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President of the TCHTA, James McAnally

In the wake of the recent upsurge in violent crimes, the Turks and Caicos Hotel and Tourism Association (TCHTA) has expressed deep concern for the loss of young lives, the citizens' uneasy as a result, and the negative effects it could deal the economy.

The following is the statement from the TCHTA:

The Turks & Caicos Hotel and Tourism Association is deeply concerned about the recent surge in serious crime within our communities. As a leading advocate for the safety and well-being of our residents, we feel it is crucial to address the growing apprehensions and take necessary steps to ensure a secure environment for all.

Over the past two months, our Board of Directors has met with the Police Commissioner and the Governor’s Office to voice these concerns as we saw a serious trend starting once again of extreme violence not common to our islands.

We are concerned as an industry and as the nation’s largest employers that our citizens and guests must believe Turks & Caicos is a safe place to live and to visit. We field calls from travel advisors and prospective visitors having to provide comfort and assurance we are a safe destination. The only way this happens is if we see an increase in both communication and presence of the Royal Turks & Caicos Islands Police Force along with arrests and convictions of guilty criminals. We must see a consistent improvement instead of reactive efforts after major events.

We are extremely disturbed by the incident that occurred in Grace Bay this week. Although it may be isolated towards a specific individual, it clearly was a display of the blatant disregard for the law and human life. We are certain that everyone agrees it should never happen and we will strongly advocate for a “Zero Tolerance” approach to these heinous crimes which have a direct negative impact on our islands economy and well-being.

The TCHTA remains committed to working hand in hand with local stakeholders, law enforcement and the community to address this pressing issue. The hospitality community has pooled resources in the past aiding the force with lifesaving and surveillance tools and is prepared to assist again. We also support the plea from the TCIG for the community to share information in the most confidential way. Information and communication is key. If provided, a strategic plan can often be created to capture and eradicate a threat before innocent lives are negatively impacted.

As we collectively strive for a safer future, the TCHTA will continue to engage the Governor’s office and the RTCIPF, and push for results for our communities. “Peace and Freedom for All” are not just words on a document used for the framework of a nation but are values that are to be protected and given the highest priority. We believe in this and will continue to support every initiative to protect them.


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