Assistant Commissioner of Police Martin Weekes has confirmed that the Bermuda Police Service is working with the Ministry of National Security and the Crisis Response Team to avoid any potential retaliation to last Friday’s gun murder.
As a result, he said, police will zero-in on hotspots and known offenders over the Cup Match holiday weekend.
“We will be proactively policing certain hotspots and certain individuals that we expect would be likely to do this sort of thing,” said Mr Weekes.
“We are an intelligence-led police service, so we keep our ears to the ground. We work closely with our partners in the Ministry. We feed a lot of information into the system, who are out there trying to help us calm things down and to avoid retaliation.”
Speaking at a news conference on the Cup Match holiday policing plan and in the wake of the fatal shooting of 30-year-old Taylor Grier.
To avoid an escalation of gang tensions, he said police will conduct high visibility patrols, with “particular attention to incidents of public disorder, antisocial behaviour and weapons possession”.
“Those persons who are not deterred by the presence of the police and commit offences can expect to be promptly arrested and placed before the courts,” he added.
The Bermuda Reserve Police, the Royal Bermuda Regiment, the Parks Department and security officers at events will also be involved “to ensure a safe environment”.
He also reminded the reminded the public to expect traffic delays at Horseshoe Bay on Thursday and heading into Somerset on both days of Cup Match.
Those of you planning on being out on the water were also warned to ensure their vessels are registered, have all the required safety equipment on board and to stick to the five knot, no wake zones.
Mr Weekes also noted that police were aware of an increase in the amount of the party drug Ecstasy on the island, as they have heard of “anecdotal experiences” of the drug.
“We would urge everyone to be very careful with their drinks when they are in licensed premises, or whether they are at one of these major events.
“Our final message this year is to encourage everyone to exercise patience, tolerance and caution to help the BPS to do our job,” he said.
He also made a public appeal, particularly anyone involved in violent crime to think about what Cup Match”means to their community and to not spoil these events for the Bermuda community as a whole”.
National Security Wayne Caines added that up to 50 additional police officers would be on duty overnight “to deal with any increases in illegal or antisocial activities”.
CCTV cameras will also be covering the Somerset Cricket Club grounds for the very first time with up to 50 police officers daily and a command centre on site.
Mr Caines also repeated the zero tolerance policy for people operating vehicles and boats while under the influence of alcohol.
“If you are found to be under the influence and in control of a vehicle, you will be arrested. So please, don’t drink and drive,” he said.
Members of the Co-ordinated Crisis Response Team will also be available at Agape Faith in Dockyard, Beulah Tabernacle in Somerset, Vernon Temple AME and Southampton Seventh-day Adventist church in the event of a major crisis.
The Minister noted that the main aim was to ensure that the Cup Match holiday weekend remains “safe and free of antisocial behaviour”.