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Turks & Caicos Hotel and Tourism Association (TCHTA) Calls for Community Unity in Face of Staggering Crime Rates

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Providenciales, Turks & Caicos, March 7th, 2024 – The Turks & Caicos Hotel and Tourism Association (TCHTA) expresses grave concern over the surge in brazen murders and associated crimes that has resulted in an alarming statistic for the country, leaving residents and visitors distraught and irreversibly affected. This wave of violence has prompted the organization to address this urgent issue that threatens the safety of residents and jeopardizes the reputation of Turks and Caicos as a premier travel destination.

For the second time in a two-year period, the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), responsible for the country’s internal security, has deployed assistance to Turks and Caicos on the heels of requests from the Governor and Premier. While the aid is promising and necessary, tackling crime in any country requires a systemic approach if the root issues are to be successfully penetrated.

Considering the country’s unbelievable murder count and brazen shootings at resorts, heavily populated eateries, and near daytime school events, these harrowing statistics demand the urgent attention and collaborative efforts of the government, law enforcement, the church, and the community at large. The TCHTA believes that timely intelligence from the community is crucial in combating crime and is appealing to residents to do their part by actively participating in efforts to make our neighborhoods safer.

TCHTA President, James McAnally, reiterated the call for a united front against crime, saying, “Our islands have always been known for hospitality and safety. It is the very essence of Turks and Caicos and its people and is the reason the world has fallen in love with our destination. The surge in criminal activities threatens to destroy that image, and we hope to see another aggressive crime clean-up initiative in the immediate future which we will eagerly lend our assistance to.”

The TCHTA is extending its condolences and prayers to everyone affected and mourns the loss of these precious lives. The organization says the unfortunate incident on March 6th where a resident was hit by a stray bullet is further proof that crime is everybody’s business.

“We are eager to do our part along with community leaders, educators, and other non-profit organizations, and do whatever necessary to save our communities from continued loss and heartbreak,“ shared Stacy Cox, TCHTA CEO. She continued, “Crime at this level requires a no-nonsense approach and positive police-community relations. We urge the public to work with authorities and provide information that can assist in solving crimes. It will take all of us working together to ensure the safety of our residents and our visitors. We cannot stand by and allow our neighbourhoods to be overrun and robbed of our young men – our future leaders.”

Through its People Development Committee, the organization is actively engaged with the Ministry of Education in its “Reaching the Streets” program, an initiative which focuses on multi-sector intervention against violence and aims to equip individuals with strategies to mitigate the impact of gun violence and influence troubled youths to make positive choices.

“There are so many outstanding programs at no cost that we want our communities to take advantage of,” expressed Cox. The TCHTA says it is imperative that young people have healthy channels to deter their interest in the allure of risky and criminal behaviour, and encourages parents to take advantage of these outlets:

• Edward Gartland Youth Centre
• TCI Football Association (TCIFA)
• Sports Commission
• Ministry of Education (Five Cays Community Center)
• Junior Achievement
• Church Youth Groups

As an essential element of the Turks and Caicos economic landscape, tourism in the country relies heavily on safe communities. Considering the events of March 5th, the TCHTA is emphasizing the importance of managing the destination’s reputation to visitors and ensuring residents feel secure in their own neighbourhoods and workplaces. The country is encouraged to continue its long tradition of parents being parents to all, and communities being a place where everyone is ‘their neighbour’s keeper’.

The organization commends the RTCIPF on its Community Policing initiative and is highlighting the new crime tips app announced by Crimestoppers Turks and Caicos – P3. The app allows anyone with a tip to share securely and anonymously, with no requests for name, address or contact information. These tips go directly to Miami Dade Crimestoppers and the TCHTA is appealing to all residents to allay their hesitations and make use of the tools available.

The association has long been a staunch supporter of local law enforcement and community initiatives, contributing financially to various programs aimed at crime prevention and community welfare, including donations to the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force (RTCIPF) for equipment and training.

The TCHTA continues to pledge its commitment to being active partners with law enforcement and local government agencies and has consistently met with authorities at various levels to assist in devising strategies and interventions aimed at reducing crime rates and boosting public safety.

“In our ongoing commitment to ensuring the safety of our communities, we have proactively supported efforts that emphasize preventing crimes through intelligence gathering, proactive monitoring, and the questioning and interruption of criminal activities before they are carried out,” stated McAnally. “We firmly believe that through our collaborative efforts with the authorities we can make a substantial impact in combating crime and safeguarding our beloved islands.”

The Turks & Caicos Hotel and Tourism Association believes that through collective effort and community unity, the current challenges can be overcome, and the islands restored to the peaceful haven they are known to be. The TCHTA implores the public to join hands with the authorities in the fight against crime, ensuring a secure and prosperous future for Turks and Caicos.

ENDS

About Turks & Caicos Hotel and Tourism Association (TCHTA)
The Turks & Caicos Hotel and Tourism Association is a non-profit organization dedicated to advocating for the tourism industry in Turks and Caicos. With a mission to promote, protect, and enhance the tourism sector, TCHTA works collaboratively with government bodies, businesses, and the community to ensure the sustainable growth and prosperity of the islands.

Media Contact
Omega Simmons
s.omega@turksandcaicoshta.com
(649) 331-8917

Crime

Shooting Incident

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***MEDIA RELEASE***

 

July 23rd, 2024.

 

Around 10:59 am, the Police Control Room received a call of gunshots at a location along the Millennium Highway, Providenciales.

Officers of the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force were dispatched and, based on preliminary investigations, were told that the occupant (s) of a red Suzuki Swift was at a business place when another car pulled alongside it, and the occupants started shooting.

The driver of the Swift drove off while the other unidentified vehicle sped off in a separate direction. 

Officers found the Swift abandoned near Miracle Close, Blue Hills, shortly after.

Based on investigations, no injuries were reported.

This remains an active investigation.

The RT&CIPF is asking anyone with information or CCTV footage of the shooting 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 Crime Stoppers P3 app.

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Crime

Male Charged with Theft and Handling Stolen Goods 

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***MEDIA RELEASE***

 

July 23rd,2024.

 

A 23-year-old male from the Bight, Providenciales, has been charged with the theft of a boat.

CHANDELER JOSEPH is expected to appear before a Magistrate next week to answer the following charges:

  • Two Counts of Theft
  • Two Counts of Handling Stolen Goods

The charges against Mr. Joseph followed a report of a stolen boat in the Turtle Cove district on July 19th,2024.

Inquiries were conducted shortly after Mr Joseph was arrested and subsequently charged.

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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