CURB: Use Of 315F “Excessive & Unreasonable”

October 31, 2015

Citizens Uprooting Racism In Bermuda [CURB] said it was “with regret” they heard the police announce that over Halloween they will be using Section 315F of the Criminal Code, as it is both “excessive and unreasonable” and “one of the unintended consequences of Section 315F is direct and indirect racial profiling.”

Yesterday the police said,” “This year Halloween falls on Saturday evening which means there is a convergence of normal trick or treating along with night time social activity. This is a recipe for a busy weekend: as a result, the public can expect to see the police out in significant numbers.

“We will be conducting Stop & Searches under the authority of Section 315F of the Criminal Code. We will also exercise our powers under 315G to require persons to remove items that obscure their identity.

“Please be aware that failure to comply with a police officer’s instructions to remove items that obscure identity, or to obstruct a stop and search, are arrestable offences.”

Bermuda Police Service press conference held today on Halloween policing:

CURB said it was “with regret” they heard the Bermuda Police Service announce that over the Halloween period “they will be using Section 315F of the Criminal Code, i.e. the ability to stop and search anyone without reasonable suspicion.”

“The use of Section 315F as a Halloween deterrent is both excessive and unreasonable, and will no doubt result in unintended consequences, as happened in 2011 when BPS statistics showed that racial profiling was occurring under Section 315F with people of colour being stopped and searched at much higher rates than whites, in particular young, Black males.

“Bermudians of African and mixed descent make up approximately 70% of the total Bermudian population. However when you add in the [largely White] expatriate community the total population figures [as detailed in the 2010 Census statistics] are 54% Black, 12% Mixed/Other, 31% White, and 4% Asian. It then becomes clearly apparent that one of the unintended consequences of Section 315F is direct and indirect racial profiling.

“The unintended consequences are that people out enjoying themselves, with no harm intended towards anyone, can suddenly find themselves in a prison cell for the weekend due to victimless offenses such as minor possession of marijuana or outstanding warrants for something as little as parking tickets.

“Of note numerous studies have shown that drug use is as prevalent in White communities as it is in Black communities, yet previous experience has shown that when a certain segment of the population and/or area of Bermuda is targeted, then by default an increasing number of our young Black males will be stopped, searched, and possibly arrested, and end up in the criminal justice system.

“Section 315F is only supposed to be used in the event a police officer of or above the rank of inspector reasonably suspects that incidents involving serious violence may take place, or that persons are carrying dangerous instruments or offensive weapons whether or not he has any grounds for suspicion.

“CURB has been advocating since 2011 for Section 315F to be repealed as we believe this piece of legislation is in violation of Bermuda’s Constitution, and this is supported by separate legal opinions commissioned by the Centre for Justice and CURB.

“Additionally, this kind of draconian legislation is usually only found in Terrorism Acts overseas, or might be put in place by a country about to go to war. Yet Bermuda has it in its criminal code.

“CURB believes the blanket stop and search response to gang violence is ineffective and this view was supported by Mr.Vic Towell of Her Majesties Inspectorate of Constabulary in our meeting with him on 10th November 2011, who stated emphatically that gang violence is not resolved by Stop & Search, and only investigative methods truly produce results.

“This is also supported by similar reviews carried out in other jurisdictions, i.e. the U.K. investigation into the Stephen Lawrence murder; the Equality and Human Rights Commission Report 2010; the Home Office report “The Impact of Stop & Searches on Crime & the Community; and the European Court of Human Rights decision to strike down Section 44 of the Terrorism Act 2000 without needing any grounds for suspicion, stating that Section 44 was not “accordance with the law” and amounted to a violation of article eight – the right to respect for private and family life.

“The European Human Rights Court ruled it was unlawful for police to use the powers, under section 44 of the Terrorism Act 2000, to stop and search people without needing any grounds for suspicion. The widely-drawn ruling said that not only the use of the counter-terror powers, but also the way they were authorised, were “neither sufficiently circumscribed, nor subject to adequate legal safeguards against abuse”.

