Governor To UK’s Telegraph: ‘Report Is Wrong’

October 22, 2013

Following a report by the Telegraph saying Bermuda is seeking to transfer our most dangerous prisoners to British jails because we “can no longer cope,” Governor George Fergusson has written to the paper to say their report “is wrong in several respects.”

The Telegraph reported that, “Murderers, rapists and drug-dealing gangsters from the British Overseas Territory. in the North Atlantic could be sent to the UK’s already overcrowded jails to serve out the remainder of their sentences.

“Talks have been held between the two countries, with Bermudan [sic] officials claiming their British counterparts have signalled a willingness to help it and other overseas territories that are struggling to house their most dangerous criminals, provided certain criteria are met.”

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In a response posted on social media, Government House said that Governor George Fergusson has written a letter to the Editor saying the report “is wrong in several respects.”

The Governor said, “Transfer powers have long existed under the Colonial Prisoners Removal Act 1884. There are now high thresholds for their use and Bermuda has not used the Act for many years. Nor are any cases under discussion now.

“A prisoner might present special challenges who could be better accommodated in a larger prison system with specialist facilities. But Bermuda’s prisons can cope with their current inmates. They are operating below full capacity – thanks partly to a steady drop in crime rates, now the lowest since 2000,” said the Governor.

The discussion about possibly transferring prisoners has been going on for years, with both political parties broaching the topic.

The last time it appears a prisoner was transferred to the UK was in 1960, when a 19 year old Bermudian convicted of murdering a British secretary was sent to the UK to complete his sentence in a mental institution that could hold convicted prisoners.

Further back in history — in the 1800s — Bermuda often sent Bermudian prisoners to overseas prisons in a process called ‘transportation,’ with many Bermudians being sent as far as Australia.

The statement, as posted by Government House, follows in full below:

Following the publication of an article in yesterday’s Sunday Telegraph in the UK, Governor George Fergusson has written the following letter to the Editor:-

Sir,

The report (Sunday Telegraph, 21 October) headlined “Bermuda may use UK jails” is wrong in several respects. It claims that Bermuda can no longer cope with its prisoners, “is seeking to transfer its most dangerous” prisoners to Britain and paints a picture of rising crime on the Island.

Transfer powers have long existed under the Colonial Prisoners Removal Act 1884. There are now high thresholds for their use and Bermuda has not used the Act for many years. Nor are any cases under discussion now.

A prisoner might present special challenges who could be better accommodated in a larger prison system with specialist facilities. But Bermuda’s prisons can cope with their current inmates. They are operating below full capacity – thanks partly to a steady drop in crime rates, now the lowest since 2000. There has been a problem of gang violence, by the normally very peaceful standards of Bermuda. But the Police Commissioner has recently reported that this is at its lowest level for four years.

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Comments (13)

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  1. Bermuda boy says:

    I’m sorry, I thought we looked after our own affairs. Or is that only when it suits us.

  2. Not Enough says:

    Typical reporting by the Telegraph – SENSATIONALISM!!!!!!!!

  3. Nuffin but da Truth says:

    Transport the lot of them out,they don’t deserve to be here.a dark,dreary,bleak and miserable cell is all they deserve.

    It would be cheaper on the Bermudian Tax Payer.

  4. fishamon says:

    @ Nuffin but the truth… i hope you end up causing a road accident by mistake and…. and they ship you off to your dark cell. Your such a prick its not funny. Keep posting dumb **** n see what happens.. karmas a b***.

    • Robert says:

      fishamon…..SHUT UP! We have to many boys trying to enter Hotel West Gate. Dam place is better then most hotels in Bermuda. When these convicts start doing hard time they will think twice before commiting such acts against the gerneral public. People are sick & tired. You can always tell who the punks are, note their the ones that have to always travel in large groups because they can’t fight 1 on 1. Are you one “fishamon” do you also have to walk with your boys and hold each others hands?

  5. Mayan says:

    Are we still a member of Caricom? Why not send our prisoners to Jamaica? I can assure you they’d probably never commit another crime as long as they live.

    There are probably tons of places that would takeour prisoners. If I had my way, the most dangerous (e.g. murderers) would be shipped to South Africa which has the worst prisons in the world. Once word (especially word about the notorious male on male rapes) got around that one could be sent there, violent crime would drop to around zero. It sounds extreme but we have to do something…I’m sick of being held hostage by these lawless punks.

    • swing voter says:

      ya I asked about this a few years ago….the answer was that JCA doesn’t want our problems, even if we’re willing to pay top dollar for their services ;-( kinda hard to believe that even a cash starved country won’t accept 50K/yr per inmate.

      • Robert says:

        Swing voter you are the most ill inform moron ive seen on this site. That is an insulating and degrading comment about a country whos people have more pride and backbone than us whimpy, whining bermubians.

  6. Silence Do Good says:

    My opinion is that first we should reinstate the Death Penalty for crimes of Murder to see if that changes some attitudes of our violent offenders.

    Second I thing if Bermuda is looking for the next industry we should create a super max prison to houses the world’s worst offenders at a starting cost of $100K per year per inmate to the foreign country.

    Lock them up and throw away the key in the Triangle facility. Were we promise to beat inmates daily on behalf of their country. How many inmates do we have to house to solve our national debt? The development cost can be by foreign capital instead of creating another possible failed hotel. The jobs it would create for prison offices and support staff could help with the 2000 plus job creation scheme. The jobs are sustainable as long as we have bad people in this world getting life sentences.

  7. Watcher55 says:

    Its hardly likely Bermuda will export our murderers and most dangerous criminals as the BPS don’t catch these ones!

    • Y-Gurl says:

      That’s true, but that should read can’t catch these ones