Two Hour Video: Police Host Community Meeting

September 13, 2016

The Bermuda Police and several community partners held a Community Engagement Meeting this evening [Sept 13] at the Heritage Worship Community Centre, with the discussion centered around seeking solutions to break the cycle of violence.

The panelists were Police Commissioner Michael DeSilva, Martha Dismont from the Family Centre, Kimberley Jackson from Mirrors, Gina Spence from the Champions Programme, and David Lovell from Men on a Mission.

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There were also brief remarks from Minister of National Security Jeffrey Baron and Shadow Minister for Home Affairs Walter Roban, and the floor was opened to questions and comments, with attendees offering feedback.

“While it is important to continue to tackle these violent crimes head-on from a police angle, it is equally important that the community is fully engaged in tackling the conditions that lie beyond the influence of law enforcement,” Commissioner DeSilva said in advance of the meeting.

“We have said before that Bermuda cannot arrest itself out of this problem,” the Commissioner said. “Bermuda must work to break the cycle at the front end” and “we would like to have dialogue about what can be done to break the cycle of violence.”

The 2 hour 20 minute live stream replay is below:

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Comments (28)

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  1. Ray Ray raymon Ray says:

    what a bunch of jokers, Kimberly j/ please

    • Hamburger Man says:

      These people are giving up their precious time for no money to help the youth so why would you say that?

  2. Kathy says:

    EDUCATION is broken in Bermuda! Every mother wants the best for her child, whether there is a father at home or not, whether she is working two or three jobs or not…every mother wants what is best for her child. She wants her child to succeed in life…to become someone.

    What does it matter to the elected officials? Their children (whether black or white) all go to private schools. Have you ever asked an elected official why they send their child to the private schools in Bermuda? I know the answer.

    Any money spent on the public schools is for paint and morter (if that!). We need to FIX our EDUCATION system so that every child succeeds with the same opportunities whether they go to public or private schools. Right now there is not a level playing field which is further dividing the haves and the have nots in Bermuda.

    How do we fix our crimes in Bermuda? Fix our EDUCATION system first! We don’t need to reinvent the wheel. Why can’t we copy some kinds of proven school system like that of Finland? And start now! Within 10-20 years, Bermuda will be renewed with highly educated, successful candidates for international jobs coming out of both our public and private schools.

    Thirty-five years ago Finland was considered middle-of-the-road or worse educationally. The country eliminated its education inspector and rethought its educational system. They turned it around to produce the best eduction system in the world. All teachers have a masters degree and all classrooms have few students (10). They learn quickly and then get to play a lot! No testing and no stress!

    Yes, a lot of crime comes from bad environments (families who neglect or teach their children wrong). However, a lot of it is due to lack of a proper education. Do you know they even teach Ethics in Finland?

    Read more here:

    • David says:

      The facilities at our public high schools put some private high schools to shame!

      Education is NOT broken in Bermuda. The family unit IS broken in Bermuda. Until this is understood and identified as a reason which exacerbates the gang culture and inequality on this island, I’m afraid little progress will be made.

      Want to improve the quality of public education on this island? Start by improving the quality of student… and that starts in the home.

    • JD says:

      Here Here.

      I’d suggest that for the most part we take government and unions out of education. Education (like tourism) is a long term project and cannot be subject to the vagaries of politics or the election cycle.

      We spend more per student on public schools then private schools charge in tuition, which is simply absurd. Government, no matter what party is in power, has a proven track record of just not being good at providing education, and yet we continue down this path like zombies, and then wonder why our kids can’t get jobs and fall into the gang culture.

      Its high time to face the problem with bold leadership, not chipping around the edges. Privatise all public schools, remove all restrictions on who they can hire as teachers, and have government cut each family a cheque for $20k a year per child to be spent on education, either here or abroad.

      Government can then operate a single remedial school for those kids facing special challenges that can’t keep up in the main system. Government can then focus all efforts at turning those kids around at that one school. Of course parents of those kids suddenly also have the money to send their children overseas for special care that they can’t get here. Suck it up junior or you’re off to the New Mexico Military Institute (annual tuition $12k).

      • Time Shall Tell says:

        “We spend more per student on public schools then private schools charge in tuition”

        Well then, if your figures are correct then there with in lays the solution. Save money by sending them all to private schools. Open up specialized schools that cater to each given students strengths. Makes no sense trying to teach fish to fly when their natural gift is to swim.

