#TurksandCaicos, September 27, 2022 – As I address you today, and after listening to, and watching the Hon. Premier’s National Address, I am feeling no safer or more assured than I was earlier this week. My heart is aching to see what is taking place in our beloved country, and it bleeds for the many men, and woman, we have lost as a nation. Many of whom were productive and contributed to the development of our nation. The attack on our men is condemned in the highest order and must be addressed with the fierce urgency of now.
The hon. Premier gave a good reading presentation of things to come, but we need action like yesterday. While good, the country and our people can not wait three months for reinforcements to come, or for laws to be amended in the House of Assembly. The “Bad Guys” are not going on vacation until December, or until the reinforcements reach. They are out every day looking to gun down their targets.
We needed solutions for tonight, and the immediate days to come. We cannot risk more of our people dying. We the public do not need the tactical details, bet we need to be assured that new forms of actions and new strategies are being executed immediately.
Regarding those who are responsible for law and order:
The buck stops with H.E the Governor, who is given this responsibility under our failing constitution, the Hon. Premier, and the Commissioner of Police. We sat, heard, and watched H. E the Governor, and the Hon. Premier go to bat to defend and save the Commissioner of Police and continue to throw in the people’s faces, that the Commissioner of Police has their full confidence.
We have also heard recently that same tune being adopted by the other elected leader of our country who seems to forget that their 14 Members of Parliament team were elected to stand up for the people of this country, regardless that standing up includes calling out to the Governor and the Commissioner of Police when the public is of the opinion that they are not performing well in their constitutional capacity.
This is not a personal attack on any of the gentlemen (Governor, Premier, Commissioner) it is an attack on their performance. I am merely representing the views of many of our citizens throughout the TCI. All one has to do is talk to random people, and 3 out of every 4 would state the same.
With the constant public sentiments being expressed by the Governor and the Premier about their utmost confidence in the commissioner of Police, it is no wonder why COP Botting can tell the people of our country, that firing him will not stop the crime, and will not change anything. I was very much taken aback by hearing this. The arrogance of this statement almost seems as if he is insinuating that there is no new nor better idea, strategy, method, or leadership style that any other Commissioner could bring to the job.
Evidence would show that from the time representation was made to the British Government to dismiss our last local Commissioner Edward Hall under the pretense of retirement, our country has been going on a downward spiral under foreign Police Commissioners at the helm. This is a clear indication that the foreign Commissioner is not the answer to our problems.
If the heads are not producing results, then remove the head and start fresh. That is how it is in my world, if one does not perform you, the people will remove you- democracy at its best. I will continue to voice the people’s displease with the performance of the Governor, Premier, and Commissioner of Police when it comes to fighting crime.
Before tonight, ears have not heard nor eyes have not seen any action from the country’s PNP Government, save and except a few mealy mouth press releases that are devoid of any immediate solutions. Where are the elected members for these “hotspot” constituencies?
It has also been brought to my attention that there have been PNP MPs postings, in a very juvenile manner, as if they are playing the game of jeopardy asking Alex silly questions about what is lockdown and 500 soldiers. The crime wave is serious business and must be approached with the seriousness it demands.
As Opposition Leader, my team and I don’t play this kind of silly childing games with the lives of the People of our country, and neither do we recommend these kinds of games being played with the livelihood of our people-
To slam our country in lockdown or a state of emergency will signal to the outer world that they should not come to TCI and spend their Tourism dollars with us this season. This is a harmful suggestion that does not mirror a realistic solution to address the crime. This would further hurt already hurting families who are struggling with the current cost of living.
A PDM government, under my leadership, would respond as follows (and is recommended):
- Immediate stationing of Police Tactical Teams with contracted assistance in the hot spot areas of Providenciales.
- Conduct immediate tactical and covert operations in hot spot areas (not to be specified here)- which should have happened directly after the first homicide.
- Dispense with the Helicopter which has only acted as an alarm to notify the criminals of areas of operations, incorporate more unmarked vehicles in operations, and have police presence regularly in our communities, protecting our citizens.
- Implement the use of cellphone jammers for that window of time when and where tactical operations are in motion.
- Implement a Shot-spotter system that can provide immediate alarms and data of the exact location where gunshots were fired to the tactical team already stationed in the hotspots.
- Establish an internal affairs unit, and commence seizing the cell phones of police officers suspected of leaking information immediately -the general public feels that there is no confidentiality in the police force and the leaking of information has to be stamped out.
