Islands is pleased to announce the appointment of Mr. Delano R. Arthur to the post of Commissioner of Energy and Utilities in the Ministry of Home Affairs, Transportation, Energy and Utilities.

Mr. Arthur holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Electrical Engineering from Michigan Technological University in Houghton, Michigan (2002) and a Master of Science Degree in Information Systems and Management from the University of Phoenix in Phoenix, Arizona (2007).

With over fifteen (15) years’ service as an Engineering Professional, Mr. Arthur served in the posts of: Senior Technical Associate at the Bahamas Telecommunications Company (BTC) in Freeport, Bahamas from 2006-2009; as a Senior Project Officer and Diplomat with the Caribbean Community Secretariat (CARICOM) in Georgetown, Guyana from 2009-2011; as the Manager of Information Technology at the Grand Bahama Power Company Ltd. (GBPC) from 2012-2015; as the Operations Manager of Transmission and Distribution at GBPC from 2015-2018 and as the Director of Grid Solutions at GBPC from 2018-2022.

Mr. Arthur during his tenure at the Grand Bahama Power Company (GBPC) gained extensive experience in all aspects of engineering, technical automation, transmission, distribution and energy supply where he provided strategic and tactical planning advice on the design and operation of GBPC’s Grid inclusive of transmission and distribution, sub stations, power transformers, renewable energy, protection and relaying devices. He also served as the Technical Storm Lead for Hurricane Matthew, as well as the Project Owner to rebuild GBPC’s 45MW Base Load Generation Fleet in the aftermath of Hurricane Dorian.

Commenting on his appointment Mr. Arthur stated:

“My father and mother, having been born and raised in Conch Bar and Bottle Creek, respectively, humbles me as I consider this a pleasure to serve the people of these Islands.

I am also grateful to be part of the team that will pioneer the way in strengthening the Regulatory Regime for Energy and Utilities in these Islands, while we move towards a Net 0 carbon footprint”.

Deputy Governor and Head of the Public Service Her Excellency Anya Williams in commenting on Mr. Arthur’s appointment stated:

“It is with great pleasure that I extend congratulations to Mr. Delano Arthur on his appointment as the new Commissioner of Energy and Utilities here in the Turks and Caicos Islands.

This appointment is extremely critical in helping the Turks and Caicos Islands not only progress Energy Reform here in these islands, but also in ensuring that the appropriate regulatory functions are carried out and adhered in these islands.

Having had the early opportunity along with Premier the Honourable Dr. Charles Washington Misick to meet with Mr. Arthur since his appointment to discuss the vision for Energy Reform here in the islands and to understand his early assessment and futuristic plans for the Energy and Utilities Commission, we are fully confident in his ability to lead on these initiatives and pledge our full support of the provision of the necessary resources to ensure the Commissions success.

I wish Mr. Arthur well on his appointment and welcome him to the Turks and Caicos Islands Public Service.

Congratulations Delano!”

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