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Premier: Safety and security of Bermuda will not be compromised

A $108.9 million budget to maintain law and order in the coming fiscal year has been allocated to the Ministry of National Security.The Royal Gazette about the council, Sir Richard said: “Naturally I take a close interest and am kept well in the picture.

Premier Paula Cox said: “Government’s commitment to the safety and security of Bermuda will not be compromised.”

She also announced a new National Security Council is being formed develop strategies to combat crime and be better aligned with community concerns.

Maintaining law and order is key for community peace of mind and a sense of safety, the Premier added.

The National Security Ministry is responsible for the Bermuda Police Service, defence, border control, Bermuda Fire Service, security services and delegated affairs.

The Bermuda Police Service has changed, said Ms Cox. Through modern-day policing methods, “the police have yielded important arrests, convictions and sentences”.

The Bermuda Police Service was given $68.6 million in the 2012/13 Budget an 18 percent increase over the $58.2 million it was initially allocated for 2011/12. Revised figures for that period show police received a total budget of $69 million.

Now that the new Hamilton Police Station is built, Ms Cox said the next big ticket investment will see the opening of the long-awaited X-ray facility at the Hamilton docks.

Border Control has been allocated $17.6 million in the 2012/13 Budget.

“In the post 9/11 world, soft borders are not an option even for a low-risk jurisdiction like Bermuda,” Ms Cox said.

“The ability to X-ray containers coming into Bermuda will provide a unique opportunity to interdict drugs, contraband and other illegal items bound for our streets.”

The National Security Ministry is primarily the enforcement arm of Government, Ms Cox said.

“Citizenry cannot be blinkered by a singular focus on law and order. Community building is a concurrent focus of elements of the Ministry. The police play a lead role in the Inter-Agency Gang Task Force.”

National Security Minister Wayne Perinchief said at a press conference yesterday afternoon: “The modest increases in this year’s Budget represent, in the main, mandated operational costs, negotiated wage settlements and basic operational funding.

“The increases are neutral and represent this Ministry’s determination to deliver first rate service with a commitment to efficiency.

“In each department we have struck the correct balance required to meet the demands of these economic times while ensuring that the mandate of public safety is met for all in Bermuda.”

Government has laid out $500,000 for extending CCTV networking to replace ageing cameras in the City of Hamilton.

Said Mr Perinchief: “CCTV has played such an important role in securing convictions for offences committed in our communities that this initiative must be supported.”

Another $1.9 million has been allocated for the creation of a new police data centre to complete the upgrade of their records’ management system.

“These robust additions to the network infrastructure enhance the tools of the modern age and allow the police to work with cutting edge support systems,” he said.

“This Budget clearly demonstrates that this Government recognises the importance of public safety to the success of Bermuda.

“ We are determined to make Bermuda safe to live, work, visit and do business.”

The Bermuda Regiment has been designated $7.1 million; another $17.6 million has been allocated to run the Bermuda Fire Service.

And while the public’s focus may be drawn to the police budget, Mr Perinchief said other areas of his Ministry are no less important.

“The restructuring of the Fire Service is supported by the allocation for 2012/13. The Bermuda Regiment will be able to fulfill its core training objectives.

“And border control will have the resources to interdict contraband and dangerous articles before they reach our streets.”

The new National Security Council includes Governor Sir Richard Gozney, Mr DeSilva, Ms Cox, Deputy Premier Derrick Burgess, Mr Perinchief and Attorney General Kim Wilson.

When contacted by

“I warmly welcome the Bermuda Government’s announcement of a National Security Council, which I have been discussing with Government ministers for some months.”

Out in force: A $108.9m budget has been allocated to the Ministry of National Security

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Published February 25, 2012 at 7:25 am (Updated February 25, 2012 at 7:24 am)

Premier: Safety and security of Bermuda will not be compromised

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