It may be the festive season, but that doesn’t mean it will come and go without the impact of crime and antisocial behaviour during the Christmas holiday weekend.

Acting Deputy Commissioner of Police, Martin Weekes, issued a pre-Christmas advisory warning residents that police will be on patrol across the island to ensure “everyone is able to enjoy the festivities in a peaceful and safe environment”.

“The Bermuda Police Service (BPS) recognises that during the Christmas and New Year’s holiday period, there is an increase in social as well as commercial activity, which is unfortunately often accompanied by an uptick in associated criminal activity and anti-social behaviour,” said Mr Weekes.

“To deter opportunistic crime and provide reassurance to the public, police officers will be patrolling across the island – including the City of Hamilton – engaging with patrons, retailers and motorists to ensure everyone is able to enjoy the festivities in a peaceful and safe environment.”

He also encouraged residents to assist the BPS in this endeavour by being mindful of the following common sense crime prevention and safety tips.

  • Keep doors locked and windows closed when you are away from your car.
  • Do not leave packages visible in your car windows. Consider securing items inside the trunk or if possible, take them directly home.
  • When approaching and leaving your vehicle, always be aware of your surroundings. Park in a well-lit area if possible and do not approach the vehicle alone if there are people standing nearby acting suspiciously.
  • Have your keys in hand when approaching your vehicle. Check the back seat and around the car before getting in.
  • Do not buy more than you can carry. Plan ahead by taking a friend with you or ask a store employee to help you carry your packages to the car. Avoid traveling alone if possible.
  • Avoid giving rides to and taking rides from unknown persons, or individuals who may seem eager to assist.
  • For women in particular, never leave your handbag unattended in a shopping cart, on a shop counter or on the floor by your feet. Carry your purse close to your body.
  • Keep wallets concealed inside a coat or pocket when not in use.
  • Don’t take shortcuts through isolated areas.
  • If possible, carry a small flashlight and cell-phone in case you need to make an emergency call.
  • When shopping with children, make a plan in case you are separated from each other. Identify in advance a central meeting place. Teach them to know they can ask store personnel or security employees if they need help.
  • If going out to socialise, arrange to arrive and leave with people you know.
  • When out socialising, don’t leave your drinks unattended and do not accept drinks from unknown individuals.
  • If you are planning to socialise arrange for transportation home before you leave and don’t drink and drive and don’t let your friends and colleagues drink and drive.

“Residents are also encouraged to always lock their doors and windows when leaving home, even for a few minutes. If leaving home for an extended period of time, ask a neighbour or family member to watch the house. Displays of holiday gifts should not be visible through windows or doors,” said Mr Weekes.

“In addition to the late night shopping activity, this time of year is marked by increased socialising with family, friends and colleagues at various festive events. Where intoxicants are involved, unfortunately, we also typically see increases in road traffic collisions and anti-social behaviour. As a result the Bermuda Police Service encourages members of the public to enjoy themselves responsibly.

“Patrons attending Christmas and New Year’s parties are asked to be mindful of their behaviour. Carefully consider your options and the consequences. The BPS is prepared to appropriately address any anti-social behaviour that may occur and will use all lawful powers to deter and detect offenders, as well as offences, as necessary.

“Police officers will be out monitoring the roads during the holiday period. Traffic checks can be expected at various locations, particularly where events are taking place, with road sobriety checkpoints scheduled for 29th December 2022 through 1st January 2023 at various locations across the island.”

Mr Weekes concluded: “Finally, on behalf of the Commissioner and the Bermuda Police Service, I wish you all a safe and pleasant holiday period and thank you for helping us Make Bermuda Safer.”