Photo Courtesy of TNN

Hard on the heels of a brutal fatal stabbing and a vicious machete attack on a young mother of two, National Security Minister Wayne Caines has disclosed that the recent spate of violent incidents are all connected.

Those incidents include the recent shooting in St George’s and another stabbing incident outside the Heron Bay Plaza, which are all under active investigation by police.

Speaking at the latest COVID-19 briefing on Thursday, the Minister said four suspects were arrested in connection with the murder of Joshua Rowse.

All four were released on police bail as the investigation continues and the Bermuda Police Service (BPS) continues to support the victim’s family.

Meanwhile, he said: “Targeted patrols have been placed in the area of Warwick to reassure the public and respond quickly to incidents. Intelligence is being used to deter and prevent further gang retaliation.”

On the recent disturbance at Chaplin Bay, he said: “One male attended KEMH with a stab wound to arm and was arrested.

“Enquiries are ongoing.

“The BPS also continue their search for Chavelle Dillon Burgess alongside ongoing enquiries in regards to the arrest of a 39-year-old male.

“As a reminder, there is a $50,000 reward being offered for any person who can assist the BPS in locating Chavelle,” he added.

As Bermuda moves to Phase 4 next week, the Minister also made “a few key points for the community to be aware of”, particularly during the summer season when it comes to “our beaches, parks and surrounding waters”.

“As we navigate towards the lifting of the State of Emergency on June 30th, it’s critical that we remain vigilant as a community by following the safety guidelines in place by the Ministry of Health,” said Mr Caines.

Next week, Phase 4 will allow gatherings of up to 50 persons. And we recognise that there are some members of the public who will wish to host events or gatherings of more than 50 persons.

However I must caution – any event or gathering of more than 50 people, must have the permission of the Minister of National Security.

In that regard an application must be made seeking approval.

To assist the public, a planning guide for any gatherings of over 50 people will be available on the Government website.”

The general process once application is made is as follows:

  • Event organisers, this includes planners and promoters for larger functions such as concerts – will have to submit an event safety plan taking the guidance into consideration when planning their event
  • A form will be made available on www.gov.bm for persons to apply for permission to hold an event for more than 50 persons. Guidance surrounding this will be on the form
  • The Disaster Risk Reduction and Mitigation Team will review the applications with the Ministry of Health and other relevant agencies
  • If permitted, the DRRM Team will issue an approval letter outlining the health and safety conditions for hosting the event
  • A copy of all approval letters will be sent to the Bermuda Police Service
  • To ensure that we provide the clearest possible advice to potential event planners and promoters for large scale events, the Ministry of National Security will host a meeting at a date and location to be announced in due course
  • Anyone wishing to attend this meeting should email: [email protected] and include in the subject line – Promoters/ Event Planners Meeting

Turning to the Bermuda Police Service, Royal Bermuda Regiment and the Coast Guard:  

  • The BPS and Regiment continue to work in partnership to ensure adherence to COVID regulations
  • On land compliance is positive however there were 19 curfew breaches on the water last weekend with boaters ignoring the 10pm curfew and having to be directed to shore
  • Law enforcement action will now be taken to those that fail to comply with the marine curfew
  • The BPS will place additional resources this weekend at locations where disorder has taken place previously
  • The BPS continue to investigate the recent incidents of serious violence, including the murder of 22-year-old Joshua Rowse. Four parties believed to be involved were arrested and are now on bail. Enquiries continue into the case and the BPS continues to support the family of Mr Rowse
  • It is now believed all recent incidents, including the murder of Joshua Rowse and the attack on the female with a machete, are connected
  • Further parties have been arrested and enquiries continue. The BPS thanks the community for the information they have provided to assist the investigation. Targeted patrols have been placed in the area of Warwick to reassure the public and respond quickly to incidents. Intelligence is being used to deter and prevent further gang retaliation
  • Also this past weekend there were reports of a disturbance at Chaplin Bay involving fighting with helmets and knives. On arrival of BPS the group had dispersed. One male attended KEMH with a stab wound to arm and was arrested. Enquiries are ongoing
  • The BPS also continue their search for Chavelle Dillon Burgess alongside ongoing enquiries in regards to the arrest of a 39-year-old male
  • As a reminder, there is a $50,000 reward being offered for any person who can assist the BPS in locating Chavelle

The Minister also noted that the Royal Bermuda Regiment has been embodied for nearly four months to provide “an invaluable service”.

“Over the next few days, the Coast Guard will continue to enforce Bermuda’s maritime laws and the COVID regulations,” he said.

“Again as is my familiar refrain – raft ups are still prohibited and the limit is 20 persons for recreational boats. All commercial boats are allowed as many persons as the license allows, as long as they maintain appropriate physical distancing.

“I want to remind that this weekend we are still in Phase 3, so though we are announcing Phase 4 plans, it’s important to note that the new guidelines for Phase 4 do not go into effect until next week Wednesday.

“Existing rules for Phase 3 remain in effect for this weekend. And we will be enforcing the guidelines this weekend.”

Coast Guard summary points:

  • There were 84 days of continual operations
  • We had 7 Coast Guard vessels in use
  • There were 343 Operations conducted from Watford House
  • There were an average of four, 4 hour patrols per day
  • There were 4,206 instances of engagement with water craft
  • The Coast Guard issued 173 warnings; served 33 summons; assisted with 8 arrests; and issued 38 tickets
  • Conducted 6 Search and Rescues; More than a dozen boat tows; AND
  • Participated in 1 Joint Exercise with the British Royal Navy

Top Feature Photo Courtesy of TNN