- Provide immediate financing to upgrade the weaponry and body armor of the RTCIPF.
Additional Long-term actions (Human Resources);
- Provide for an increase in Police salaries by 40% and in certain instances in line with modern police forces around the world.
- Mass recruit of Turks and Caicos Islanders into the force, and Implement a Fast-Track leadership program for Police Officers whereby they are exchange programs with the regional and international police forces, to gain the required knowledge, skills, and experience, and allow local TCI officers to interview for the job of Commissioner of Police.
- Putting in place a coastguard unit with 24-hour patrolling- for intercepting both weapons and human smuggling.
My fellow Turks and Caicos Islanders, if we can implement these 10 points immediately, I can assure you that it will decrease violent crime, and will bring TCI back to the peaceful country we all know and love.
“The Leaders in the good times must be the leaders in the bad times, the leaders of the day have to be the leaders of the night.”
Vessels sink with 900 barrels of fuel in Trinidad
By Shanieka Smith
#Trinidad, December 2, 2022 – The Ministry of Energy and Energy Resources in Trinidad reported on Wednesday that a ship carrying 900 barrels of diesel fuel had sunk in the Gulf of Paria. The six crew members on board were rescued and received medical assessment.
The statement revealed that the barge owned by Trinity Liftboat Services Limited was trying to demobilise Trinity Heritage Petroleum Company’s North Field when it capsized.
After receiving an SOS from a vessel in their North Field, Heritage sent out a response team. An investigation into the incident has started, however, the main focus is to redeem the barge without making any oil spills.
The owners of the sunken vessel said “there are no injuries recorded. (The vessel) now sits on the seafloor no longer posing a risk to any of Heritage Petroleum’s platforms or installations.” They said the captain made a good decision to abandon the ship so that the crew members could be rescued and transported back to base.
Digital coin created for Caribbean’s Dominica as island partners with Huobi
By Shanieka Smith
December 2, 2022 – The Commonwealth of Dominica has partnered with cryptocurrency exchange Huobi, to issue its own national cryptocurrencies, Dominica Coin (DMC), and Digital Identity Documents (DID), already reports indicate a surge for the Huobi token.
This new collaboration with Dominica will bring the Caribbean one step closer to being a global cryptocurrency exchange centre. Huobi also announced its intention to move headquarters from Seychelles to the Caribbean.
It was explained, “The deal is noteworthy partly because of its connections to crypto billionaire Justin Sun, founder of the Tron blockchain where the Caribbean island’s new token will initially reside.”
Dominica Coin (DMC) and digital identity documents (DID) will be issued by Huobi Prime via the TRON network (a project dedicated to building the infrastructure for a truly decentralized Internet); both will serve as credentials for the future metaverse platform based in Dominica. DIDs can be used for cryptocurrency Know Your Customer verification, applying for loans, and opening bank accounts on the island.
The DMC is not yet ready for launch, but The HT token is up 15% over the last 24 hours to $7.12. It’s up 40% over the past seven days.
As one of the first Caribbean islands to adopt the citizenship-by-investment policy, the Dominican government is seeking to delve into the metaverse and Web3 technology as a means to boost the country’s development.
Imminent Worldwide Measles Threat; 25 Million CHILDREN miss First Dose
By Dana Malcolm
December 2, 2022 – Forty million children are at risk of Measles as what the World Health Organization is describing as an “imminent threat” takes shape. A joint report between the WHO and the U.S. Centres for Disease Control revealed that a record number of children missed their measles dose with 25 million children missing their first dose and 14.7 million children missing their second dose in 2021 alone.
Nine million cases of measles were recorded last year, twenty-two countries experienced large and disruptive outbreaks and 128,000 deaths occurred, the report says.
“The paradox of the pandemic is that while vaccines against COVID-19 were developed in record time and deployed in the largest vaccination campaign in history, routine immunization programmes were badly disrupted, and millions of kids missed out on life-saving vaccinations against deadly diseases like measles,” said Dr. Tedros Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General.
Measles is easily one of the most contagious viruses in the world and while many people think itchy spots when they think of the disease it can cause pneumonia, seizures and brain damage in about 30 percent of infected individuals.
Herd immunity will not work with this disease, say experts, unless 95 per cent of people or more are vaccinated; only 71 per cent of children in 2022 are fully vaccinated.
“Measles anywhere is a threat everywhere” the report said, emphasizing that no WHO region has achieved and sustained measles elimination.
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