New police office in Town of St George
A new police office opened in the Town of St George yesterday.
The community policing office, housed in a renovated building on Somer’s Wharf, will provide a base of operations for community police officers in the Olde Towne.
Commissioner of Police Stephen Corbishley said the office was the result of talks with the Government, area MPs and Wilkinson Estates Ltd, who offered the property to the police service for an annual rent of $1.
Mr Corbishley said: “The difference that this makes is a location in the St George’s community that gives access to policing services.
“Our parish constables are going to work from here and our response officers have the opportunity to work out of these premises.”
He added: “The most important thing is that it demonstrates the police’s presence in the St George’s community and that is a huge step forward and great for us, great for the BPS and great for Bermuda.”
David Somers, the president of Wilkinson Estates Ltd, said the decision to offer the building to the police for a nominal rent was “in keeping with the tradition of the Wilkinson family”.
Mr Somers said: “This is going to make a tremendous difference for the town.
“A police presence has been missing for years, and it is a privilege to help bring it back.”
Wayne Caines, the Minister of National Security, said East End MPs had campaigned over the years for more emphasis on St George’s.
He said: “We know that this will make a difference in this community.
“There is a hotel under construction, there is an airport that will be soon completed. This town will see a resurgence and we believe in that resurgence.
“This is an opportunity for us to put the work in place to make sure we have the infrastructure that can handle what we believe will be a renaissance in this great town.”
Mr Caines thanked Mr Somers for the use of the property.
He said: “This was not for self-aggrandisement or self-enrichment.
“You have seen a need. You have gone and done something that speaks voluminously about your love of our country, your love of our community and on, behalf of the people of Bermuda, we salute you and we thank you.”
Renée Ming, the MP for St George’s North, and Mr Corbishley later presented Mr Somers with a certificate to thank him for his contribution.
Ms Ming said voters in the town had asked for a greater police presence and MPs had been in regular discussions with the BPS since February about a new station and other problems in the East End.
Ms Ming said: “What you see here is a result of this concern with the community coming together for the greater good.
“The return of police into the town has been talked about for the past few years. Today is the culmination of many meetings between MPs and the BPS.”
Kenneth Bascome, a former Mayor of St George and MP for the area, said: “Thanks to the police for finally accepting that Bermuda and St George’s need to have a police presence in the town.
“I have kept this fight alive for the past nine years — three years as the deputy mayor, 3½ years as mayor and four years as an MP.
“I would like to say congratulations to the parliamentarians for taking it over the line.”
St George’s was home to a dedicated police station until 2012, when it was shuttered for repairs after years of complaints about its condition.
But the station never reopened and the East End is now covered by the Southside Police Station in St David’s.
While there were numerous calls to reopen the station, Mr Caines said in 2017 that the building had deteriorated to the point it was no longer fit for use.
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