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Crime

Family Concerned after Inmate badly beaten in prison  

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

#TurksandCaicos, November 22, 2022 – Police are not commenting in the case of an inmate allegedly badly beaten earlier this month at the Department of Corrections, formerly Her Majesty’s Prison, which is in Grand Turk; they say there is no case with them, so there is no comment.

TCI Media is nonetheless reporting that an inmate of Her Majesty’s prison had to be rushed to hospital on November 11th, after being beaten bloody by other prisoners. The report was made by TCI Spotlight; no information on the incident was shared with the public by the police which continue to raise questions weeks after the incident reportedly happened.

The report informs that the victim of the mass beating was Andrew Parker, a 32-year-old inmate serving 25 years for rape, kidnapping and robbery. Parker was sentenced in December 2021 after escaping police custody at least twice.

Reports indicate that Parker used a phone, which is prohibited for inmates; he was conversing with someone outside the prison about the string of killings in Providenciales. That conversation was recorded, running for just under four minutes.  Despite the speaker’s plea not to share the information from the conversation was shared and went viral in September.  It prompted a search, resulting in the discovery of the illegal cellular phone.

Relatives told Spotlight that Parker was relieved of the phone and locked away in maximum security, purportedly for his own protection and as punishment for the breach.  Those who allegedly busted him in the head and wounded his torso are also locked up in Maximum Security, the family questions the safety of this decision.

The 32-year-old inmate was returned on Friday, November 11th to the general population of the facility, where he was allegedly ganged by several inmates who beat him severely.  By the time officers rushed into the cell block, Andrew Parker was already in need of medical care.  He was seen by the onsite medical practitioner and then rushed to hospital.

It was reported to our newsroom, on the day in question, that prison officers brought in a young man with a stab would and serious head injuries at the Cockburn Town Medical Center.  He was taken into emergency, at the time we had learned.  That was shortly before 6 pm on November 11.

In reaching out to police to corroborate the reports, Magnetic Media was informed, “no report was made to the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force regarding the incident mentioned, as such, we cannot comment.”

Spotlight newspaper cited its source as relatives of Mr. Parker.

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Crime

Study reveals Online Sexual Exploitation of Children rose in Pandemic; Philippines among the worst

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

A recent study from UNICEF and investigation by the BBC have revealed horrific levels of child abuse in the Philippines fueled by pandemic lockdowns and increasing poverty. The study  revealed that country has become a den for Online sexual exploitation and abuse of children (OSEAC) in which adults sometimes even parents force children to perform sexual acts on camera for paying pedophiles on the internet.

A key finding of the study was that certain cultural beliefs contribute to the spread of OSAEC such as ‘if the children are untouched, they are not harmed’ and ‘OSAEC provides easy money and almost everyone does it.’

The BBC’s Laura Bicker visited Preda, an orphanage in the country that specifically helps abused children. Located in the orphanage is a dark padded room outfitted with an on hand therapist. Bicker described what she saw and heard.

“Some of the toughest healing at Preda happens inside a dark room with soft music playing in the background. There are large pads on the walls and floors – the kind gymnasts would use for a soft landing. The only light comes from the open door. About five children are kneeling, each in their own space.  Most of them are facing the wall. The overwhelming sound is the erratic thud of their fists and feet as they pummel the pads. The first raw, anguished cries make your heart stop. And then it starts again, but it’s difficult to keep listening, even from a distance, even for a few minutes. The questions hurled at the cushioned walls – “Why did you do this to me? Why me? What did I do?”

The situation is becoming increasingly dire.

Only around 20 per cent of Filipino children are listed by UNICEF as not vulnerable to online sexual exploitation and the pandemic has made it worse. UNICEF says a good grasp of the English Language, availability and ease of access to technology, well-established financial transaction facilities, and ‘absence of perceived conflict between sexual exploitation and significant social norms are some of the reasons the gruesome industry is allowed to thrive and expand.

While instances of online abuse may not be as prevalent in the Caribbean instances of sexual abuse are still high.  A recent study revealed that nearly 15 per cent of children aged 11–12 years and, 35 per cent of young people, 14–15 years old reported having had sexual experiences. Since the onset of the pandemic in 2019 those numbers have spiked.

In  Jamaica alone pediatricians said cases abuse rose 70 per cent during the pandemic but cases reported to the police dropped significantly indicating extreme underreporting.

Sexual crimes are some of the most underreported crimes in the world for various reasons including fear, coercion and shame. Protection of children from sexual abuse in all its forms must then become a community effort with adults taking on the responsibility of investigating and speaking up on behalf of children who may not be able to do so on their own.

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Crime

North & Middle Caicos Realtor says Crime Wave did hurt, a little

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

#TurksandCaicos, November 30, 2022 – What would’ve likely been amazing year for real estate in the Turks and Caicos hit a bump in September with the Violent gang war but Forbes’ Realty in Middle Caicos says despite the “Physical and emotional battering” the country remains a safe haven isolated in the ocean, with tremendous natural beauty and overall a population of decent folk.

Maintaining that, the future bodes well for tourism and realty.

Longtime realtor, Sara Kaufman says real estate prices are holding and will climb.  Kaufman expressed hope, especially for the twin islands of North and Middle Caicos revealing that the sustainable investment projects which could flourish in the two greenest islands have not yet arrived … but, Kaufman shared confidence, concluding her report with: “they will.”

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Caribbean News

Police Academy Commissioner Shot Dead in Haiti

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By Sherrica Thompson

Staff Writer

 

#Haiti, November 29, 2022 – The police in Haiti have launched an investigation following the assassination of the director of the National Police Academy, Commissioner Rigaud Harington.

Reports from the police are that Harington was shot dead on the grounds of the police training facility in a gang-controlled neighbourhood in the country’s capital of Port-au-Prince on Friday, November 25.

The spokesperson for the National Police of Haiti (PNH), Inspector Garry Desrosiers, in confirming Friday’s killing, said the commissioner was “shot in the head not far from the Academy” and the attackers “stole his [Harington’s] vehicle and kidnapped his driver.”

Harington’s killing is the latest in several attacks against law enforcement in Haiti. The killing also happened at a time when international leaders are trying to help Haiti’s political leaders control the surge in gang violence in the country.

The police have not released any information on who might be responsible for the commissioner’s death.

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