BPS: Counters Suspended Due To Low Enquiries

October 7, 2016

“Front counter services are being suspended at Southside, Somerset and the Airport police stations due to the low volume of enquiries being made by members of the public at each location,” the police said today, saying “this will not affect the level of police response in any of these areas, and police officers will continue to work from the stations as normal.”

Bermuda Police Service TC October 8 2016

A police spokesperson said, “We have been asked to comment on social media commentary about the ‘closing’ of eastern and western police stations.

“The police stations are not being closed, but front counter services are being suspended at Southside, Somerset and the Airport police stations due to the low volume of enquiries being made by members of the public at each location.

“The overwhelming majority of our initial customer services are provided by email or over the telephone.

“It has become an inefficient use of civilian Station Duty Officers [SDOs] to keep 3 police stations open 24/7 with very little use of their services. The SDOs will be transferred to Hamilton Police Station which will maintain a 24/7 operation at the front counter for public access.

“This will not affect the level of police response in any of these areas, and police officers will continue to work from the stations as normal. The exception is the airport police station where repairs are needed to be carried out. These officers will report for duty from Southside Police Station.

“The stations will still be available to the public by appointment [to make statements, or to hand over found property, etc.] and a phone box at each front door will provide pedestrians with immediate access to the 24/7 911 emergency dispatchers at COMOPS in Prospect. Telephone enquiries will continue to be answered as normal.

“We will make a full statement when the changes come into effect, which we anticipate to be before the end of October. In the meantime, we wish to reassure the public that this will not affect normal police functions in either the western or eastern areas, in any way.”

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  1. Seriously says:

    Let me get this right, if I run or drive to a Station as a place of safety after getting beat or robbed just pick up the phone and someone in Prospect will pick up the phone on the other end. Okay, got it. I will tell the person beating me to just hold on for a second while I get someone from Prospect to call a car in the area. Or maybe they have a special button to press from prospect that will open the door in Somerset or St.George.

    • Tranquility says:

      Don’t be so dramatic. How many people run or drive to a police station to get away from an attacker? I’m sure the stats on that are near zero. Call 911 like normal people.

      • Nanny Pat says:

        And what kind of idiot will follow you into a police station to continue beating you? Dramatic much?

        Why don’t you pay double your tax amount to cover these costs?

        • Bully Beef says:

          Nanny noodle. You answered your own question.

        • Spit Bouy says:

          Nanny Pat,

          Not so far fetched I’m afraid. Young lady stabbed to death some years ago at her place of work which was a govt office. Spouse came in and killed her front of everyone there. Young girl stabbed and killed at Crawl service station in front of onlookers several years ago.

          A woman attacked by a guy, her spouse if I remember correctly. She was trying to get away in her car and he cut her off, smashed the windshield and was trying to pull her out through it all while beating her. All this despite an police officer, myself and a few other motorists who just happened upon them. The guy never paid any mind to the officer or any of us. The officer told us to keep back while he was calling it in, the guy just kept hitting her before casually getting on his bike and riding off.

          We all know some aren’t wrapped too tightly and though the odds of this happening are remote I wouldn’t put it past some out there. Just because it’s not common place doesn’t mean it can’t happen. JS.

      • Keepin' it Real!...4Real! says:

        The frightening part is ….look how many people liked that comment…smh.

  2. Time Shall Tell says:

    Yep, spent 15 minutes knocking on the locked front door at the Southside police station one evening a couple months back with no answer. Picked up the phone located to the right of the door & it just rang, when someone finally answered it turns out the call forwards to another location. The woman on the phone said she would call down to Southside to have someone answer the door, no one ever came to the door…. Luckily it wasn’t a life or death emergency (tried turning in some expensive lost items that I had found on the side of the road while out walking).

    If there are police officers inside the stations anyway then why not just station one of them to do their normal work from the front desk just in case someone does need assistance. This would be of no extra expense since there are police officers stationed there anyway. If not, then place a doorbell so that the people inside can hear when there is someone is at the door requiring assistance.

  3. NO MORE WAR says:

    Great decision. Now let’s get police officers away from those static duty post like The Governors house and Preimiers house and put them to serve and protect. I never understood why police guard those buildings because the governor and premier travel on the roads without a police guard.

  4. Bully Beef says:

    We have $250 million for an airport terminal and no money for a station at the current airport? One might have though that an international airport should have an established police presence during operating hours. Bet you the duty-free shops will be open!!

    Oh well CBP and Bermuda Customs better take some refresher courses in self-defence ’cause those security people look a little tired to be much use.

