His Excellency the Governor, Nigel Dakin, chaired the 29th meeting of Cabinet on Monday 17 October 2022 at the Premier’s Office on Providenciales.
All Members were present, with the exception of the Hon Ministers for Immigration and Home Affairs who are out of the country.
At this meeting Cabinet:
· Confirmed its approval to an agreement between the TCI and the Commonwealth of the Bahamas to facilitate policing support to the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force by the Royal Bahamas Police Force.
· Approved the following Bills reflecting targeted Criminal Justice reforms aimed at disrupting serious violent and gun crimes in the Islands and for these to be introduced in the House of Assembly:
i. Firearms (Amendment) Bill 2022 introducing higher sentences for possession of specific firearms and high-powered firearms,
ii. Police Force (Amendment) Bill 2022 empowering the RTCIPF to stop and search persons and vehicles suspected of criminal activity, and to erect road barriers in high crime areas,
iii. Firearms Related Offences (Detention and Bail)(Amendment) Bill 2022 extending the period of detention for questioning of persons suspected of murder or firearm related offences,
iv. Anti-Gang Bill 2022 making it an office for a person to be a member of a gang and introducing various gang related offences,
v. The Offences Against the Person (Amendment) Bill 2022, The Magistrate’s Court (Amendment)(No.2) Bill 2022, the Defence (Amendment) Bill 2022, the Integrity Commission (Amendment)(No.2) Bill 2022, the Immigration (Amendment)(No. 2) Bill 2022, and the House of Assembly (Powers and Privileges)(Amendment) Bill 2022 increasing penalties for obstructing, assaulting or threatening a police officer, an immigration officer, an investigative officer, officer of the TCI Regiment, or an officer of the Court such as a Judge Magistrate, attorney, bailiff etc. in exercise of his or her duty or a member of the HOA,
vi. the Telecommunications (Amendment) Bill 2022 introducing enabling provisions to mandate the registration of new SIM cards to identify purchasers,
vii. Interception of Communications Bill 2022 providing for judge authorized interception of communications to assist police in gathering intelligence around suspected criminal activities as an aid to criminal investigations.
· Confirmed its earlier approval for the waving of license fees for the Great Shape Inc. Dental staff who will be providing free dental services to residents of the Turks and Caicos Islands commencing on 14 October 2022.
· Confirmed its earlier approval of amendments to the Supplementary Appropriation Estimates and Bill.
· Confirmed its earlier approval to waive fees relating to nourishment under the previously agreed Measures to Expedite Repair of Hurricane Damaged Coastal Infrastructure: Hurricane Fiona Grand Turk Cruise Centre Beach Restoration paper.
· Was updated on a visit by the UK Minister with responsibilities for the Overseas Territories to TCI in late October 2022.