Video: Minister Caines On Anti-Crime Initiatives

August 8, 2017

[Updated] Minister of National Security Wayne Caines, accompanied by Premier David Burt, Ministers, MPs and Senators, held a press conference today [Aug 8] to discuss initiatives to reduce violence and anti-social behavior, with the Government saying they plan to focus on the root causes, and will be urging an “all in community approach.” The press conference has just concluded and we will have additional information later on, and in the meantime the 15-minute live video replay is below.

Update 2.00pm: Minister of National Security Wayne Caines remarks:

In the few, short weeks since the General Election, we have seen evidence of the importance of continuing the work to provide a safe community for all who live and work in Bermuda.

Violence and anti-social behaviour must be addressed. Strong enforcement is a large part of the solution but we must also address the root causes of the violence and ongoing gang activity. Solutions to these problems demand a cohesive approach in education, in our homes and families, by our churches and in every institution playing a part in Bermudian life.

The impact of poor educational outcomes and income inequality must now for m the foundation of our understanding and drive the work to find solutions.

In the short time since my appointment as Minister of National Security I have taken the opportunity to listen and understand what systems and processes exist to deal with the varied effects of violence on this community.

It is clear that from 2009 when we saw an increase in gun crime, both Administrations have sought to combat the gang lifestyle. Much of what has been done over those years remains in place; but any system under stress needs to be refreshed and re-focused.

That is what we promised to do and that is what we have already set about doing. In our Platform we undertook to provide a singular focus on implementing programmes to reduce gang violence and anti-social behaviour. We promised to ensure opportunities for young people looking for a pathway out of gangs including assistance with resuming educational pursuits or skills training.

And most importantly, we recognized the importance of equipping parents, teachers and community leaders with training in identifying at-risk young people and intervening and preventing them from being caught-up in a cycle of violence.

The former Administration approved funding for the recruitment of additional officers for the Bermuda Police Service including new Bermudian recruits. Those efforts are in hand and I have met with the Commissioner to confirm my support for this increase in the BPS establishment. We rely on the Police to provide the strong enforcement required to meet violence and gang activity.

Their strategy calls for targeting and enforcement, community engagement and empowerment, all supported by community advisory groups. I endorse this strategy and whilst operational matters are for the Commissioner, I am determined to add the Ministry’s leadership galvanizing the community to play its part.

Our work in this area has already begun. We have formed a structure around programme development, project management, case management and emergency response to incidents.

This structure will include the Gang Violence Reduction Coordinator promised as part of our First 100 Days Platform initiative.

My aim today is to issue a community call to action. National economic success will yield no return if we cannot enjoy that success in safety.

Violence in this community is founded in systemic inequality and the solution will only be found with an “all-in” community approach. In the coming weeks the Ministry will be organizing structured outreach to members of the clergy and other leaders in the faith community.

These men and women are this community’s leading “moral voices” and our intention is to expand the reach of those ministries and their authority to empower the congregations and communities they serve as a powerful means by which to stem the multi-generational trauma and the violence it causes.

Education and employment must be at the forefront of our efforts. With the support of my colleague, the Minister of Education, we will ensure the earliest possible intervention and provision of services to at-risk students. We cannot hope to START addressing gang behaviour or at-risk young people in high school or later. Parents must confront these issues and support teachers when they do so also.

The help is available and our task is to make sure that parents and teachers know this and know how to access the services they require.

Employment and the ability to earn a living wage remains at the heart of the solution to the historic income inequality that has bred the violence we now see manifested in gang activity.

As we set about building an economy that works for everyone, I will be meeting with a broad, cross-section of employers to urge them to provide opportunities for men and women whose skills match their employee needs and where they may not, to commit to providing opportunities through training.

Where people are willing to work we must do everything we can to help them earn the living wage that mitigates against alternative choices of illegal activity.

The former Inter-Agency Gang Taskforce will be re-activated to meet regularly, to share information and to serve as one of the key entities providing support to the efforts of the Police and those community partners already engaged in support to families affected by the trauma of violence and gang activity.

The Premier and my Cabinet colleagues have expressed their full support for these initiatives and as a government we know that every ministry, every department, every Authority or Quango has a vital role to play in making Bermuda safer for all.

Although these are early days in this Administration, the tone has been set for how critical it is to tackle the issue of violence in this community. We risk losing a generation if we fail.

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Comments (63)

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  1. Um.... says:

    I just want to know what that ringtone was….

