Following a holiday weekend marred by violent crime, the Bermuda Police Service (BPS) today urged parents to be “aware of what their children are up to and where and with whom they hang out” with as officers encounter more people carrying weapons.
Over the past few weeks, a spokesman said the police have been called out to attend several incidents where there were more people than usual carrying weapons on them, while out partying.
Any suspect caught carrying a knife in particular, or “any other bladed or pointed article” would be arrested and held until they appear in court, the spokesman said.
The maximum penalty in Magistrates’ Court calls for a three-year sentence and a $5,000 fine, with a mandatory five-year sentence and up to $10,000 in fines in the Supreme Court.
In a statement released today, the BPS noted that bladed weapons include any type of knife or homemade object with a blade or a sharp point, including screwdrivers and chisels, in addition to anything that is sharpened.
Under the law, a sharpened toothbrush qualifies as a weapon, although police usually encounter people armed with machetes and kitchen knives, which; based on law, are defined as items made and/or adapted to cause physical injury.
“A conviction in Magistrates’ Court can land an offender with a two-year sentence as well as a $1,500 fine,” the spokesman added.
“A Supreme Court conviction will lead to a five-year sentence as well as a $5,000 fine.”
The BPS also urged anyone who works with knives or gardening tools to leave them at work or take them home immediately after work.
To parents, the spokesman said: “If you can, be aware of what items your kids are leaving the house with and take note of anything that could be deemed a weapon as previously described.”
In terms of excuses, he said the police have heard it all when it comes to claims that a machete was being used or carried for trimming trees at 3am.
“We have heard all the excuses and are able to easily investigate any claims made by an offender,” he said.