Specialist Serco prisons team deploys to Turks and Caicos Islands

Published: 12 Nov 2020

A specialist team of twelve officers drawn from across several Serco managed prisons in the UK (HMP Ashfield, HMP & YOI Doncaster, HMP Dovegate, HMP Lowdham Grange and HMP Kilmarnock) has deployed to the Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI) to help the Islands’ Government with their custodial support requirements at Her Majesty Prison in Grand Turk.

The team arrived on Grand Turk in mid-October and is helping to improve local prison management capability and to enable local officers to be released to receive training. This deployment will also provide resilience during the transition to a newly appointed Prison Superintendent, where they will be involved in helping to ensure the safety of staff, prisoners and the local community.

This is the second time a Serco team has deployed to the TCI, the first occasion being in the aftermath of the two category five hurricanes (Irma and Maria) which devastated the region in September 2017. From October 2017 into early 2018, around 120 Serco custodial employees deployed on a rolling basis to provide valuable support, coaching and mentoring.

Commenting on the new deployment, Heath Chapple, Serco’s Managing Director, Justice & Immigration said: “We are delighted to be able to help the Turks and Caicos Islands Government and the new Prison Superintendent in helping custodial colleagues on Grand Turk and maintain stability and security within the prison. Our team includes a number of highly experienced officers who are able to offer a great deal of expertise in all aspects of prison management and operations.  We know from the last deployment to the islands, three years ago, the different and sometimes challenging conditions that we will face there that are very different to those we see on a daily basis back here in the UK.”

Her Excellency the Acting Governor, Mrs. Anya Williams, commented: “I am pleased to welcome the Serco team of officers to the Turks and Caicos Islands and to thank them for their continued support and partnership in providing much needed support and resources to the TCI Prison system. Having deployed to the Turks and Caicos previously, we know and appreciate the value of their work, which not only helps to bolster numbers, but also to increase proficiency levels at Her Majesty’s Prison. The TCI Prison system is undergoing a number of key resource changes at the moment, including the recruitment of a new Prison Superintendent, Training Manager and additional Prison Officers. The deployment of Serco alongside the temporary support we have been provided from the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force (RTCIPF) has been critical and is much welcomed during this transitional period.”

Althea Been, Permanent Secretary of the Turks & Caicos Islands Government, who commissioned this Serco support, said: “I am delighted to have the assistance of Serco as we in the Ministry of Home Affairs continue to roll out the new vision for the Prison.  With the commissioning of highly trained police officers in the first instance, and now supported by Serco, and an incoming new Superintendent, along with enhancements in other key areas, we are have now positioned ourselves to focus on striking a balance with punitive and the much need rehabilitative measures at the Prison”.