• The following statement was released today (July 29) by One Bermuda Alliance MP Ben Smith, the Shadow Minister of National Security…

On May 24th Bermuda had to learn to celebrate without the half marathon or the traditional parade.  We were coming out of shelter in place and the relaxing of restrictions was slowly happening. Our population anxiously waited for Bermuda to move through the phases to reach a more normal existence.

When we look back on what has happened, we must also be aware of the tragic incidents that have taken place and the increase in these incidents around national holidays when there seems to be more alcohol and drug consumption.

We have seen accidents leading to death and life-altering injuries. We have seen an increase in antisocial behaviour and violent crime. Murder, injury, and property damage have all take place during these periods.

Cup Match is the height of our summer and gives everyone a chance to spend time with family and friends and celebrate the best of what Bermuda has to offer.  This year the Emancipation Day and new Mary Prince Day give us the opportunity to pause and reflect on the meaning of this holiday while we regroup for the work we have ahead to fully recover from the effects of Covid.

We can enjoy our time off and enjoy each other but we must remain safe.

Safe against the virus.

Safe on our roads.

Safe from domestic abuse.

Safe from child abuse.

Safe from the violent crimes that have been plaguing our communities.

Normally this weekend is highlighted with a two-day cricket game, but that will not be the case this year.  This means that the activities that draw large crowds will be in different locations. We must remember the rules on crowd sizes and physical distancing.

The virus has not left. We still must make sure our hospital does not get over-run and our health system stretched too thin.  We sacrificed to flatten the curve, but we cannot forget everything, behave badly and undo all that was achieved through those sacrifices.

Those that can help, please reach out to your neighbour who has lost their job or has reduced hours so that they can enjoy this weekend. Remember to thank the front-line workers who kept us safe, including the security guards who were visible throughout the restrictions, but very rarely made the list of thank you.

Let’s help the Police, Regiment, and Fire Service by being safe, making the decision to not drink and drive or create an incident that needs their attention. Look out for each other and work together so that this is an enjoyable weekend for everyone.