Mark Anderson on Crime, Students & More

December 16, 2010

Today [Dec 16], speaking as a concerned citizen of Bermuda, Mark “Sybil” Anderson appeared before the Joint Select Committee, made several pertinent points, and offered recommendations based on his life experience generally and his current work experience in Bermuda.

Having spent fifteen years living in New York City, and since his return to live in Bermuda, he said that he had seen an epidemic of crime in Bermuda. He said that about five years ago, whilst still living in New York, he had met a senior Bermudian Civil Servant and had warned him that within three years, Gun Crime would be a major problem in Bermuda.

Mr Anderson described the behaviour of schoolchildren at the Hamilton Bus terminal saying that he has seen boys and girls as young as twelve drinking rum from plastic cups before they boarded buses to travel. He also said that he had noticed that some schoolchildren were afraid or nervous about walking home. Responding to questions from Committee Chairman the Honourable Randy Horton, Mr Anderson challenged the community to come to the Bus Terminal of an afternoon: “Stand and open your eyes. You will see it.”

He offered that kids were under a lot of peer pressure and “can’t even walk home from school.” He cited Dellwood and Victor Scott as two schools badly affected by this problem. He said that children were often tasked or pressured into acting as lookouts for gang and crime related activities.

Referring to the recent case where ‘Scaly Williams’ was beaten up at Loyal Hill, Mr Anderson warned against what may be rising “vigilante justice” pointing out that if the Police had treated ‘Scaly’ like that, it would have been considered Police brutality. The fact that the beating was done by members of the community did not make it different or acceptable.

In a stark warning that was as clear as the one he said had given five years ago, Mr Anderson said that from his experience, Bermuda could expect an increase in home invasions.

Recommending action, Mr Anderson said that:

  • CCTV and Police and Customs should be regularly used at all of Bermuda’s national border entry points
  • Bring back retired Police officers to help in the fight against gangs and crime
  • Police should randomly search Prison Officers to stop contraband such as cellphones and drugs getting into the hands of prisoners
  • Through HE the Governor, the Commissioners of Police and Corrections should share the intelligence that they gathered from their officers
  • All Police officers should always be armed
  • There should be mandatory curfews for all teenagers
  • Bermuda prisons needed a harsher regime as – from his experience – many West Indian prisoners said they’d prefer to do their time in Bermuda rather than in a prison in their home Island. [read a comparison of Bermuda vs Jamaican prison here]

The Joint Select Committee is continuing to meet, with meetings extending into January 2011.

Share via email

Read More About

Category: All, News

Comments (9)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Crystal Cave says:

    Congratulations to Mark for speaking out. And to Sybil: We must do a show together. I’m on FB.

  2. nameless says:

    Congrats to him for speaking out, and for raising a number of very, very good points and offering reasonable solutions. I can’t support a curfew for teenagers, and good luck bringing back a retired police officer, but other than that he’s dead on.
    I would suggest that police search customs officers for drugs etc much like he suggests they do prison officers. The prison system needs to be harsher so that the police and lawyers who work to bring our criminals to justice can be sure that their work isn’t fruitless, and is recognised.

  3. lastchancenobreaks95 says:

    like what he said on ALL POINTS,,INCLUDING CURFEWS FOR ALL TEENAGERS…exception is giving IF they hold a job. but they MUST BE HOME BY the time set.

  4. the root of it all says:

    i’m kind of torn on the idea of police carrying guns all the time for one reason only: bermudians have lost all sense of right and wrong and don’t truly value justice. how much you want to bet, the second the police shoot somebody who was carrying a gun committing a crime, there will be cries about the ‘police brutality’? god forbid that person is killed in a shootout with the police, and i’ll bet anything we’ll see riots and civil unrest.

    there is no respect for justice, law and order anymore. whenever someone gets caught committing a crime, a large number of people think ‘everyone deserves a 2nd chance’ before they’ve even paid the price for doing wrong! i’m sorry but the way i was brought up, if i shot somebody my family would be devastated and they would not disown me completely, but they would be first in line to tell the judge to throw the book at me. wrong is wrong and deserves it’s just punishment. there should be no ’2nd chances’ until punishment is received.

    a prime example of many bermudians’ mentality is when we had the wellington oval ruckus. if that had been me, my family would never abandon their blood….but they would visit me in PRISON. instead we witnessed mothers and friends and family cheering on their family members as they were brought before the courts….as if they were somehow heroes! there doesn’t seem to be any shame in doing wrong and there is a very warped view on the consequences of criminal behavior. no wonder these guys keep doing what they do- there’s always someone there to make excuses for them and no admonishment.

    how many of these guys who have been shot were simply innocent victims? i’d say a very small number of them that could probably be counted on one hand. people don’t seem to understand the concept of ‘reaping what you sow’. nobody deserves to be murdered but if you are involved in that lifestyle, there are consequences. if all the police carried guns, i think they’d have a hard time ever using them even when justified, because bermudians seem to think life has no consequences and if you do wrong you should still be protected without any repercussions.

  5. common sense says:

    Curfews for all teenagers, No. Curfews for teenagers with previous convictions, Maybe. Most adults punish the whole teenage community for the actions of a few. They cannot tow on their bikes,for some odd reason, because out of the last 20 or so road deaths, 1, maybe 2, involved the death of a teen. But when adults were teens they got to tow, and pack race like hooligans, the way these teens have never seen. Now they are applauding Mr. Anderson and Ms. Barrington(confused), for proposing a mandatory curfew on the teenage population, for whom the majority are law abiding. Why must they have a curfew, when there are dozens of Adult drug addicts, breaking into your homes at night, oh ya, and in broad daylight lol. There maybe a few, but majority know better, and are good people, try talking to one.

    • Um Juss Sayin says:

      common sense, try using some. Teenagers cannot tow on their bikes not because of the recent road deaths, but all the accidents, non-fatal included, nonetheless, caused by/involving inexperienced teenage riders.

      The curfew is an excellent idea- teenagers are always complaining that there is nothing to do on the Island, so now you can actually sit home and do nothing. You are viewing this as penal, when adults would view it as prevention.

  6. Terry says:

    Just off the top of my head, Mr. Anderson has some points. Don’t knock them. I don’t see your names here.

    Atleast he’s human enough to put a face to the message.

    Good on on You Mark. You’ve done your part without malice. Karma too you.

  7. Are U Serious? says:

    Hats of to Mark for again putting forward what has already been said time and time again..He has said NOTHING NEW. Hopefully someone will listen this time.

  8. D. Evans says:

    I applaud Mr. Anderson for speaking out and at least trying to come up with ideas/solutions to fix the problem.
    @The root of it all, I agree with you