“Targeted stop and search without reasonable suspicion results in an alienation of the black community and young people, violation of civil liberties and human rights, economic and potential social costs, and is a social and moral price that our community cannot afford to pay.

“CURB calls on the Bermuda Police Service to rethink their decision to use Section 315F during the Halloween period and instead work within the 2006 PACE Act which requires reasonable suspicion for any member of the public being stopped and searched, i.e. the police must have a reason or reasons that they suspect an individual is committing an arrestable offense,” CURB concluded.

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Comments (58)

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  1. Zevon says:

    CURB is fine though with the idea of racially profiling all PRC holders.

    • BLURB says:

      If your kids (Black, White or Other) are well behaved and if you as parents do your job, there is no need to worry about police at all.

      However, if you just let your kids do whatever they want, goo wherever they want and get into mischief, break the law and damage property or bring harm to others, then don’t be f’n surprised if you get a little call from the police to say ., your precious little Johnny got locked up.

      If you can’t trust your kids (or their friends) keep them inside tonight or go out with them.

      • ImJustSayin says:

        It’s not a matter of if you’re not doing anything wrong you don’t have anything to worry about. That’s the typical response from the Dudley do rights. The point is people have the right to freedom of movement no one should be subject to such intrusive behavior by the BPS. You give the BPS that power they will take it to the next level.

        • Zevon says:

          The Police have legal rights to enforce the law. Most people are fine with that.

          A few days ago two people were shot, and the whine then was “why don’t they DO SOMETHING”.

        • Herb says:

          I dont understand why so many people do not read the Constitution of this Island.

          It clearly states we have a right to freedom of movement and NO LAW can be written to change this.

          Go along, give up your rights as they are written, next the police will be stopping us on the street for no reason and ask for ID.


          • Herb says:

            6 dislikes for me quoting our Constitutional rights, i cant believe some of the people on these blogs.

            Freedom is the hardest thing to gain and the easiest thing to loose.

          • Rhonnie aka BlueFamiliar says:

            Being stopped for a brief check does not infringe on a person’s right to movement. It just slows you down a bit.

            Seriously, if you believe the right to movement is complete, you can’t think much of speed limits either.

  2. asampson says:

    CURB is joke

  3. bluebird says:

    Well done the POLICE for trying to keep our little island safe for everyone except those with bad intent.
    It is not CURB it is CSUB.
    That is not uprooting that is STIRINGUP racism issues in Bermuda.

    • Anbu says:

      And using statistic data from almost 6 years ago. Lotta xpats have left since 2010 my friends. Smh

      • mixitup says:

        Herb you have to understand who you are dealing with on these sites…These comments speak exactly to what CURB is saying… These ppl know fully well the chances of them being stopped is a fraction of the chances of being Black and Male. It will hardly bother them.


  4. Kevin says:

    If you have nothing to hide you won’t mind removing your mask …seriously we are thinking racial profiling ….what a world we live in ,,,,curb you have much more to worry about than this …and to try and handcuff our Police service … Really???????????

  5. CURB, your information is necessary and thought-provoking. The police officers who will be on duty tonight must treat white males just the way they’d treat black males…. EQUALLY!! What a better island it will be.

    • human rights for all says:

      Everyone downvoting this does not want equality?

  6. Yellowtail says:

    CURB BS on your excuses, and you know it.

    • Onion says:

      CURB is a joke. They’re worried about the police trying to keep mischievous kids from egging houses but silent when a hard core racist makes a speech.

      • mj says:

        onion I agree that curb is a joke and they should uproot themselves from their own position, but what hardcore racist are you talking about? Surely not an unarmed melinated brother who has freedom of speech to REPEAT a narrative, and no power of execution? Racist come in One aspect only, the OPPRESSOR! able to take land, jobs, bodies, wearing uniforms(disguised minions)legislation that is oppressive and noone owning up to it, proxy leadership… Lets talk real oppression and Oppressors, not some nickle and dime guy trying to spread education to people who have been put to sleep with all this Halloween, xmas, easter bs.

