“Serious violence has declined with no homicides or serious injuries as a result of firearms during the 2019 calendar year.”
This from National Security Minister Wayne Caines, who told MPs on Friday, that crime statistics show declines in violent crime and antisocial behavior.
“Whilst the Bermuda Police Service (BPS) are finalizing crime statistics across Bermuda for the past 12 months, initial analyzing
suggest that the prevalence of crime and anti-social behavior is being discouraged through the new community policing model now in place,” said Mr Caines.
“Serious violence has declined, with no homicides or serious injuries as a result of firearms during the 2019 calendar year.
“Some of this success must be rightfully attributed to the Ministry of National Security’s Gang Violence Reduction Team
(GVRT),” he said.
“The BPS attributes the GVRT for successfully preventing tension between gang members and diverting young men into
rehabilitation, notably the Redemption Farm programme. The BPS has recorded an uptick in crimes in relation to the theft of motorcycles.”
Updating MPs on the Bermuda Police Service’s policing performance and holiday safety and policing plans, the Minister also reminded residents “to adequately secure their vehicles”.
“The problem is being addressed through crime prevention and the targeting of key individuals,” he said.
“Additionally, the BPS’ investment in the creation of a dedicated Vulnerable Persons and Child Exploitation team is now
identifying many aspects of ‘hidden harm’.
“This has led to a rise in reported crimes relating to vulnerable victims, particularly domestic violence, sexual offences and on-line child pornography.
“Victims who previously would have suffered in silence are now being protected from any further harm by a dedicated BPS team.”
Following an “extensive recruitment drive” earlier this year, he said: “A total of 110 applications were received.
“After initial assessments to candidate profiles, the selection pool has been reduced to 45 applicants. These applicants are currently being processed through medical and psychometric tests, with indications that a cohort of 15 officers will enter the BPS on the 6th of October as probationary constables.”
On the upcoming Cup Match holiday, the Minister said: “St George’s Cricket Club has engaged the services of private security firm SAS Protection Services to provide security services at the venue for the duration of the event.
“The BPS has appointed a Gold Commander, Superintendent Na’imah Astwood; and Silver Commander, Inspector Kenten Trott, for the event.
“These Commanders have conducted regular meetings with partner agencies and relevant service provides to coordinate safety and contingency plans.
“A comprehensive operational order has been written in addition to emergency planning procedures toensure there is sufficient capability to deal with any eventuality presented.
“The operational activity at the Cup Match grounds and in the surrounding area will be from 6am until 10pm each day. Prior
to admission of the public, safety inspections and searches for prohibited or dangerous items will take place by trained officers and canine units,” said Mr Caines.
“On the first day of Cup Match, St George’s Cricket Club will close the bars and grounds to the general public at 10pm. There are no plans by St George’s Cricket Club to have any post game entertainment. However, the BPS will have resources in place to monitor and respond to incidents at scheduled after-parties.
“The Commissioner of Police (COP) and Commanding Officer (CO) of the Royal Bermuda Regiment (RBR) have actioned
formal plans to unify all BPS and RBR marine assets to advance Bermuda’s maritime capabilities. This will enable greater uniform presence on Bermuda waters and tactical capability to respond to marine incidents including emergency rescue, crime and anti-social behavior.
“The unification of the BPS and the RBR resources is an excellent opportunity for the two agencies to develop their joint marine
presence as the RBR continues to develop its Coast Guard element,” he added.
“The unification of the BPS with the RBR will expand the already established Parish Constable programme. Marine Parish constables will utilize jet- skis equipped with blue light, siren and loud hailer equipment to provide a daily visible presence on the water to engage with Bermuda’s Marine Community in support of Crime Prevention and service provision.
“Jet-ski capability will also provide greater access and rescue capabilities within hard to reach areas of Bermuda’s waters.”
The Minister also urged residents “to exercise extreme caution when travelling Bermuda’s roads during the long holiday weekend”.
“Roadside sobriety checks have now been in place for ten months, and will continue throughout the summer. The community has largely supported sobriety checks.
The media and licensed premises are each doing their part to help change attitudes and behavior towards the risks and dangers of drunk driving.
“There have been 366 offences for impaired driving recorded since road side sobriety checks began, however there is indication that the levels of offending is decreasing as evidenced by reduced road traffic casualties reported at KEMH.”
The Minister concluded: “Cup Match is an exciting time in Bermuda. It is a time for the island to come together to celebrate the victories of our past and plan for our future collective triumphs.
“Let us all continue to do what we must to ensure our roads are safe and that there are no injuries or fatalities over the festive weekend.”