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Crime

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Community Articles, Crime,

Treat crime as an emergency and national crisis

We are under a threat and should be treated as such

Introduction

Hurricane Fiona was a threat to the Turks and Caicos Islands and so the National Disaster Committee was activated and headed by Acting Governor, Her Excellency Anya Williams and was able to engage various stakeholders and many volunteers to address and develop plans to deal with Hurricane Fiona.

I believe the crime situation in the Turks and Caicos is a national crisis and should be treated also as an emergency. Therefore, we need to engage various stakeholders. I know there is a National Security Council in the Turks and Caicos of which comprises some of the following members: the Governor, the Premier, Commissioner of Police, the Superintendent of Her Majesty Prison and the Attorney General. However, this council needs to be expanded and should include individuals from the Labour Department, Social Welfare and Education. There should also be a subcommittee of other stakeholders such as pastors, parents and volunteers.

The National council and the subcommittee should develop strategies to deal with crime situation and should meet as frequently as possible like what the National Disaster did during and after the preparation of Hurricane Fiona.

We are under a threat

I think the threat of murders in our country is more dangerous than the threat of a Hurricane. I made that statement because there were no fatalities over the last couple of years from Hurricanes. However, we have 8 murders already in September and 18 for the year. When you compared this to our population, this is very high per capita and is higher than our neighbours.

The murder of one person is a threat to our country let alone 18. In 2021, there were 13, 22 in 2020, 13 in 2019, 8 in 2018 and 4 in 2017. If we do not get this under control, this will become a way of life for some individuals and this of course will be a threat to the residents. Some may argue and say that it is not threat to them because they are minding their own business, but we cannot take anything for granted because we do not what is going on in the minds of individuals and furthermore, you may be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Many of the victims are young Turks and Caicos Islanders men and if that is not a threat, then I don’t know what that is.

Our economy is totally dependent on tourism and when the news of this threat becomes public, this can be deterrent for tourists. We promote the Turks and Caicos as a safe destination but if this rate continues, we cannot longer say it is safe and so this is a major threat. While these murders are not taking place in the areas where tourists stay, but if it is not controlled, it can possibly happen anywhere and furthermore once Turks and Caicos is mentioned with the number of murders, it will not matter where the murders are taking place.

Treat the situation as an emergency and disaster

I think the various stakeholders did their job in planning and preparing for the Hurricane. It is time now that the relevant authorities do their jobs in dealing with crime. It is time that the Government, the Governor, the Police, Various Government Departments, and parents treat this as a crisis. We need to burn the midnight oil and strategize because what we are doing now is not working. Ultimately the Police is responsible for catching these criminals. I don’t know what is going on behind the scenes, but the Police is not caching the criminals. The Social Welfare need to work with the labour Department and Education to formalize a strategy to deal with the root causes of crime. We need to pressure the Government continuously to deal with crime and make that their priority and they need to take some drastic steps.

We don’t know who in this country is. We don’t have a database of fingerprints in this country. We are not hearing from the Police often enough. Don’t wait until a murder takes place. Of course, we do not expect the police to tell the public all their plans as it can jeopardize their security plans but the public needs to see some actions such as the arrests of the right individuals.

There needs to be constant communication with the public. There must be constant visibility of the police in the community. Our borders need to be checked daily as too many drugs and guns are entering the country. We need some social programs that are effective.

Conclusion

I believe we can alleviate the crime situation in this country. However, it does not appear to be a priority and it only becomes a priority a few days when a crime takes place. This is an emergency, and the Government should treat the crime situation as an emergency. The people must demand this daily.

multiethnic police officers running for thief
Community Articles, Crime,

How little things can make a difference in reducing crime

 “A review of Tipping Point, a book written by Malcolm Gladwell

Introduction

The recent murders of five individuals are creating a lot of talks among individuals. Of course, there is a lot of blaming and pointing fingers and as usual it is also political. Everybody on the outside including myself seems to have the solutions but history has shown us when some of these individuals become the decision makers, there is no change. This tells me there is a greater problem we are not addressing, and that problem is the root causes of crime. If we can deal with the root causes of crime and start doing some small things, we can significantly reduce crime in our society. With that said, a client of mine introduced me to book called Tipping Point written by Malcolm Gladwell.


A review of the Tipping Point

In the book, the author demonstrated how small things made a big difference in fashion trends and crime through something called social epidemic in which the behaviours of individuals spread like viruses. In other words, people imitate others, and it spreads like wildfire. Social epidemic comprises of three main laws, the law of the Few, the stickiness factor and the power of context. In the law of the few, a few people are making a difference through their influences. These people have a connection with other people. In the stickiness factor, you must have something that is memorable or addictive that will attract others. In the power of context, it is referring to the sensitivity of the environment.