  5. Actions speak louder then words says:

    Lies and more lies. The airport police station is closed. Lights off and no one is home.

    • Actions speak louder then words says:

      Oh and by the way every International Airport in the World has a police station at their airport accept Bermuda.

      • Spelling Bee says:

        Except. Learn grammar, then people will take you seriously.

        Why have an all night airport police when there are no overnight flights?

        • JAWS says:

          Hey dumb a$$ the airport police office is never open overnight. :)

          You believe everything you read or you’re the OBA fool who’s idea was to close it down.

        • RE Word says:

          Look who’s talking “Learn” should be lower case, and use only one space following commas, then people will take you seriously.

  6. Terry says:

    IT WILL BITE OBA IN THE A** AT THE NEXT ELECTION.

    As for the top 4 jobs in the BPS?

    They need to retire.

    Shalom.

  7. Hair says:

    OK, I tried at Somerset police station 5 weeks ago, to report a hit and run on my business and the so called PC was no help!!! What do I do??? Take it on myself and get locked up. geesh!!

  8. Vote for Me says:

    Based on efficient use of resources, this move probably makes sense.

    The challenge is communication. The Police Service should make a complete statement about how they propose for this to work asap instead of waiting until a later date.

    It would also be helpful to ensure that the ‘call boxes’ are contained in a sheltered area. I would not want to be standing on the cold or rain while calling COMOPS.

  9. mmm says:

    The record states that there are fewer and fewer enquiries being made by the general public, thus a reason for closing the front desk at various police stations. Does this mean a steady drop in crime ? Whatever the reason(s) — can an officer attend to the front desk when needed, and continue on with other duties. Some folks are less inclined to assist the police or seek assistance if it means at the sound of the beep please leave a message and someone will get back to you at their earliest convenience. Police Week just finished a few days ago were the general public were given a bit of insight into the various services provided to the general public, Fire and Regiment as well as Hospital also speak of what they do, as someone might say let,s speak with one voice, show our loyalty and prepardness to meet the needs of the community. Everyone is called to reduce costs and manage resources, and that is all well and good, but a basic front desk service should still be available.

  10. Boogah man says:

    Romoval of across counter service.
    Pritty soon they will be working from home in tshirts……

  11. Seriously says:

    I’m waiting to see what Bermuda Police do around Americas Cup. You went from 485 to about 400 policemen in two years and Officers are still leaving. You even have one policeman reporting for duty with no Sergeant in Somerset. Don’t forget Heroes weekend will be around the same time as Americas Cup too. Overtime gonna look pretty for some officers. Commissioner please tell us the plan for security and don’t tell me Government is gonna bring people in to assist BPS after you got rid of everyone.

    • Time Shall Tell says:

      It would be Possible to deploy select members of the Bermuda Regiment to help sustain the security numbers including the marine section, the RP section as well as volunteers from the corporals on up. I am not sure if your figures also included the Police reserves, for basic traffic & light security duty you can have volunteers from the public sector, you have the private security firms (as used for night clubs & concerts, not so much as the guards that are unfit & long past retirement that may not be up to the physical requirements of the task) as well. So there is a way this can be done to cover America’s Cup as well as Hero’s Weekend, Cup Match, etc. without falling short on proper security.

      There’s also ways to avoid the shutting down of the police station front desks as I mentioned in my previous post. However I don’t think all options other than the one put forward to close direct access to the police station from the public have been properly considered.

    • Keepin' it Real!...4Real! says:

      400 cops รท 9 parishes = 42.2 cops per parish…What IS the problem here..?

  12. mmm says:

    Technology has brought about less need of physical police officers in some situations. These front desk services have been suspended, not eliminated, thus when Hallowen rolls around in a few weeks there will be a greater number of officers walking the beat and patrolling Island-wide, as well as at the front desk.

  13. Unus sed leo says:

    If you have a station it must be staffed….you need to staff them…you have holding cells…a place to make formal complaints take written statements…or do you do that anymore…don’t like paperwork?
    Stations need be more user friendly.
    No more adversarial answers from police…i have had two trainimg schools…and have encountered abase,adversarial and lackluster knowledge of law…actual applicable legislated criminal code.
    There are sharper ones but inbetween and not as many as should be…you don’t see the comcise application you used too.Sad really.
    But I’m tellin you…if people aren’t going to the counter there is legitimate reason.

  14. Unus sed leo says:

    Suspending counters os an obtuse and reactionary approach.
    There is another apprpach…film front desk proceedure utilise it in training dooz amd don’ts.
    Throughout the station.
    Candid camera .

  15. Unus sed leo says:

    Wearimg that unifoem should be a pridefull thing.