    • Factual says:

      Kathy, 2 things:
      1. perhaps you should consider a move to Finland
      2. in order to “fix” education as you say, that would require hiring THE BEST TEACHERS and ADMINISTRATORS for the jobs. Those probably WON’T be BERMUDIANS and you know that will have people marching.

      So what else do you suggest?

  3. Roughmussell says:

    It is a little ironic that discussions are taking place regarding Community Engagement and at the same time the members of the Police Service Community Policing Section have been taken from their duties to cover areas of the service that require support. Surely at this time Community Policing should be of the prime importance so that the communities can see police on the frontline and can interact with them and the police wherever possible can build up a rapport with the younger members of communities.

  4. JUS THINK says:

    All it takes to stop the violence is for fathers to be deeply involved within the males in there families. Sons,nephews and godsons. A positive male figure/role model does a lot!

  5. JUS THINK says:

    David Lovell jr is the perfect example of what Bermuda needs!!! Trust and believe…

  6. Bermwa says:

    Wow! Do you hear the comment of the woman who told the commissioner he failed the community? To his face? *standing ovation*

    • Northshore says:

      That vomit coming from that womans mouth was the most ridiculous trash I have ever heard! I beg to differ woman.
      But no, you won`t talk about it,,instead you lay blame on a Police Commissioner because you expect him to fix YOUR problem. Get your own house in order!

  7. Serenity says:

    OMG towards the end, yes! “Or resign”. I’m actually glad she said that. The Commissioner isn’t feeling enough pressure. My problem is, Caines prompted him to say something and he didn’t even bother. DeSilva is clearly too comfortable in his position. No one is going to tell me to resign in front of the community without me addressing them. It’s evident we have overlooked the Commissioner’s role. He must go, too many lives have been lost during his tenure.

    • From Beneath the Stone says:

      The Commissioner took over the Service during the appalling escalation in gun and gang crime in 2010. At that time the Service was reeling from the effects of poor prior management, political interference and was at the beginning of what would be consistent budgetary cuts every year since. Through his tenure to date Commissioner Desilva has trimmed every budgetary line item to its absolute barest, and has had no choice but to effect further savings through manpower reduction, which,even when done in the fairest terms, has attracted attracted legal actions and protest.

      Notwithstanding these challenges, the Commissioner has continued to juggle his depleted resources to produce the most professional Police Service of modern times. The Service currently deals with more calls for service, and successfully detects and prosecutes more crime than ever before, whilst it’s successful strategies keep crime consistently trending downward.

      Those calling for Commissioner Desilva’s resignation do so from a position of ignorance and have no comprehension of his achievements.

      • Anon Omus says:

        You have no idea about the inner workings of the BPS do you…..he doesn’t cut budgets, he reallocate money to benefit what he wants and his priority is not on the officers. Trust me!

  8. Peter says:

    Shocked at the low turn for this ,almost like we don’t care then cant figure out why we get so passionate about issues like marriage equality. Bermuda can be a funny place, bet if it was a legalize the weed meeting the place be packed.

    • sage says:

      Well, making herb illegal introduced thousands to the criminal justice system and allows the police and judiciary to trample all over peoples rights and ruin countless lives wrongfully, in fact drug prohibition which has failed so miserably, is the root cause of all the gangs and gunplay, wake up. These meetings are just a lot of hot air.

      • Full Fuulish says:

        Herb is medicinal and has been proven so! Yet the poison which is alcohol has little to no medicinal properties yet is somehow totally fine and part of our culture? Load of BS. Ever watch a man die from cirrhosis of liver, you’ll never want to take a drink again in your life.

        • Full Fuulish says:

          I’m curious, did you dislike because u saw the screen name or are you just a total hypocrite? If you stand by alcohol but not the legalization of marijuana than its just hypocrisy. Plain and simple. Marijuana has been demonized for far to long!

        • Terry says:

          Your a hippo.
          Your also full of fuulish.

    • Terry says:

      What part of “cycle of violence” don’t you get Peter.
      Never mind.

  9. Peter says:

    well everyone talks like weed is so cool and safe most people smoke the crap and leads to lung cancer and respiratory issues.

  10. bdaboy says:

    “Those calling for Commissioner Desilva’s resignation do so from a position of ignorance and have no comprehension of his achievements.”

