|Karen Delancy: A call for social renewal||| Print ||
|Written by Administrator|
|Thursday, 12 August 2010 10:44|
Consultative Forum member Karen Delancy made the following statement at the group’s Aug. 3 meeting:
Highlighting the impact of crime in the TCI
Madam Chair, Colleagues, visitors, listening audience, good afternoon. My Colleague’s presentation on the call for Social Renewal-Highlighting the Impact of Crime in the TCI is a topic that takes in all areas of our society. I wish that we can eventually bring our key stake holders together in the not to distant future and re-address this topic in a workshop or symposium. I personally prefer a Symposium.
Madam Chair, the rising rate of crime in the Turks and Caicos Islands and especially on the island of Providenciales is frightening. Every day there is news of someone being robbed and in broad daylight. Madam Chair these culprits are bold, experienced and their plans are well thought out. Crime and the fear of crime is beginning to reduce the quality of life in these islands. Residents are beginning to feel trapped in their own homes.
The reality Madam Chair is that there are no more get rich quick schemes and hand outs whether political or otherwise are almost non existent, the local pawn shop in Providenciales has more inventory than they can sell. Our youths have been exposed to an unsustainable lifestyle and growing up with a culture that bigger is better and in some cases parents have over extended themselves financially trying to keep up with the Jones’s.
The world has had an economic melt down and the Turks and Caicos Islands are no exception. The construction boom disappeared, leaving natives and imported migrant workers without jobs. Our high schools have been turning out close to three hundred and fifty students per year. Our community college and university graduates make up another two hundred students bringing a total of five hundred and fifty students each year.
Some of these students find employment after months of trying, but the growing frustration in the majority of them not being able to find a job and in some cases being marginalized, can lead to events that can eventually cause criminal behavior.
Home and Community Responsibilities
Madam Chair, the community has a responsibility to not be silent and to help in the prevention of crime and the apprehension of criminals. Madam Chair on the island of Providenciales, a charismatic, dedicated and fun loving young man was shot, run over and left to die in the Kew Town area of Cheshire Hall a year ago. Last December, a young father was killed and his female companion left for dead in the Proggin Bay area. Two weeks ago a young photographer was robbed and shot to death in the Pirate’s Cove Area of Stammers Run.
Madam Chair, no one has come fort with any information leading to the arrest or apprehension of these criminals. No one Madam Chair! The mentality of “it is not my child” or my relative or my business must stop and stop now! No one knows who will be next on the criminals list. The Community needs to get involve in helping the police to solve these senseless crimes. We can no longer sit on our laurels and expect the police department to solve these crimes alone. Crimes are solved when the community and the police work together. There is a need to establish a neighbor crime watch in every community and on every island.
Parents need to know who their children’s friends are and where they hang out. A parent must know what their son or daughter can afford to buy with the pocket money that they are given. If your child brought home or is in possession of an item that he or she cannot account for, it is the parent’s responsibility to find out where and how it got into their possession. We need to prevent the development of criminality among our young people.
Madam Chair, the Turks and Caicos Islands are a Tourism Based Economy. Guns, drugs and other illegal activities have no place here. The police and the community must work together to eradicate crimes in all its forms.
Look at what happened in St. Croix. Some years ago, an American male was killed while playing golf on the golf course, his death made headlines in the international news and the tourism economy in that country simply disappeared. Madam Chair, tourism is the life line of this country.
In Aruba, their tourism took and continues to take a beating after the death of an American tourist named Nathalee Halloway. This is our country, our beautiful by nature Turks and Caicos Islands, we must never, ever, let the criminals take away our country and our lively-hood.
Attitudes to Work
During the time I served as Minister of Immigration and Human Services, I dealt with many appeals from the private sector, after a work permit had been turned down by the Immigration Board or the Labour Department. Whenever I would asked why the ratio of foreign workers to natives were so large, I was told many different reasons such as; Natives gossip too much, that they have lost their work ethics, that they are not ambitious enough, that they take a lot of privileges for granted and that they are not grateful enough. Those types of descriptions Madam Chair, was always a bitter pill to swallow.
Madam Chair, in the absence of a trade school, the Education Department must work along with the Labour Department and the private sector to implement an apprenticeship program and a mentoring program for our youths. Wealthy Turks and Caicos Islanders need to invest in our own economy thereby helping to create jobs and opportunities after all we were creating eight millionaires a year.
RTCI Police Force - Manpower
Madam Chair, for the past two years, our commissioner of police has received his share of harsh criticisms and the Tourism Working Group in their report was even more critical. This Madam Chair is very unfair. Madam Chair, the frustrations with the lack of man power, financial constraints, a new type of organized crime and a demanding public has led to many new challenges.
Madam Chair, HMG is ultimately responsible for the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force through the governor’s office. HMG should not shrug their responsibilities.
Madam Chair, I made some recommendations to the governor in my presentation, The Effects of Crime in the TCI. I asked that my recommendations be accepted and implemented and that this Consultative Forum give its support.
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