  2. aceboy says:

    The root cause is a lack of family structure not racism. More excuses no real solution.

    These gang bangers don’t want a living wage. They want get rich quick stuff…like selling drugs.

    • ramblings says:

      Exactly.. adding a few extra Police Officers isn’t going to make a difference…. Until people have respect for themselves, others and the law we will continue the downward spiral…

      • Sargasso says:

        Adding a few more police will make all the difference.. These gangbangers know there aren’t any officers to be seen anywhere at any given time on the streets.

        • ramblings says:

          @Sargasso… unless we are looking at 40-50 new offices I can’t see any difference as to the number on the streets. There are too may policemen sitting behind desks pushing paper around.. Get them out on the street!!!

          • Ringmaster says:

            It’s very similar to Education. Far too many bodies in the Ministry sitting on chairs and shuffling paper (unless surfing on the internet) versus the number of teachers who teach.

            And let’s have a technical college/facility! Plenty kids have a natural skill to fix things but no way of filling their skill set which is just as important as a job in IB.

    • BermyGirl1967 says:

      Really? Or is the root cause “we people who’d rather wag a finger at somebody else.” And of course, none of the young men and women want to work for a livable wage. tsk tsk tsk what are we doing?

      Meanwhile, a thought-provoking reality of the above article which details a comprehensive strategy is now reduced to: “the root cause is a lack of family structure[,] not racism.” What a waste, huh?

  3. Onion Juice says:

    Its a worldwide problem.

    • swing voter says:

      maybe we can become trailblazers …. patent the solution and sell the product globally. $$$$$$ heck, right now we don’t make nuffin but babies

    • Bermuda needs you! says:

      Strange up until a couple of weeks ago is was 100% the OBAs fault. Funny how your tune has changed now

      • watching says:

        No one ever said that the gang problem was the OBA’s fault. Being disingenuous will not get us where we need to be.

      • fu says:

        Completely predictable. The hypocrisy of the plp is stunning.

      • Whimsical says:

        I don’t recall anyone blaming any particular party as it’s not a ‘party’ problem but rather a community as a whole problem. …’Bermuda needs you’ we certainly don’t need the ‘tone’ in your comment to get things done….no time for backward thinking or nitpicking from the PAST. We are in the HERE and NOW and looking to move FORWARD…

        • fu says:

          “I don’t recall anyone blaming any particular party..”

          really? Bad memory.

      • Earth watch police says:

        Everything was the oba,s fault now they can take a seat and poke jibes politics suck.

    • Zevon says:

      Like your mythical worldwide recession.

  4. Jus' Wonderin' says:

    So just tell the church people to preach that it’s bad n dont join is ya plan….LMFAO!!

  5. Can't believe it says:

    Well done Minister Caines.

  6. GUNPOWER says:

    Countries With The Highest Rates Of Firearm Related Deaths
    The highest rates of firearm related deaths occur in Honduras, Venezuela, Swaziland, Guatemala, and Jamaica.
    Just yesterday 20 people were shot in Barbados on Kadooment Day….

    Violence is getting out of control in many countries.

    • Zevon says:

      It was under control here until a couple of weeks ago.

  7. Christine says:

    Too many young folks in the weed business we need to step up crime stoppers awareness and report all this sellers inour workplaces and in our community .

    • sage says:

      Pathetic attempt to associate ‘weed’ and violence, the last police statement I watched, they said alcohol was to blame for the killing at Atlantic boat club, people drinking at the church at the burial and then more at the club. More reason to de-schedule herb and make it fully legal, a far safer alternative.

      • Toodle-oo says:

        Totally predictable .
        As much as I’m in favor of marijuana reform you’ll go to your grave before you see unfettered full legalization.
        (And that’s something that you should already know)

        • sage says:

          You might as well go and lay down in your grave from now.

      • rumsoak says:

        so when you legalize the ganja bush , where are all these little boys who sell the weed gonna get their money from?

  8. Bullnoseh says:

    Funny how it all suddenly got worse

    • PBanks says:

      1. Not funny at all
      2. These things tend to ebb and flow. You get an attack, then there’s a retaliation, maybe a couple others, then it tapers off for a while, only to resurface. It has nothing to do with a change in government.

      • Zevon says:

        Quite a coincidence that the “ebb and flow” all started up so suddenly. A big coincidence.

        • rumsoak says:

          I guess everyone forgets how violence took over when the PLP got in the first time .

