Column: Working Together To Reduce Crime

November 24, 2015

[Opinion column written by Shadow Minister of National Security Walter Roban]

On November 2nd 2015, Bermuda learned that another armed criminal action had taken place at Southside Pizza House on October 30. Thankfully no innocent person was injured. I cannot imagine the surprise and shock that must have been felt by those present.

My heart and that of the Bermuda Progressive Labour Party [PLP] goes out to them and anyone else who has witnessed the scourge of gun violence. There is no wish any resident to face such undesirable acts.

Bermuda has seen ten armed robberies in 2015, up drastically from 2014; all residents should be deeply concerned that this particular type of crime appears to be worsening rather than decreasing. In fact with over 2000 jobs lost and more job losses on the horizon, sadly we may need to prepared for robberies; armed and otherwise to increase.

Walter Roban Bermuda Nov 24 2015 22

In this atmosphere, OBA budget decisions means cuts to manpower and resources in the Bermuda Police Service [BPS]. This leaves our able and dedicated Police Officers possibly without the full range of tools at their disposal to fight crime. We believe it ill-advised to allow this to happen.

We reiterate our earlier request in July of this year that with any cuts to manpower of the BPS, “… It is essential that this process is managed carefully to not only maintain operational effectiveness, but also maintain public confidence…”

How do we as a community get a handle on this? A number of steps must be taken. We must continue to support the men and women of the BPS.

The BPS was able to bring about a downward trend in overall crime with a clear budgetary commitment by the former PLP government to provide the resources, assist with acquiring the needed manpower, passing and amending appropriate legislation and endorsing any steps to bring about greater public engagement addressing crime and its causes.

The PLP believes the measures listed below amongst others must be continued and deployed to address this sudden uptick in criminal activity:

  • Maximizing the resources being engaged through what is already being done with the BPS and other agencies to address gang culture and violence in the community
  • Review the role and the results being achieved by the current Gang and Violence Reduction strategy
  • Review the role and the results being achieved by the Inter Agency Gang Task Force
  • Review the current policy and strategy to work with Community Clubs to address chronic issues of anti-social behavoiur and violence on their premises
  • BPS and other relevant agencies should be meeting quarterly with Community and social clubs to address any concerns or issues of Security
  • Attach members of the community action team to clubs and other grass roots organization [community centers, seniors clubs, churches, etc.] throughout the island working with them to achieve successful community outreach strategies
  • Task the Community Action Team to devise an anti-gun education programme that can be deployed in the community and our schools; bringing to life the danger of guns and the tragedy associated with Gun violence.

The best solution to keep crime numbers low is a booming economy where Bermudians that want to work, can work. With that not happening, it is important that we are fully prepared for the consequences of long term unemployment and dwindling employment prospects by providing our officers with the tools and manpower necessary to keep our communities safe.

We must also continue to support Community Policing efforts, as we understand that addressing crime is not just the role of the BPS, it is each of our responsibility as well. The people have to be involved with fighting and solving crime alongside the BPS and other agencies.

The public engagement has been essential to any success Bermuda has had with this in recent years. Surrendering to the shadows in fear will be help to irradiate violence. Working together with a fully resourced BPS will apprehend this uptick in violent criminal action and see a return to the steady downward trend on overall crime in Bermuda.

- Walter Roban

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Comments (9)

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  1. hmmm says:

    It is more simple than that….

    Every parent ensure their child has a good moral compass

    Every parent sacrifice their comfort to afford their child every opportunity.

    If you know anyone involved in a specific crime, report what you know to the police.

    Do not get involved in criminal behavior. If friends start acting up and getting involved in criminal behavior, they are no longer your friends. You have choices, one equals death or jail and a life of misery whilst the other does not.

  2. Deflection 101 says:

    Deflection 101…throw out whatever you can to deflect from the recent disastrous auditor’s report that confirms what everyone’s been thinking all along

  3. Nanny Pat says:

    So now you want to work together? How about we work together to find the missing CASH??!

  4. aceboy says:

    The best solution to keep crime numbers low is a booming economy where Bermudians that want to work, can work. With that not happening, it is important that we are fully prepared for the consequences of long term unemployment and dwindling employment prospects by providing our officers with the tools and manpower necessary to keep our communities safe.

    Your beloved leader has this all worked out. Fintech and online gambling will save us! Are you saying we should prepare for long term unemployment and dwindling employment prospects because you will lose the next election…or that you have no confidence in your leader’s plan?

  5. Starting point says:

    Walter Roban college exam question, “Please describe in detail an effective strategy to improve social and community outcomes in relation to crime and safety”

    Answer: Just get a booming economy…….

  6. mj says:

    have any of you been robbed lately?… it really sucks to have your belongings stolen, , or to have a stranger invade your space because they are hungry! when that happens to any of you we can have the discussion, cause it seems like people do not quite understand what is happening in our society today.To the thieves out there please drop of identification to the nearest post office so that it can be retrieved even if money is gone.

    • Toodle-oo says:

      Oh they’re ‘hungry’ alright , except it isn’t for food .

      Now , does that bit of reality change the gist of your message a bit ?

  7. mr speaker says:

    If PLP n OBA cant work together what makes you think anyone else will. It starts from the top

  8. middle says:

    DRUGS = MONEY = CRIME CRIME CRIME AND MORE
    CRIME!!!