No-Go Maritime Area By Westgate Proposed

June 7, 2013

Cabinet will shortly be invited to approve a new no-go zone for maritime traffic within a prescribed distance from the north-west shores of the Westgate prison, Public Safety Minister Michael Dunkley said this morning [June 7] in the House of Assembly.

Minister Dunkley also said that additional internal screening is being installed on cell windows, CCTV coverage will be improved, and perimeter fence checks have been conducted and areas in need of strengthening have been addressed.

The Minister was speaking after the incident on Bermuda Day which saw an inmate exit his cell in the Maximum Security Unit having sawed through a cell window bar. Minister Dunkley said that it was not an escape attempt but an attempt to obtain contraband that had been thrown over into the prison facility.

A Google Earth screencapture of the Westgate prison area is below, click to enlarge:

GE westgate bermuda

Speaking this morning in the House, Minister Dunkley said: “In the course of last week’s session I confirmed for Honourable Members and the public that there had been a breach of security at Westgate Correctional Facility and that the Commissioner of Corrections had instituted a raft of measures designed to address the immediate issues identified.

“I also indicated that I would be visiting Westgate this week to see for myself what had been done and also to better understand the challenges presented by the site and the changing requirements of modern corrections.

“I wish to reiterate for Honourable Members and the public that this was not an escape attempt but a break from a cell to obtain contraband that had been thrown over into the prison facility.

“I am pleased to advise this Honourable House that the incident on Bermuda Day has served as a timely reminder of the importance of security checks to all concerned. Regular searches and tests of cell integrity are performed to ensure that from shift to shift any and all issues are properly identified.

“Additional internal screening is being installed on cell windows providing an extra layer of security between the inmate and the outside. 100% perimeter fence checks have been conducted and areas in need of strengthening have been addressed.

“The promised investigation has commenced and senior officers have been assigned to review the circumstances surrounding this breach and to make recommendations to avoid any re-occurrence.

“To further assist the Department of Corrections we are examining the Ministry’s budget to identify funding for additional cameras with greater capabilities to add additional security to the facility. To minimize the risk of contraband being thrown over the walls, we will work with the Bermuda Maritime Museum to restrict access to Casemates site.

“I can also advise Honourable Members that, with my colleague the Minister of Tourism Development and Transport, Cabinet will shortly be invited to approve a new no-go zone for maritime traffic within a prescribed distance from the north-west shores of the Westgate facility. We will seek permission to mark the area clearly and to enforce the exclusion zone to help eliminate any risks presented by maritime craft in the area.

“Additionally, CCTV coverage in this area will also be improved to tighten security,” continued Minister Dunkley. ”At the conclusion of the visit I had the opportunity to address the Commissioner and his senior team at the facility.

“I reiterated for them that this Government supports whatever measures they deem necessary to maintain security and good order at Westgate and the other prison facilities. In return, we expect established procedures to be followed and that those who fail to do so will be held accountable and dealt with according to established disciplinary procedures.

“The challenge of Corrections is one reflected by the social dynamics now present in our society. Modern Corrections centralizes these issues and imposes a greater requirement on the system to be vigilant both in security and attention to rehabilitation. The challenge is great but not impossible,” concluded Minister Dunkley.

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Comments (14)

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  1. tidbit says:

    I have a greater concern then that individual leaving his cell!
    My concern is how did he get the instrument or tool to cut his way out; if he could cut his way out of his cell he could have used that same object to injure a Prison Officer or fellow prisoner or even himself! He had to get the object from somewhere or from somebody!

    Are they not searched at the end of the day before they are returned to their cell; is their rooms not searched before being place back into the cell; did he use soap on the instrument to keep it silent while cutting the bars (cutting bars will make noise); how often are the cells checked during a Prison Officers work day/evening/night shift!

    • Black Soil says:

      I would like to know why Eddy Lamb has not been fired for turning a blind eye to all the s@!t that has gone down at Westgate. Mr. Lamb has allowed Westgate to turn into ANIMAL HOUSE. Fire his a%$ now!!!!!!!!!!

  2. Come Correct says:

    Why stop there? Why not add a no fly zone to this new useless piece of legislation, prisoners could easily get contraband dropped to them by hang glider, homing pigeon or strapping a bredrin to a 21ft Bermuda kite. Roaming patrols and spotlights along the perimeter just seem like silly concepts to me. We wouldnt to deprive our prisoners of sleep with big bright lights.

  3. Really?! says:

    It’s also unbelievable that an inmate would even try this. They were bound to get caught and asked why they had done it.

    Prison officer: “I see you have used a saw to break out of your cell, are you trying to escape?”
    Inmate: “No Sir I was just retrieving my contraband”
    Prison officer: “Oh ok that is fine then, no harm done”


  4. Truth is killin' me... says:

    WCF is a JOKE! The workers there from the TOP DOWN need to get their act in order!!All talk from Ministers…get it together will you.

    • Black Soil says:

      We need to start by firing the Warden…Col. Lambe NOW. He is a joker!!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. VJ says:

    I just read an article about prisoners in a Russian prison getting their contraband via a cat of all things. Cell phones, drugs, etc were strapped to the cat who walked it to the inmates. The headline read something like “Cat Finally Caught” and pictured a prison guard holding up the poor cat by the scruff of its neck like it was the criminal. Having hours on your hands with nothing else to do certainly lends itself to a creative mind!

  6. Ok so now we have boats coming up the rear and throwing stuff into the grounds for folk to find at get to their brethren. give me a break and don’t concentrate on this no- go zone, ya messing up de flow that comes from de vest.

    Has the minister learned anything yet in his short term in office but long term in backbenching, I will help you understand and dis is how it goes.

    byes up dere have nuffin do all day, so da port of entry for all goods coming in under an on the sea got to go thru inspection. so de shipments come to de island thru de byes an den get stribute to the consumer, who den throws the bad stuff on de streets an de good stuff dey take to the mates down in doose parks in Pembroke ver de rich byes have da set an den have dem a funky good time.

    vile de lil hoodlems on de vall try an take each otter out for crap dat aint verf sellin. so now if you put no -go zone deese byes might hav to go bac to containers an strippin em in a vere house, maybe down de road off de road vere de otter von was

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

    here we go again …as usual the people on the outside get penalized for the actions of those on the inside…so no longer will we be able to enjoy the beauty of that strip of ocean, whether it be a relaxing snorkel through that shore line or a fun kayaking ride pass the recreation center…all you need is high definition motion or heat sensor cams along that perimeter, then the concierge of the facility can sit in his airconditioned offices and be aware of any movement in or around the said area…this story should not even be in the news…it just makes the authorities sound as if they dont have a clue of why they are even in a position of power…just do it, then report the improvements to the public .

    • Sorry Sir says:

      I don’t know why everybody is in a tizzy about this.
      The no-go zone is only part of the measure. So what if you have to drive your boat an extra mile out around that area. There’s plenty of other areas to park up.

      Everybody wants things to change but don’t want their lives to change in the process. That’s what’s wrong with Bermudians. Everything that’s suggested gets shot down before we can fully elaborate on the suggestions.

  8. Y-Gurl says:


  9. Did he do it? says:

    What de he’ll do the sniffer dogs do all day? They should be checking arriving prison officers, all vehicles entering, all visitors entering and all prisoners entering the jail after work release and court commitments! It is also a fact that Lamb doesn’t have the dogs working nights when the damn drugs are being used! Go figure!!!!!!!!

  10. Jim says:

    Which part in the picture is death row?

    • Y-Gurl says:

      It’s the area west of the movie theater, just up from the gym and about 300yards from the nightclub