The book also described the Broken Window Theory in which “if a window is broken and left unrepaired, people walking by will conclude that no one cares and no one is in charge.” Soon thereafter, more windows will be broken and will lead to more serious crimes. In New York there was a lot of graffiti in the train station, and it was not a focus on solving crimes. However, as soon as the police started paying attention to the graffiti and start cleaning it up and painting it over, it sent a message to the vandals and as soon as the police start addressing it, the vandals stop doing the graffiti. Another example is that some kids were jumping over the turnstiles and not paying the fare to get on a train. No attention was given to this but as soon as the police paid attention to this, individuals stopped jumping over the turnstiles and start paying the fare. All of these are examples of how these small things reduced the crime level in New York significantly.

The state of crime in the Turks and Caicos

I believe the crime in the Turks and Caicos started by a few people. However, these few people became very influential and were able to attract other people to commit these crimes. I am not convinced it is due to lack of employment or lack of trade and skills because some of these individuals committing these crimes are employed. The situation is that these individuals are being influenced by others and committing a crime is a way of life for them. They do not fear the police because they believe the police is not doing anything and so they continue with their bad habits. I believe the visibility of the police in communities will reduce our crimes. Because the police are not visible, the criminals are taking over and getting away with murders. The criminals must be fearful of the police and the visibility of the police with firearms in their possessions will deter the criminals. This is a small act that can have a significant impact on the crime situation. The visibility must not only be in Five Cays but throughout the communities in the Turks and Caicos Islands.

Another small thing we can do as a community is to ensure that families return to the basics which is to go to church. Many people no longer believe in the word of God and many people are bringing children up without taking them to church and as a result a big hole has created allowing the devil to come in and start a spiritual warfare destroy the minds of our young people. If we can get our people in church, it can make a significant difference.

In 2018, the Government at that time started something called Operation Guardian which was successful in dealing with illegal sloops, illegal individuals and the inspection of homes and job sites. This should be reintroduced, and I believe a small initiative like this will make a big impact on reducing crime.

I also think that we need to introduce and teach crime prevention in elementary, secondary, and tertiary schools. Furthermore, we need to identify some young people in the community who are doing positive things and encourage them to influence others. The same way criminals are influencing others, so can non-criminals.

Conclusion

I encourage each of you to read the book, the Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell. It just takes a few small things to reduce the crime level in the TCI. This Government and successive governments have spent millions of dollars on the resources that the police say they need to tackle crime, but crime continues to increase. We need to find these criminals and when we find them, it will send a strong message to others. Because these criminals are not being found, they continue to commit these violent acts. Somebody knows what is going on, but no one is saying anything and as a result crime continues to escalate. However, if we can start doing some small things, we can catch these criminals and we can also reduce the crime situation in TCI.

Protest sign at a Black Lives Matter protest after the murder of George Floyd.
Community Articles, Crime,

Too many young men are dying

Don’t let their deaths become just statistics

Introduction

Too many families are grieving due to the deaths of young men. There are so many unanswered questions as the leading cause for the deaths among our young men is homicide. Perhaps some families would be more at peace if only justice would take place by capturing the murderers and putting them in prison. This is a big problem because many of these cases are simply cold cases. However, we need to get to the root cause of these deaths, otherwise the deaths of our young men will continue to take place and become just statistics. In 2021 there were 13 homicides, 22 in 2020, 13 in 2019, 8 in 2018 and 4 in 2017

Other leading cause of deaths among our young men are vehicular and motorcycle accidents and illness. Unfortunately, at that the time of this article, I do not have the statistics.

Homicides

While the number of homicides has reduced in 2021 compared to what took place in 2020, in my opinion, one homicide is too much for our country given that the size of our country.

I don’t why people think they have the right to take the life of someone. Murdering someone is not the answer to your issues. Whatever issues you are facing, you do not need to resort to violence. Some people are taken matters into their own hands by revenge killing. Obviously, the murderers do not care and do not fear the police. We need to find a way to get in the communities and counsel young people. The thing is if you are having thoughts about committing a murder, get help and talk to someone. I believe some young people have mental issues and need help. I know there are some individuals who are going to the schools to counsel the young men. I encourage you to continue to do so.

I cannot imagine what the family of the murdered victims are going through. I know this is a tragedy for families especially when no one is saying anything. However, someone other than the murderer knows who committed those heinous acts, but that person remains quiet. You can help the police to capture these individuals by providing tips to the police. You can remain anonymous by calling Crime Stoppers.

