Video: Policing For Halloween

October 27, 2011

Police Commissioner Michael DeSilva held a press conference this afternoon [Oct.27] to discuss Policing over Halloween, warning the police “will be out in full force and we will act swiftly against those who try to spoil it for everyone else.”

“Our operation has already commenced to double up on resources on the street, and we will run it until Tuesday,” said the Commissioner. “Extra officers are now on patrol and officers will be riding along on the public buses, especially on Monday. The number one activity we wish to deter is throwing objects at the traffic.”

The Commissioner continued on to say that, “This is an inherently dangerous offence that has become a local tradition over the years that we all need to bring to an end. Our experience tells us that the offenders are almost always teenagers and that compels me to put extra pressure on parents this year: please control your children so the police won’t have to.”

“It would be nice to think that if parents kept an eye on their children this year, my officers wouldn’t have to deal with this nuisance problem and could get on with the business of investigating serious crimes.”

The Commissioner’s full remarks are below:

Good afternoon.

I have called this press conference today to advise the public on the proactive policing and enforcement measures the BPS will be taking this weekend in the lead-up to Halloween on Monday.

I thought it was important for me to make a public address because there is likely to be some fear in the community arising from the shooting that occurred in Warwick on Monday night, and the four shootings that were reported during the first week of October.

Let me start with a very brief update on the progress of the shootings. You may be aware that we arrested three men in connection with the injury shooting at a North Shore night club on the 8th October: two men have been charged and are remanded in custody.

Yesterday we arrested three more people: two men were arrested in connection with Monday’s injury shooting; and one man was arrested in connection with the shooting incident at the South Roundabout on 5th October. That now brings the total number of arrests to nine in connection with these five incidents.

It is too early to say whether any more of these men will be charged – that will come down to the strength of the evidence and a decision from the DPP. But what I can say is that the three arrests yesterday resulted from tip-offs and information from members of the public.

Immediately after Monday’s shooting we moved our mobile command vehicle to Warwick Post Office and we have had detectives and CAT officers walking the beat in the Warwick area speaking to residents and shopkeepers. Clearly our outreach to the community was worth the effort and has produced results. Now we will hope that the evidence leads us to the conclusion of these cases.

In the meantime I would like to continue our appeal to members of the community to contact the police if you have information about any of the recent shootings, or any of the open investigations, or indeed if you have any information about gangs and guns. The Crimestoppers number is 800-8477 or you can contact us directly by telephone or in person.

That brings us to Halloween, which falls on Monday this year and is preceded by a half term holiday when many of the schools are out. That is a recipe for a busy weekend of antisocial behaviour competing against normal social activities and traditional trick-or-treating on Monday night.

Certainly I would wish to advise the public of the usual message we give at this time of year: the police will be out in full force and we will act swiftly against those who try to spoil it for everyone else.

Our operation has already commenced to double up on resources on the street, and we will run it until Tuesday. Extra officers are now on patrol and officers will be riding along on the public buses, especially on Monday. The number one activity we wish to deter is throwing objects at the traffic.

This is an inherently dangerous offence that has become a local tradition over the years that we all need to bring to an end. Our experience tells us that the offenders are almost always teenagers and that compels me to put extra pressure on parents this year: please control your children so the police won’t have to.

We have already had a number of incidents in the week leading up to Halloween and, disturbingly, the most recent ones have involved frozen eggs which have a higher potential for causing serious damage and injury.

It would be nice to think that if parents kept an eye on their children this year, my officers wouldn’t have to deal with this nuisance problem and could get on with the business of investigating serious crimes.

Finally, I would encourage anyone who usually celebrates Halloween to do so freely again this year. The best thing our community can do right now is come together, go about our business in a normal manner and demonstrate – visibly – that gangs do not run things around here. Additionally, there are numerous websites and newspaper that parents should look to for standard advice on the safety of trick-or-treaters.

Please have a safe and enjoyable weekend.

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  1. PEPPER says:

    Police commissioner De Silva, is doing a fantastic job ,as far as I can remember no other police commissioner has ever been seen or heard on radio or tv,as this man has.. and he tells us the good bad and ugly….we need to thank him for his excellent work..