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National Security Row as Oswald Skippings takes on Trevor Botting

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Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer 

#TurksandCaicosIslands, October 9, 2023 – Trevor Botting, Turks and Caicos Islands outgoing Police Commissioner found himself at the start of the week, rejecting claims that his leadership has ‘damaged’ the Police Force. He penned a lengthy response to what he describes as ‘factually incorrect’ statement from Oswald Skippings, former Chief Minister of the Turks and Caicos.

“It is unfortunate that Mr Skippings did not take the time to establish the facts before publication, but I am happy to put the record straight,” said Botting in his own release.

The response came on Monday October 2. It was aiming to rebuff assertions by the outspoken Skippings, who said the Marine Branch, Airwing and police sub-stations in Blue Hills, Salt Cay, Middle Caicos and Five Cays were shut down by Botting.

Skipping in the piece, featured in the Turks and Caicos Weekly News, called for the re-establishment of the institutions that were “deliberately dismantled by the Governor and Commissioner of Police and allowed by the elected government without a public outcry or any form of parliamentary or other opposition.”

But Botting, who is also the former TCI Deputy Commissioner of Police position laid most of the responsibility for these actions at the feet of his predecessor including the purchase of an aircraft unfit for use in the Turks and Caicos, and the closure of the Five Cays, Salt Cay and Middle Caicos stations.

“With respect to the RTCIPF Airwing, when I assumed the role of Commissioner, I undertook a review of the regulatory structure of the RTCIPF Airwing and found that it did not comply with local and international regulations and further funding was required to modernise the structure and bring the Unit in line with international and national requirements. The funding has taken time to be put in place, along with the recruitment of additional staff to meet the requirements and work is underway now, with the TCI CAA regulator, to apply for the Air Operators Certificate. Whilst Mr Skippings suggests that I tried to ‘frustrate and fire’ staff from the RTCIPF Airwing, this is simply not the case, and the staff that were in place when I took over as the Commissioner, remain in place today. Indeed, the objective was to add additional staff which has been done. We are now in a strong position to obtain our Air Operators Certificate.”

He also highlighted what he had done, including the closure of the Blue Hills police station that he says barely anyone visited; the hiring and training of Turks and Caicos Islanders at senior levels in the force; resale of said unfit aircraft; upgrading of Air Wing staff; and restoration of police presence to Salt Cay. The commissioner also mentioned longtime projects that were still dragging on, including the restoration of the Grand Turk Marine Branch.

“Rather than the Police Force being damaged by me as their Commissioner, it is firmly my view that the Force is in good shape to meet the demands placed on it,” Botting said in response to the scathing review by Skippings.

There was one thing that the two saw eye to eye on, a necessary increase in officers.

“I do agree with Mr. Skippings that the Force needs to continue to grow to meet the shifting and ever-more complex demands of Policing. As an aside, I would also fully support the increase in the capacity of our colleagues in Immigration,” Botting maintained.

News

Stolen Vessel Recovered

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***MEDIA RELEASE***

 

July 20th, 2024.

 

#TurksandCaicos, July 20, 2024 – Shortly after 10 am yesterday (July 19th), the Police Control Room received a report of a stolen boat in the Turtle Cove district.

The description of the vessel given to officers was a black, 26-foot Hurricane boat with two Yamaha engines. Officers were told that the owner had secured the vessel on Thursday evening and had discovered it missing the following day.

Inquiries were conducted, and based on information received, Marine Branch Officers and Response and Operation Unit Officers searched a mangrove just off Five Cays today (July 20th) and recovered the vessel.

Two suspects were seen, one of whom was a 23-year-old from the Bight, Providenciales, who was caught and arrested for suspicion of stealing the vessel. The other suspect managed to escape.

The RTCIPF is asking anyone with information on illegal activities that may assist the police with enquiries to contact 911, the closest police station, the Serious Crime Unit at 231-1842, or call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-8477 and anonymously give any information.

Additionally, persons are being asked to download the CrimeStoppers P3 app.

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Crime

Firearm and Drug Charges

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Media Release

 

July 15th, 2024.

 

SHAIWANZO MISSICK of South Back Salina, Grand Turk, has been charged with six counts of firearm-related offences.

Missick, 30, was charged on July 13 after police officers consulted with the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions.

The offences against Missick are:

  • One Count – Discharging Firearm
  • One Count- Discharging Ammunition
  • One Count-Possession of Firearm with intent to commit a serious offence
  • Two Counts-Possession of Ammunition
  • One Count –Possession of Firearm
  • One Count-Possession of Controlled Drugs
  • One Count- Possession of Controlled Drugs with intent to supply.

The charges against Missick came following a report made on Saturday, 29 June 2024,  following a shooting incident in Breezy Brae.

Officers obtained a warrant and searched the accused’s residence based on the information received.

The RT&CIPF is asking the public to notify the closest police station, contact 911, the Serious Crime Unit at 231-1842, Crime Stoppers at 1-800-8477, and anonymously give any information on illegal activity.

Additionally, persons are encouraged to download the Crime Stoppers P3 app from the Google Play Store or Apple Apps and share information anonymously.

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Crime

Five Cays Shooting Update

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#TurksandCaicos, July 19, 2024 – Shortly after noon on July 12th, the Control Room of the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force received reports of a shooting in Five Cays, Providenciales. A team of offices was dispatched to Granny Hill.

Upon arrival, several interviews were conducted, and evidential items were retrieved.  Thankfully, no one was injured.

Given the investigation’s sensitivity and lines of inquiry, the RT&CIPF cannot comment further.

We are aware of audio videos and photographs purporting to be the location of where the incident allegedly occurred and ask that persons circulating such be mindful of exposing victims.

The RT&CIPF is again reaching out to the public, emphasising their crucial role in this investigation.

We urge you to notify the closest police station, contact 911, the Serious Crime Unit at 231- 1842, Crime Stoppers at 1-800-8477, and anonymously provide any information on this shooting or any illegal activity.

Your cooperation is vital in ensuring justice is served. Additionally, persons are encouraged to download the Crime Stoppers P3 app from the Google Play Store or Apple Apps and share information anonymously.

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