Many people argued that there are inadequate programs in place to keep our young people occupied and hence they commit criminal activities. While this may be true to a certain extent, it still does not justify the murder of others.  Some of these young people have full time jobs and still commit these acts.

It appears that too many people have access to guns and using their guns to kill people. We need to stop the infiltration of guns in our society. The question is, how are the guns getting into this country. Obviously, they are coming through our ports of entry, but no one is finding them. We need to do a thorough search at our ports of entry.

Some of our young people are also under the influence of drugs and the drugs are controlling their minds and as a result they are committing murders. Again, drugs are entering our country, and this must end and be controlled. I encourage our young people who are not on drugs to do your best to avoid taking drugs. I know it is easier said than done but once you start taking drugs, it can become addictive, and this is something you do not want to happen.

Another thing is that too many of our young people are spending too much time out at all sorts of hours. I encourage the young people to stay home and be careful of the company you keep. You may become a target just simply by the company you keep.

Vehicular and motorcycle accidents can be prevented. Too many people are driving recklessly on the road. People are overtaking two and three vehicles at one time. People are driving without their seat belts. People are using their phones while driving. People are drinking and driving. It they don’t do the aforementioned activities; vehicular and motorcycle accidents can be prevented.

In addition, be alert on the road, don’t just look out for yourself, look out for the other drivers too.

Illness

Many males do not like to visit the doctors and as a result some men don’t even know if they have a medical issue and by the time they go to the doctor, it may be too late. I encourage men to get a medical check up at least twice a year. You need to know your status and prevention is better than cure.

Conclusion

Parents, please cover your children in prayer because there is a spiritual warfare taking place in our community. Try to get your children in church. Fathers, be a part of the lives of your children. Love you sons and show them that you love them through your actions. Our sons are being influence by too many persons outside of their family and in so doing, they are turning to drugs, alcohol and gangs and soon thereafter commit a murder. We need to save our young men and I believe they can be saved. We don’t need any more deaths.

Silhouette of soldiers walking against smoke and sunset background.
Community Articles, Crime,

Lessons Learned from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine

Introduction

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has caught everyone’s attention. While the Turks and Caicos Islands may not be directly impacted, there are lessons that we can learned from this invasion.

Ukraine was a part of the Soviet Union and became independent in 1991. Despite the Ukraine being independent, Russia, still invaded Ukraine and maybe it is because Russia has not accepted the fact that Ukraine is independent. Whether they accepted this or not, Russia felt threatened by Ukraine and therefore took a bold move by invading Ukraine with powerful weapons and machinery.

There are lessons we can learned from this invasion.

The strength of weapons

Apparently Russia is more equipped with nuclear weapons than Ukraine and therefore has successfully invaded Ukraine. Of course the Ukraine is fighting back and is getting weapons and equipment from other countries

In the Turks and Caicos Islands, we are invaded by criminals. Weapons seem to be all over the place and it looks like the criminals have more weapons than our police officers and because of this, the criminals appear to be succeeding in their invasion in the Turks and Caicos Islands.

We need to ensure that our police officers are equipped with weapons which will create fear in the criminals and we need to ensure that we are able to get rid of the weapons from the hands of the criminals.

The strength in numbers

Russia believes that Ukraine is still part of Russia and that they were the ones that created Ukraine. Doesn’t this sound similar in the Turks and Caicos whereby one nationality believes the Turks and Caicos Islands is the way it is because of them. We have to be very careful in the Turks and Caicos as we plan and strategize on the future of this country.

While the percentage of Russians in Ukraine is small now but almost everyone in Ukraine speaks the Russian language? What is the makeup of Turks and Caicos and what does the majority of the people speak?

When a country is outnumbered, it poses a threat to that country and those that outnumbered can join forces and invade the country. Russia has already demonstrated it has no respect for the laws. The same can be done in the Turks and Caicos.

We have to be very careful in our planning and I believe we must put a quota in place in the Turks and Caicos otherwise we will find ourselves being invaded. The writing is on the wall.

Conclusion

Invasion does not have to be by force nor by weapons. Individuals can set themselves up in key positions in the country and they can also established businesses and become the main economic providers while we sit down, complain and just become the consumers.  Gradually these individuals will take over and invade the country. Some of us will be forced to leave while others will remain in the country under siege by crime and other nationalities. However, this does not have to happen if we fix the issues and one thing we can do is put a quota system in place. We must also ensure that the local people are equipped financially to become the business leaders in the country.

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