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UK Foreign Office Reviews TCI Police, Failings captured in Guardian News Article



Deandrea Hamilton & Dana Malcolm 

Editorial Staff


#TurksandCaicos, October 23, 2023 – Complaints fielded to media houses and posted on social media for years by residents regarding the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force have finally landed on the desk, all prim and proper, at the UK Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) according to a report from The Guardian.

An October 17 news article claimed that a new review of the TCI Police by the UK FCDO had found that the Force was not only ‘overwhelmed’ it identified several failures including:

  • limited forensic abilities,
  • no management structures for serious incidents,
  • and a bizarre insistence on recording crime data in a spreadsheet rather than a British government database shared with other police forces in the region.

While this may be news to the Foreign Office, the findings are long documented issues locally.

The shortcomings of the Police in areas like forensic capabilities came under international scrutiny with the case of American attorney, Marie Khunla, where the woman’s body was reportedly left in questionable condition before the arrival of a pathologist from overseas.

There are other incidents as well including the death of an Indian tourist in August 2021 where his body could not be released to family immediately because of the lack of a pathologist, the discovery of a local man, Ryan Musgrove’s headless body in Grace Bay in mid-2023, which remains an unclassified death, reportedly due to a lack of forensics.

And there are more.

As for the management structure for serious incidents, there have been numerous criticisms; a case in point, the murder of British Denise Buck in January 2022 where officers reportedly took much longer than required to cover a negligible distance after a 911 call reporting an ongoing break-in and that deadly attack.  An internal investigation was promised but nearly two years on, there are no results of the probe.

The time Police officers took to respond to ‘shots fired’ calls and a crime scene of nearly an entire family slaughtered in a hail of bullets on October 31, 2022 remains unaddressed.  The only surviving member of the cruel attack of the Ceasar family, was a seven year old girl sat injured and bloodied in the back seat of the family’s car; likely in shock and unable to move or cry out for help as her mother, brother, unborn sibling and step father lay dead in the car.

The scene was stumbled upon by residents, who filmed and photographed the shocking incident – the police were completely unaware and once they were, had made repeated mistakes regarding the release of information in the matter.

A complete mess amidst an incomprehensible crime.

As for record-keeping, not only is the Royal TCI Police Force notoriously tight-fisted with information, ignoring requests from the Media companies and others to share crime statistics and other data, but it manages its own database.

Essentially characterized in that news report by the Guardian as odd because TCI crime information was not synchronized with the UK’s system or any other overseas territory in the region.

The crime data follows a system linked to the TCI’s financial year which means murders and other crimes are collated from April 1st in one year to March 31st in the other; Commissioner Trevor Botting abandoned the calendar year system when he became top cop.

Still, the yearly data is often late and lacking; at seven months into the 2023-2024 financial year, there is still no release of the 2022 statistics on Crime and Detection.

The Guardian piece, published on Monday October 16, said the investigation was prompted by the unprecedented levels of crime experienced in 2022; calling it the worst among territories and the UK itself.

So far the Report, which is vaguely referenced by the new TCI governor, Daleeni Daniel-Selveratnam in her comments to the UK Guardian, has not yet been shared with Turks and Caicos politicians speaking to Magnetic Media.


Tim and Henry to the Rescue: A Harrowing Search and Rescue Mission Highlights Need for Marine Vessel in Grand Turk



#TurksandCaicos, July 12, 2024 – At approximately 2:45 pm on July 12th, a 911 emergency call came in from the police department in Grand Turk, informing Ed Forbes of a distressing situation. Four young adult tourists had gone out on paddle boards off Cork Tree Beach in Grand Turk, when one of them fell off the board and could not get back on. Evidently, they underestimated the wind speed and their own brute strength.

Ed Forbes, co-owner of Exclusive Escapes Grand Turk, played a pivotal role in coordinating the rescue. Responding swiftly to the emergency call, he immediately reached out to the local search and rescue team. His prompt actions and calm demeanor were instrumental in mobilizing the necessary resources.

Within 20 minutes or so, Tim from Emerald Escapes, along with Henry and Kindry from Blue Water Divers, were on the scene. Their experience and swift response were crucial in ensuring the safety of the stranded paddleboarders. Working seamlessly together, they managed to locate and rescue all four individuals without any need for medical attention.

