The Minister was commenting on the on the 2010 Crime Statistics report released this week by the Bermuda Police Service.
He said, “I am pleased that crime overall is down but obviously that is mitigated by the fact that weapons offences are up. Understandably anxiety in the community remains high.”
The Ministry of National Security has administrative responsibility for the Bermuda Police Service and, in conjunction, with the Commissioner of Police is responsible for the budgeting and certain human resource areas of the service.
Minister Burch continued: “The criminal justice system led by the Bermuda Police Service at the front end continues to perform admirably with speedy arrests, investigations and committals for trial in many serious cases.
“This Government is committed to ensuring safe communities for all Bermudians and our guests and the support of the Police in this effort has been excellent.”
When he released the report, Police Commissioner Michael DeSilva thanked the public for its support last year — particularly regarding firearms offences, saying 2010′s high arrest and conviction rate was in part attributable to tips.
“The significant increase in charges and convictions is due in no small part to the increasing cooperation from the community,” he said. “I wish to take this opportunity to sincerely thank the public for the support we are seeing across the island and the continued assistance that we are receiving in terms of information and tips.
“I would also like to recognise the courage of those victims and witnesses that have taken the stand in Court and to acknowledge that without their testimony we would not have the convictions.
“Finally, I encourage everyone else in Bermuda to remember the part they play in taking a stand against violent crime and providing information to bring the remaining offenders to justice.”
Minister Burch also confirmed that the expansion of CCTV, including the installation of wireless cameras in the West End, would be completed by the end of this month.
“Technology is a vital tool in fighting crime, and with the anticipated completion of this phase of the work we will have strengthened the investigative and preventative capabilities of the Police,” he concluded.