No 2019 murders - but no room for complacency

  • Stephen Corbishley (File photograph by Blaire Simmons)

    Stephen Corbishley (File photograph by Blaire Simmons)

Last year was the first in more than two decades that no murders were recorded in Bermuda, the Commissioner of Police said yesterday.

Stephen Corbishley added that 2019 saw “tremendous work” from the BPS and the Government’s anti-gang task force in their efforts to cut the amount of serious violence, especially gun crime.

He said: “Last year not one life was lost through homicide which is testament to those involved in protecting the public and dealing with small parts of our community who choose to be involved in gang-related crime.

“Additionally, we recorded just two firearms-related injuries and while this is still extremely serious, it pales against the recording of 28 firearms-related injuries ten years ago.”

Mr Corbishley added: “However, tackling this problem is complex and involves significant resources to intervene in tensions and ensure we prevent the supply and use of guns and other weapons.

“Additionally, we see increasing numbers of young men want to turn away from crime and there is excellent support from Pastor Leroy Bean and others to assist them.

“But last year’s position cannot lead to complacency and while it is an excellent achievement, the same, if not more, effort needs to continue to prevent the senseless loss of any life and instead create pathways for young men involved in gangs, drug dealing and other forms of crime to redirect their lives.”

Mr Corbishley said strong partnerships among the police, the Government and communities were “key”.

It is believed the last year in which there were no murders could reach back even further than 20 years “subject to examination of archive crime records”.

Wayne Caines, the Minister of National Security, said: “The ongoing work of the Gang Violence Reduction Team is starting to resonate and bear fruit in our community.

“We must not rest on our laurels and continue to educate our young people, provide programmes for our at-risk population, as well as programmes for our incarcerated population.

“The invaluable efforts of the Bermuda Police Service bolstering these initiatives through working to make Bermuda safer is noteworthy and, of course, has been a primary factor in reducing crime on our island and they should be lauded.”

Mr Caines added: “We will continue to work together and with our community partners, remain committed to eliminating gang and gun-related violence in Bermuda.

“We are also extremely thankful for the assistance we receive from members of the community as their input is paramount in our ongoing efforts to combat crime in all its forms.”

A police spokesman said earlier that there were five murders in 2018.

Figures on the BPS website showed that there was the same number in 2017, down from seven the previous year.

Four murders were recorded in both 2014 and 2015, compared with five in 2013.

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Published Jan 24, 2020 at 8:00 am (Updated Jan 24, 2020 at 8:02 am)

No 2019 murders - but no room for complacency

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