          • rumsoak says:


          • mixitup says:

            To Zevon and others who are here to poke holes, lets not pretend that you care at all about the gang violence and who it effects, you simply hate to see the PLP at the helm and will say and do anything to slander them.. If you want to talk about dark days in Bermuda, well we’ve had many of them before the PLP took Office in 1998…This eutopia that you think you live in is really not for many Bermudians.. Many of these youth have not even thought it possible to own their own home in their own country, many were not passed down any support from Generations past, like many others were, these youth don’t benefit from a system that gives them favor privilidge and that good ol benefit of the doubt.. So before you start trying to paint a picture, be sure that you have all your colours lined up correctly, only then will you understand why society is as it is today, not only in Bermuda might I add, but all over! And it didn’t start two weeks ago..nor in 1998

            • fu says:

              “.. So before you start trying to paint a picture, be sure that you have all your colours lined up correctly”

              Ironic…you paint with a very broad brush…your racism isn’t going to help you.

            • Zevon says:

              How about not having children until you’re married? There’s an idea.
              How about staying in school until you graduate?
              How about refraining from having children until you can support them, feed clothe and house them?

              No, don’t bother with all that. Too much hard work. Blame expats. Blame foreigners. Blame people, who “never have to work for anything”.
              Blame the worldwide recession.

  9. Donna says:

    If I may just add my thoughts, I see Minister Caines speaks on the schools helping wouldn’t it be better to re-implement the technical aspects to the curriculum? not all kids and adults want to work in an office setting, taking the technical courses out of schools was not a wise choice back then and I still don’t think it is today. There are many kids that are great with there hands but not with academics, not saying they should not learn all subjects but they should have a choice as to what they are good at versus sitting in a class room and know you are failing in subjects. Just a thought

    • Alex Madeiros says:

      Absolutely spot on Donna and bring back punishment in schools when warranted. Had it my day and u can honestly say my generation was all the better for it.

      • steve says:

        I hear what your saying, but Those days are over Alex. A teacher tries that now and the likely hood of violent payback by the student or family is real. The reverence for teachers and faculty is gone.

  10. I shall not be moved says:

    After close to nearly 40-50 males have been murdered it is a state of emergency. It should have been a state of emergency when the first murder by a firearm took place. How do you think individuals feel who have lost loved ones and now there is an all out effort to tackle this,so now enough is enough.

    Also when are we going to free ourselves from our slave mentality and stop using labels (thugs and gangs) they give us to dehumanize us. Because it is psychological warfare that has been detrimental to us.

    Richard B. Moore: Dogs and slaves are named by their masters.

    And we wonder why they have a superiority complex because we have basically handed our minds to them.

    • Zevon says:

      They enjoy the labels ‘thugs and gangs’. One member of the new government wore a shirt that said ‘Union Thug’ on the front, at a public rally, They like having those labels.

  11. I shall not be moved says:

    Richard B. Moore also stated: Free men name themselves.

  12. Christine says:

    I was not saying weed is the cause but the lucrative drug selling quick money business is an attractive way to get rich quick in young folks minds but if we allow them to just go about their business small things lead to big thingse get caught up,spend up up then can’t pay the drug lords so the pay the price it seems with their lives legalize it or do something to stop them , all narcotics / and weed lords should be reported to the police.

    • Infidelguy says:

      This may sound counter-intuitive to some of you but the only reason why marijuana and other illegal drugs are so profitable is because…THEY ARE ILLEGAL! The financial rewards for selling illegal drugs are enormous and it’s the only reason why gangs and other criminals resort to selling them. I think many of our so called “leaders” know this but will not openly make that admission because they are more concerned about protecting their reputations and remaining in office.

      We just go round-and-round in perpetual circles with the issue of gangs, drugs and violence! When will it end?

      • Ringmaster says:

        Maybe why the PLP put forward a Bill (passed by Parliament) just before Parliament was dissolved to make possession of a small amount of weed a non criminal offense. Gangs exist for a purpose. To protect their turf. Turf means a way to make money. In my opinion gangs would not survive in Bermuda unless they are funded. So who funds them?

    • sage says:

      Why didn’t you say molly, ecstasy, cocaine, crack, heroin or fentanyl instead? “Weed Lords”? Something tells me you are sitting back with your favorite cocktail while dreaming this foolishness up.

