The police will continue to exercise powers under the Criminal Code Amendment Act 2010 to disperse groups in the White Hill area of Sandys, Acting Chief Inspector Robert Cardwell said today [Oct 4].
Acting Chief Inspector Robert W. Cardwell said, “The Bermuda Police Service is announcing that the authority to disperse groups in the area commonly referred to as White Hill in Sandys Parish, specifically: Middle Road between Spring Benny Road and Farmstead Lane; Spring Benny Lane, Spring Benny Drive, Spring Benny Road, White Hill View, Rockywold Drive, Rockywold Road, Butterfield Lane, Woodlawn Road, Fairhaven Lane, White Hill Lane, Farmstead Lane and any public place contiguous to any of these roads, has been re-issued under the authority of Acting Chief Inspector Robert Cardwell, the current Western Area Commander.
“The period of this ‘Authority’ shall be between 8am on Saturday, 6th October, 2012 and 11:59pm on Friday, 19th October, 2012.
“It is necessary to exercise these powers to combat incidents of playing loud music, using offensive language, distributing illegal drugs, consuming alcohol in public and other criminal offences suffered within this community including burglary, theft, robbery, and the willful damage of private property that have caused residents to feel intimidated, harassed, alarmed and distressed by the congregation of groups.
“The exercise of police powers under Section 110 of the Criminal Code Amendment Act was recently the subject of a defense challenge in the Magistrates’ Court.
“The Bermuda Police Service has taken legal advice in relation to that challenge and is equipped to continue to exercise police powers to disperse groups who participate in anti-social behaviour.
“The Bermuda Police Service is committed to bringing relief to the residents of this community and others. The public are reminded that under this ‘Authority’ police have the power to instruct persons who are congregated to disperse, and to not return to the areas designated under the ‘Authority’ for the duration of the ‘Authority’.
“Any person who refuses to comply with an instruction to disperse is liable to immediate arrest and will be detained until the next sitting of the Magistrates’ Court. The penalty for such an offence is a fine of up to $2,500 and/or 3 months imprisonment.”
Assistant Commissioner of Police David Mirfield said, “The Bermuda Police Service is working with other area partners and intends to announce shortly that the ‘Authority’ to disperse groups is likely to be issued in other areas.”
Assistant Commissioner of Police David Mirfield went on to say that, “the Bermuda Police Service will always take into account community voices and will respond accordingly.
“Measures such as the powers under Section 110 may not always be the appropriate response; that will be determined by looking at a range of solutions and deciding on what is right for that particular area of concern.
“But I want to reemphasize that the powers under Section 110 have and will only be used following full consultation with the affected communities.”
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