However, this incident also underscores a critical issue that has long plagued Grand Turk: the need for a dedicated marine vessel for search and rescue operations and cruise passengers incidents. Despite numerous promises made to concerned citizens over the years, this vital resource remains unavailable.

The swift response of Tim, Henry, and Kingdry highlights the community’s resilience and dedication, but it also brings to light the gaps in emergency preparedness that could be addressed with better equipment and support.

A dedicated marine vessel would significantly enhance the efficiency and safety of rescue operations, ensuring that responses to such emergencies are even more effective.

Ed Forbes
Concerned Citizen

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Invest TCI Opens New Office in Grand Turk





Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands – July 11th, 2024—Invest Turks and Caicos Islands (Invest TCI) proudly announces the launch of its new office in Grand Turk, located at the Digicel Building on Old Airport Road. The grand opening of the new location occurred on Friday, July 5th, 2024, under the theme “Empowering Enterprises in the Capital.”

The establishment of the new office marks a significant milestone in Invest TCI’s growth strategy. The primary objective of the expansion is to provide enhanced services and support to the business community in Grand Turk. By increasing operational capacity, Invest TCI aims to facilitate sustained growth and success for enterprises within the country.  Beyond economic advancement, this initiative is set to yield substantial community benefits, including the creation of employment opportunities.

The grand opening ceremony attracted a diverse range of attendees, including recipients of the Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) programme, members of the business community, government officials, and Invest TCI staff. The event was moderated by Mr. Keno Forbes, Vice President of Investor Services. Special remarks were delivered by the Premier, Hon. Charles Washington Misick, who congratulated the InvestTCI team on their hard work and encouraged the community to take advantage of the benefits offered by the new office. He reiterated the government’s commitment to creating a supportive environment for businesses in the Turks and Caicos Islands.

Additional remarks were provided by Invest TCI Chairperson, Ms. Cindy Ewing; Business Advisor, Ms. Lashena Simmons; Director of the Business Support Unit, Mrs. Anissa Adderley; and Vice President of SME, Ms. Alexa Cooper. Their contributions highlighted the collaborative effort and dedication that have driven the success of Invest TCI initiatives.

Expressing her enthusiasm for the new office, Invest TCI CEO, Mrs. Angela Musgrove, stated, “Our vision is clear and compelling: to further empower Invest Turks and Caicos Islands, the agency offers incentives and support that enable more efficient and innovative practices. We are committed to helping businesses thrive, and in doing so, we are helping our entire community.”

Invest TCI recognizes the integral role that Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises play in the economic and social development of the Turks and Caicos Islands. Through its Business Support Unit, the agency provides comprehensive support services to startups and existing entrepreneurs, ensuring they have the tools and resources to succeed.

The grand opening of the new office in Grand Turk represents a significant step forward in Invest TCI’s mission to support and empower businesses across the islands. The agency looks forward to fostering economic growth and development and ensuring a prosperous future for all.

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(Thursday, July 11th, 2024) Turk and Caicos Islands – The last of five American tourists arrested in the Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI) for being in unlawful possession of  ammunition could finally leave the TCI today, Thursday, July 11th, 2024.

Sharitta Grier 46 pleaded guilty on 25th June to having two rounds of.38 ammunition in her bags, at the Howard Hamilton International Airport in Providenciales on Monday 13th May, 2024, when leaving the Turks and Caicos Islands after a surprised Mother’s Day vacation trip, from her daughters.

Her Ladyship The Hon. Ms. Tanya Lobban-Jackson agreed with senior defense counsel, Ms. Sheena Mair of F-Chambers that there are exceptional circumstancés in Grier’s case, by this, the court departed from the mandatory minimum sentence of twelve years imprisonment and ordered a lighter sentence of $1500.00 or Six months imprisonment if fine is not paid. She’s also sentenced to 23 weeks imprisonment suspended for one year.

Holding for the office of the Director of Public Prosecution via link was Dr. Angela Terry Brooks, deputy director of the DPP’S office.

The prosecution office did oppose exceptional circumstances and invited the court to impose the mandatory minimum sentence of twelve years imprisonment.

A more detailed court report will follow.

Wilkie Arthur
Court Correspondent
Eagle Legal News Media

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