  13. Froggy says:

    You just don’t get it Caines. Not one mention of Police and Customs working together at the boarders to intercept guns and drugs. Aside from what you hear the Police and Customs at the highest levels don’t like each other. My second problem is when you talk about the youth and families. Well guess what! These little idiots holding this island at ransom either have little ones or will have children shortly. What do you think they are gonna teach them?

    • Ringmaster says:

      I’m sure the Peoples Campaign, led by an expat, are already mobilizing for a walk on Parliament to solve this problem. Sit Ins. Fasting. Demanding the Governor is removed and the rest.
      That will never happen so it is clear what their aim and purpose was, and it had nothing to do with improving the life of Bermudians. Enjoy what is available because it will soon be less.

    • fu says:

      ” Not one mention of Police and Customs working together at the boarders to intercept guns and drugs.”

      MPs are exempt…maybe it’s time to start there and treat them like all Bermudians are treated by customs.

    • Alex Madeiros says:

      I disagree Froggy. You have to tackle it at the beginning. Providing proper education and economic empowerment will eventually lead to less crime.

      You can only take one step at a time and Minister Caine’s is on the right path.

      Unfortunately, lack of action by both administrations in the past has put us behind the eight ball.

      • ramblings says:

        “Economic Empowerment” is the empowerment approach that focuses on mobilizing the self-help efforts of the poor, rather than providing them with social welfare.

        The problem here is self help… people need to want to help themselves as opposed to getting a handout.

  14. Y-Gurl says:

    Big mouths big ideas

    • Christine says:

      Well we voted for them ??

    • mixitup says:

      20,000+ people disagree with you Y-Girl, so unless you are gonna step up a play a part, then you might want to take your marbles home.

  15. aceboy says:

    Apparently if you have less money than others it is a good reason to get into anti social and violent behavior. We need to fix violence by redistributing wealth…………….

    Oh dear, the PLP are already showing they don’t understand a thing.

    • sandgrownan says:


      No ideas, no plans.

      • Coffee says:

        At least Baron solved and sorted out the mess before the OBA/UBP were fired

  16. Oh really says:

    What needs to happen NOW it’s to make the parents responsible for the actions of there children. Why does everyone have to figure out how to control the mess this island is in. You think it’s bad now well what the heck will come from the next generation. Get the young women to stop having all these babies that they cannot parent when they need to be parented as well. How many woman on this island are on social assistance and still having more kids. It’s a very sad situation when you see a young girl with three and four kids not working receiving assistance with not a care in the world. I have raised my kids educated them they now live on there own with decent employment. Raise you children right they will be respectful human beings. I do not have the answer nor am I interested in trying to solve the problem with these wannabe gangsters. Police should monitor the bad areas evertime they see these punks hanging on the street lock them up they will soon get the message. There is no place for your actions here.

  17. Ronnie V says:

    The negative comments are unfortunate. I am sure that several things have been tried in the past to address the gang issue and as has been said by some, it is an issue in most place around the world. The options as I see them are to do nothing or to try a different approach. The former is not acceptable so let’s hope that the new Ministers strategy works. Certainly a multi-pronged strategy is required and yes, it starts in the home so support has to be provided there to discourage youngsters from joining a gang. Those that are older can only be dealt with via a police strategy. In any case we have to strive to reduce the violence because some day it will spill over from the gang environment.

  18. La-Verne Symonds says:

    All of you bloggers who are out there whinning like children with your negative comments. Why don’t you all get out there and assist with this problem, since you all have the answers. That is where some of your energy needs to be. A bunch of tiresome negative, no help to society. Complain! Complain!

    • Ringmaster says:

      Never happen. The PLP have in their midst the likes of David Burch as an MP who was most vocal when a Senator that “we don’t care what you think”. Unlikely he or the PLP has changed, and why would they?

      Start with the community most affected by gangs and clean that up. Unlikely since apparently no one will assist the police with the evidence of the fight at Cup Match.

    • Zevon says:

      A good start would be the thousands of cup match attendees assisting the police on their witness appeal.
      Let’s see if they donthat, La-Verne.
      Or doesn’t that count?

  19. princess says:

    There have been numerous acts of violence/deaths caused by alcohol but because of social engineering people are silent on alcohol playing a role in violence and death. They skip over alcohol and talk about drugs and guns.

    That way the focus is on the black male and not those who own businesses that sell alcohol, and those who finance the drug and guns entering the Island. They do not have clean hands and a pure heart. Hypocrisy plays a significant role also.

  20. Sara says:

    Too many people were focused on the airport and immigration to care about gun violence. Things that make you go hmmmm