    That’s Bermuda for you.
    Bermudians will vehemently protest calls for human rights/equality. Demand jobs they are not qualified to perform. Completely ignore the state of education, pointing fingers at others ….but if their cable tv isn’t performing at 100% they will be ‘up in arms’ about it.
    The idea that pink sand and warm water will carry them into the future, is just another example of ignorance.

  11. John says:

    Most of us freak when the internet goes down that is as passionate as we get about anything , when we get stressed and need shopping trip and weed is gonna save us all because liquor is expensive . The other thing we get angry about is when someone leaves an indicator blinking on their bike we like to drive up along side and scream at folks .

  12. John says:

    P.S. Smoking kills

  13. Just Saying says:

    Why are we so quick to blame the police and the police commissioner for what is going on in this country? The police do not have physic abilities. They do not know when the next shooting will happen or where it will occur. A major part of their investigations depend on witness information. It is the general public who witness these horrible crimes but refuse to give information. Furthermore, the police are law enforcement. They are not in the business of rehabilitation or social working.

    People want to know why the police can’t figure out who the shooters are by looking at cctv footage. The cctv footage is a great tool and helps tremendously. But if its dark or persons are concealing their identities, the footage is only good for direction of travel and descriptions of the bikes (which are likely to be stolen anyway).

    The police imo, have performed remarkably well in the past few years to curb the shootings. Lets be real, violent crime is inevitable worldwide. We can’t completely stop it but we can try to curb it. We have seen people put before the courts and convicted. We have seen a huge decline in shooting incidents in recent years. It is only over the past few months that we have seen a spike in gun violence, and I applaud this commissioner for being man enough to step up to the plate and reach out to the community looking for their input on solutions. This is more than what I have seen us as a people do. We are quick to get up and protest same sex marriage and immigration laws, but yet we sit silent or point fingers when it comes to violent crime. When will the church start to pray over the House of Parliament to stop violent crime in this country? When will workers down tools because they have gang members working in their places of employment?

    As far as I’m concerned, the lady at the end of the video seemed confused. at first she praised local police, who are managed by the commissioner, then she calls for him to stand up or resign. And where did she get her figure of 10k as a bounty on someones head? From what I have been made to understand, buy a man who was in attendance at this meeting and is no stranger to the drug world, that figure has been grossly exaggerated. And if this were true, does she really believe that a black man is not capable of securing such finances on his own? The drug trade is a big business. Has she not seen some of the cars they drive or gold they wear? Maybe back in the day the white man was the driving force behind major drug crime in this community. But not today..
    We as blacks need to stop trying to find someone to blame for our social problems and come together to solve them.

    And lets not take on the perception that gang activity is mostly due to lack of education. Many of these young men are well educated, some at university level. I’ve seen some of the instagram posts from these guys holding the average persons annual salary after a few hustles. They appear to be good businessman with a bad moral compass.

    I believe we need to start in our homes. We need to regain control of what we allow our children to do or who they hang around. Teach them right from wrong and get involved in their lives. Lets take away the cellphones and computers for a few hours a day and connect with our children.

    Also, what did the young lady mean by “Gentrification” being the order of a chain of command by the white man? I was curious about this word so I looked it up in the urban dictionary. (see attached link)
    Somehow I don’t think gentrification is really affecting the Bermuda working class or the driving force behind violent black on black crime in this county.. I don’t see too many rich people rushing to buy up properties in our “urban” neighbourhoods. Further to this, many of these shootings seemed to have been over personal issues. So I don’t believe that there is a big bad white boogieman out there paying young black men to shoot the guy who slept with his girlfriend or shoot the guy who killed his boy in an act of revenge.
    It simply does not make sense that a white man, would pay a black man to kill a person that the black man has a problem with.
    In closing, I really would have liked to hear more on what the people had to say rather than listening to the panel or Mr. Caines thoughts and opinions on everything. On a more positive note, It was nice to hear some of the good ideas that people had last night, which did not require police intervention. We need more meetings like this to generate some enthusiasm about taking back our beautiful community!
    One Love Bermuda!

  14. Y-Gurl says:

    The stats are appalling and haven’t gone down, all serious crime is up, any CEO or head of an organization is measured and by results, why doesn’t this apply to the BPS, maybe the new Governor will figure out change at the top is badly needed to drive efficiency and results