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Crime

TCI Community College staff struck and robbed, another chased in car by attackers

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Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer 

 

#TurksandCaicos, February 23, 2024 – Attacks against several of its staff members last week have forced the Turks and Caicos Islands Community College to reassess its security.

“The college is robustly ending in immediate steps to review and reinforce our campus security protocols,” said a February 16 letter to staff seen by Magnetic Media.

The letter puts the date of the incidents as February 15th at one of its Providenciales campuses.

In the first,  a male member of staff was attacked and his car stolen after he left a meeting. When Magnetic Media queried police about the event, they released additional details of the robbery.

We were told around 9:15 pm, Thursday February 15, a 39-year-old male and his colleagues were leaving the TCI Community College Campus, Princess Drive, Providenciales, when a group of men surrounded his vehicle.

The man, noticing that one of the men had stopped at the rear of the vehicle, approached him to investigate and was struck on the head. In the immediate aftermath, the assailants escaped in the victim’s car, leaving the TCICC staff member injured at the scene.

The victim was transported to the Cheshire Hall Medical Center by police officers, and up until news production time, the car had not yet been recovered.

Following this incident, the Community College also revealed that a car chase had taken place.

A female member of staff this time, was chased down by suspected criminals as she left the campus. The employee managed to outdrive the people pursuing her and arrive safely at her destination, but she was described as shaken.

Now both, police officers and campus administration are urging residents to remain vigilant, especially when heading into their cars at night.

Safety tips that can help residents avoid attack, robbery, injury, or worse include:

  • Stay alert when heading to your vehicle; don’t be distracted by your phone; pay attention to your surroundings.
  • if you see anything or anyone suspicious, do not investigate on your own; go back and get a security guard or similar personnel to assist.
  • Have your keys ready in your hands before approaching your car, so you can enter the safety of your vehicle immediately.

The police have not yet arrested anyone for the robbery attack against the employee.

Crime

Following Court ruling, US Embassy Doubles Down on Warning: DO NOT TRAVEL TO TCI WITH GUNS, AMMO

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By Deandrea Hamilton

Editor

Dozens of news reports are all over TV and the internet, scarring the Turks and Caicos’ reputation yet again. This time linked to what Americans view as the preposterous law, which would, without chance for legal argument, throw a tourist into prison for 12 years.  It is a mandatory conviction law on the books for possession of unlicensed guns or ammunition, and which just heard from the Court of Appeal that there ought to be no exceptions, whether it is one bullet or one gun, whether it is a tourist or a woman.

But what policymakers in various submissions in the House of Assembly back in October thought would return a win or opportunity for leniency to be injected as part of a legal defense has backfired.  Now, unequivocally, the high court has ruled that the law gives no leeway.  Anyone found with an unlicensed gun or ammunition must face what the law says is the penalty: not a fine, no reduced prison time, no exoneration, but 12 years mandatory in His Majesty’s Prison.

Now the US Embassy is doubling down on its message to travelers to the Turks and Caicos Islands.  Do not travel with your legal gun and ammunition from the US to the islands. Do not, because in the islands, your right to carry arms is not automatic, and if you are caught, you will face severe punishment, and there is nothing the US government can do about it.  There are several tourists charged and awaiting a ruling in their cases.  There is also a Grand Turk businesswoman who was arrested for a single bullet in her luggage.  While all of these matters are shocking and drawing public calls for leniency, as far as the law goes, everyone charged under it is headed to prison for 12 years.

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Caribbean News

More than 300 murders in Jamaica since 2024

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Rashaed Esson

Staff Writer

Jamaica has recorded 311 murders since the start of 2024 as of April 13, across the 19 police divisions according to the latest crime statistics from the Jamaica Constabulary Force. However, despite the amount of murders, this is a decrease of 14 percent compared to the same time last year.

The divisions with the highest murder counts are: St James with 41, St. Catherine South, 29; Westmoreland, 28; St. Andrew South, 25; St. Ann, 21; and Clarendon, 21. Portland has the lowest with 2 murders.

Additionally, Rapes have declined by 37 percent and break-ins by six per cent.

Meanwhile, shootings have increased by three per cent and robberies one per cent, compared to the same time last year.

 

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Crime

Aggravated Burglary

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#TurksandCaicos, April 15, 2024 – The recent aggravated robbery targeting a five-member household is undoubtedly distressing for both the victims and the community at large.

Superintendent (Division A) Willet Harvey said, “Around 11:21 pm yesterday (April 14th) evening, the Police Control Room received a report that four masked males, three of whom were armed, entered a residence at New Subdivision, Grand Turk, and proceeded to rob the occupants.

The armed suspects managed to flee the scene on foot and escaped.

“Following the report, officers were dispatched to the scene, conducted extensive searches and interviewed individuals. Based on the information received, we are actively pursuing several leads that will lead to arrests in the shortest possible time.

“The incident highlights the importance of remaining vigilant and proactively safeguarding homes and families. I advise people to enhance their home security by locking doors and windows when inside, investing in a CCTV system, and ensuring adequate outdoor lighting. Should you have any information on this burglary or illegal activities in Grand Turk, please call 946-2299. ”

The RTCIPF asks 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 CrimeStoppers P3 app and share information.

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