        • Herb says:

          There is a difference between Racism and being a Racist. I gather that in your opinion a black person cannot be a Racist.

          • mj says:

            Herb;;;exactly what is the difference between racism and racist? A racist executes racism.In doing so he oppresses another, based on colour.. The melinated people of the world did not colour code society.

          • Got me Rollin says:

            Will the police be stop and searching white people In block

        • Come Correct says:

          Racism has nothing to do with oppression. Oppression may be a product of it but racism is the belief that one race is superior or inferior to another. So in fact, he is a racist.

          • Know Thyself says:

            Racism is economic by nature and mj is correct. It was literally a race between Europeans to see who can control the world’s resources. You can guess who won because the other “Races” were not invited to participate. Rather, they were purposefully left out! The greedy Europeans, who are destructful by nature, were the victors after raping and pillaging everywhere they went. It’s like playing a game of Monopoly and everyone you’re playing with starts with money and you don’t. How well do you think you can last in that game….? That’s exactly what happened in the past and people of other descents noneuropean were definitely meant to be last in that “race”. Racism is not about colors , it’s about birth rights and controlling natural resources. Black and White are legal terms. A person is a corporation and a corporation is a piece of paper. Let’s stop fighting each other and come out of the matrix. We are being played!!


        • Family Man says:

          The clocks fell back an hour last night mj. You’re overdue for your meds.

          • mj says:

            and you call yourself “family man” i don’t take drugs! already been medicated under a system of racism.whats your excuse, don’t know who your “family” is?

  7. Family Man says:

    A big thank you to the police for trying to keep us safe tonight.

  8. Terry says:

    Don’t know what the fuss is all about.

    It’s getting dark.

    Let the bouys in blue do their job.

    There are a holes out there.


  9. Voice of Reason says:

    Give us a break CURB. The island is trying to move beyond this – stop standing in our way.

  10. The Problem says:

    The problem with this piece of legislation is how it is used. The senior officer that signs off on it is supposed to have specific intelligence that there will be violent offences committed. The senior officers lack the specific intelligence and just put in a blanket stop and search power Island wide. Persons need to challenge the intelligence that is used via the court system. The break down in communication from the top down means police will be out and stop and search everybody. The public should question how many weapons have been recovered when this legislation is used.

  11. Jahmani says:

    Making noise to make money , it’s all about the money .

    • ImJustSayin says:

      @jahmani you are correct. What they do is called ‘soft targets’ infringing on people’s right to freedom of movement. Under the illusion of public safety. Unless you fit the description of a suspect etc they should not be allowed to harass the public like that. But the government gives them whatever the want.

      • Zevon says:

        The law was passed by, and supported by, the PLP.

        • mixitup says:

          Passed for a specific use and for specific times… If people do not call out the misuse of these acts, then the Government will continue to step outside the box in which these acts real intention was. Curb is correct in calling this out.. The reason they are being bashed is because its CURB and not BEST or the National Trust or the Kennel Club highlighting this.

  12. Jr Smith says:

    forever going backwards in Bermuda….

  13. Takbir Karriem Sharrieff says:

    The Public and Curb need to show tolerance during special times such as Halloween,,gang Games ….large Social Events crowds of Public Gathering etc.I personally was a Policeman 1963 -1972..worked in the dog section..cycle squad,achieved the Rank of Sergeant,,,Went through all of the Riots,front line,worked with the Riot Squad the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers[ these are me muckers ] crowd and The Police Force or Service is a Mans Job and that means Women as well of dedication and courage and we must not hamstring them in any way during these times……I encourage our youth to join and serve as admirally as they have in the Past.I also encourage the general Public to support them and stand vigilantly and co-operatively as they have in the Past.Happy Holiday Weekend and have a safe joyfull time …A Bermudafull…time for all.

