Police will be out in full force both out on the water and on the streets during the 2018 Bermuda Day holiday weekend.
National Security Minister Wayne Caines said an extra 50 police officers will be deployed around the clock during the three-day holiday weekend.
Speaking at a joint news conference with Superintendent Darrin Simons yesterday, he said police will use their power to stop and search on demand to ensure a safe weekend.
“They will be at the ready in the event that their services are needed, should any tense situations arise,” said Mr Caines.
“I wish to reassure the public that this government takes the safety and protection of all its citizens extremely seriously.
“We will not have our national holiday marred by the actions of those who seek to instil fear and mayhem in our community. We will not tolerate any anti social behaviour and bad actors will be held to account.”
The Minister noted recent violent acts, including the gun shots fired through a window at Docksiders on Front Street.
Following talks with the Commissioner of Police to discuss manpower and deployment since the incident, he said the Gang Violence Reduction team will also help with police operations.
On the positive side he said: “Bermuda Day is a time to come together as a community and celebrate one another.
“It’s about embracing our unique heritage with family, friends and the special people we meet throughout the day.
“We want to uphold and celebrate these traditions without the concern of violence or antisocial behaviour.
“Bermuda has enjoyed a relatively peaceful period for six months, and this Government will do its part to maintain a level of peace, safety and security for all who reside in this island.”
Mr Simons also urged Bermuda’s motoring public to use caution and take extra care while out on the water and on the road.
He also stated up front that “acts of antisocial behaviour will not be tolerated”.
“Members of the public should expect a heightened police presence during the holiday weekend, with officers conducting visible patrols throughout the island and 315 F checks at various locations,” said Mr Simons.
“As in previous years, the Bermuda Police Service and the race organisers will have officers and marshals positioned along the route. They are there to minimise risks to all road users, especially the cyclists and runners.
We are asking the motoring public to fully cooperate with any direction given.
We all need to do our best to ensure there are no collisions with race participants as that could lead to serious injury or death.
On Friday, the roads along the race route will close at 8:30 in the morning.
Therefore persons in the West End who are travelling on morning flights need to be sure they are at the airport before 8am.
The roads will be opened when it is deemed safe and delays of up to an hour and a half or more should be expected.
The road closures will be in effect from 8:30am until around noon. In addition:
• No traffic will be allowed to travel in either direction during the cycle race.
• No traffic will be allowed to travel in the opposite direction to the marathon runners.
Bermuda Day Parade
The Bermuda Day parade starts at 1:30pm. Spectators should not obstruct the participants in the parade.
Officers of the Royal Bermuda Regiment will be on hand to assist. Please make sure you comply with any of their directions.
Start: Bernard Park (Dutton Avenue), Marsh Folly Road, Cedar Avenue, Church Street, Court Street, Front Street, Queen Street to City Hall car park.
No parking areas will be clearly marked, and specific road closure times are contained in the gazetted notices.
This weekend marks the unofficial start of boating season. There will also be a visible marine police presence, supplemented by the Bermuda Reserve Police.
Members of the boating public should always exercise care and caution around other vessels and be on the lookout for swimmers. Speed is an issue not only in maritime collisions, but it also creates a general nuisance that affects boaters at anchor near the shoreline. To that end, the 5 knot – no wake zones will be strictly enforced.
We also discourage persons from mixing any use of alcohol with power-boat operating or sailing.
The motoring public should be mindful that the police will be highly visible on the roads.
In addition to calming the roads there will be an emphasis on offences such as speeding, impaired driving and driving without due care and attention.
Remember, road safety is everyone’s responsibility.
Loud music complaints both in residential neighbourhoods and on the water are a problem associated with this holiday and we accept that the celebration of Bermuda Day brings with it a party atmosphere.
We ask a couple things of the public: patience and tolerance on the part of the persons who enjoy a more somber celebration, along with a display of respect and courtesy on the part of those who like to party hard.
We encourage members of the communities that they live in to work together to keep the peace in the neighbourhood, in an effort to avoid the involvement of the police.
Our final message again this year is to encourage everyone to exercise patience, tolerance and caution so that we all have a good time!
On behalf of the Commissioner of Police, BPS staff and the Bermuda Reserve Police, I wish the entire community a pleasant, enjoyable and safe holiday weekend.