BPS: Policing Plans for Court Appearances

April 4, 2017

People who have been charged with alleged offences in relation to the protests on December 2, 2016 are expected to appear in Magistrates’ Court on April 5th, 7th, 10th and 12th, and the police said they “are putting plans in place in the event that large numbers of people attend on the days mentioned.”

A police spokesperson said, “The Bermuda Police Service [BPS] previously announced that summonses have been issued in relation to the protests at the House of Assembly on 2nd December 2016. The defendants in these cases will appear in Hamilton Magistrates’ Court on the 5th, 7th, 10th and 12th April.

“The BPS is aware that calls are being made from sectors of the community for members of the public to show support for the defendants by assembling at the Court. The police are putting plans in place in the event that large numbers of people attend on the days mentioned.

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“The overall aim of the plan is to accommodate peaceful protest, should it occur, while continuing the normal proceedings of the Magistrates’ Court and other functions in the building.

“Accordingly, the doors to the Dame Lois Browne Evans building on Court Street must remain clear and unobstructed, at all times, to allow free access and exit.

“It should be noted that these are only plea court sessions and are not expected to last very long. The public is reminded that the rules of the Court, along with any instructions issued by the Senior Magistrate, are strictly enforced in order to maintain proper security and order in the Court. The general rules include:

  • No standing in the court room. No further access will be granted once all seating is taken.
  • No banners or signs of any kind are permitted in the court room.
  • No cell phones or recording devices are permitted.
  • All persons in the public gallery are expected to follow the rules of the Court which includes silence and no interruptions of any kind once proceedings have commenced.
  • All persons entering the court are subject to security search. Motorcycle helmets and other bulky items are not permitted to be carried.

“The public can expect to see an increased police presence in and around Magistrates’ Court to assist with managing any large numbers of people that may attend.

“Currently there are no plans to close any streets, but the police will consider road closures if the need arises and the public will be informed. In the event that there are no extra persons in attendance, then policing at Magistrates’ Court will revert to normal.

“The BPS is reaching out to community leaders and organizers to share these plans and ensure that everyone knows what to expect on the day.

“We anticipate that any activity at Magistrates’ Court in relation to these cases will be conducted with peaceful intentions and lawful conduct, and we are available to answer any questions in this regard.”

click here Bermuda protest on Dec 2nd

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