  14. Rhonnie aka BlueFamiliar says:

    While I am certain that those involved in CURB truly do mean well, they have taken themselves out of the dialogue by their past behaviour.

    Let’s just assume the obvious.
    More black people are going to be stopped. It’s just mathematically probable.

    What will make the difference in how any and all of the stops will go down, will be the behaviour of those stopped.

    Do as you’re told, be polite and friendly, and so long as you’re not doing anything wrong, the odds are high that it’s all going to fine and you’re going to be on your way in short order.

    If, by chance, the police act like complete idiots when you’re behaving politely, there’ll be recourse after the fact.

    • James Rego says:

      If, by chance, the police act like complete idiots……… Don’t forget, you and they are now on candid camera.

    • george says:

      exactly. if you’re being an a**, the police will treat you differently then if you’re not being as a**. everybody who is not being an a** will be treated as equally as anybody else not being an a**.

      if males of any colour are dumb enough to get drunk and cause a ruckus, they deserve to be treated as equally as any other dumb male acting up.

      if males of any colour are dumb enough to carry weapons and/or drugs into densely populated parties, they deserve to be treated as equally as any other dumb male carrying contraband and acting up.

      this has nothing to do with colour or race.

    • mixitup says:

      ‘More black people are going to be stopped. It’s just mathematically probable.’
      This makes me wonder then, why in the States is it the same when it should be Mathematically probable the other way around.. Why is it not?

      • Smith says:

        because it is the backwards racist American south.

      • Well then says:

        We aren’t in the States. Focus on your island and not others’ problems.

  15. Yamon says:

    Young thugs find halloween an excuse to hang out and cause trouble. I hope the cops sweep them all up. Punks!

  16. ImJustSayin says:

    Fire fighters don’t go out looking for fires to put out. Paramedics don’t go out looking for patience to treat. So why do the Police think they need to go out and look for people to fine and arrest. When we need you we will call you..

    • Vulcan Trash Cleaner says:

      hmmm,like when yo momma been mugged by a young thug!

    • jacks says:

      The same reason that there are police stationed at cup match events, americas cup events, ECT… to prevent things from happening before they happen…

  17. Watcher says:

    So the epidemic of gang crime has raised its head again on our island and all curb have to say on the matter is Police please make sure you’re searching everyone equally. Maybe they should go back to promoting the hate filled presentations of the the genie. What little credibility they ever had is long gone.

  18. Vulcan Trash Cleaner says:

    CURB = Clowns Using Racecard in Bermuda.

  19. Pete says:

    haven’t seen / heard from curb stating anything about the shootings at Southampton rangers nor any mention of the violent criminal acts carried out all over the Island ?? But are profiling decent law abiding persons who have contributed to the Island well being who wish to continue as living here as PRCs.
    Yet give support to the raced based criminal culture ?? Yet, Condemning law enforcement for doing it`s job protecting law abiding citizenry of this country.

  20. Serious Thought says:

    I am a black person and hate being stopped for nothing but don’t have anything to hide. Just a thought…….. Who and what color is out committing these shootings, beatings, robberies, home invasions, thefts from car, theft from homes and anything else you can think of? Why don’t we just try to raise our children right. Go Woodys, Rangers, 42nd, Middletown, Court Street, Ord Road, who is doing the shootings? Then ask yourselves why the Police are stopping us.

  21. bluwater says:

    If you want to dispute the validity 315F, that’s one thing.

    But the argument that because of of the racial mix of Bermuda that this is racial profiling is preposterous. That argument would mean that every single law was racial profiling.

  22. Legalgal says:

    If Curb want to talk “racial profiling” what percentage of the perpetrators of criminal violence are black, mixed or Caucasian? What percentage of the victims are black, mixed or Caucasian. A shame Halloween has to become an issue of race and division.

  23. jt says:

    If you’ve ever had to listen to Mr. Riley present and interpret statistics you know enough to question the statistics and interpretations he presents.

  24. JUNK YARD DOG says:

    To much power in not enough !