Bermuda could become police training hub
A plan to develop Bermuda as a regional training centre for police officers could generate income to boost the island’s thin blue line.
Commissioner of Police Stephen Corbishley said he was working on the proposal for the island to provide regional firearms, public order and commander training to officers from other Overseas Territories and the Caribbean.
Mr Corbishley said that a “six figure investment” from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office would be required to implement the scheme, which is expected to be up and running in 12 to 18 months.
He added: “We have got excellent facilities at Prospect headquarters that we are hoping to develop and we have been in discussion with the Minister of National Security about what it could look like.
“There is the potential for income generation which we can reinvest in policing.
“It is my desire as we head into 2020 to seek agreement with the FCO to get funding to support the development of some of our facilities at the Prospect site.
“This would include the development of a 100 metre range which is currently within the quarry area but which needs investment and work to make it fit for purpose. The site would allow us to do vehicle and other specialist tactics.
“Funding would also allow us develop some of our accommodation and training rooms and to support trainers.”
The BPS earlier this month trained four officers from the British Virgin Islands in VIP protection duties.
Mr Corbishley said: “We have abilities around fire arms and around non lethal options for things like Taser use and we have developed capabilities around public order.
“It is important for me as Commissioner that the BPS has those capabilities should they be required.
“The fact that Bermuda is seeing a significant reduction in fire arms related incidents is testament to a lot of the prevention work we have been doing.
“I believe our prevention of firearms related incidents through intelligence and partnership activity with Government is working, noting the BPS continues to be successful in preventing or removing firearms and/or ammunition from being in the hands of criminals.”
Police logged six confirmed firearms incidents in 2019 compared to nine in 2018, 15 in 2017 and 31 in 2016.
There have been no gun killings this year. There were three in 2018 and three in 2017.
Mr Corbishley is due to meet Foreign Office officials and police commissioners from other Overseas Territories in Miami in December.
He said the service had yet to establish the extent of training that could be offered in Bermuda.
Mr Corbishley added: “If we offer training regionally then that will be subject to what the demand is and our ability to meet that demand.”
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