Call for regiment to patrol crime hotspots
Tougher measures to crack down on violent crime should be introduced, an activist said yesterday.
Desmond Crockwell, speaking after a Tuesday night shooting that left a man injured, added crime hotspots should be patrolled by Royal Bermuda Regiment soldiers to back up a stronger police presence and area curfews should be introduced.
He said: “The country was on lockdown and there was not one shooting, one stabbing, or one murder, so I think that there has to be, in particular areas, similar types of high-security measures.”
Mr Crockwell added: “The people in power have got to utilise the power that they have.
“I'm not blaming them for what happened because, in the end, you have to blame the person pulling the trigger and the mindset that makes them pull that trigger, but I think to combat it there has to be some sort of heightened police presence and more collaboration with the regiment.”
A 29-year-old man was shot in a car park on Happy Valley Road, Pembroke, between Fort Hamilton and Belvin's grocery store around 11pm on Tuesday.
The man was rushed to hospital, but his injuries were said not to be life-threatening.
Assistant Commissioner of Police Antoine Daniels said yesterday that the victim had come out of surgery and was in stable condition.
He added that police had started to concentrate resources on ”hotspots” after a surge in violent crime in the last month.
Mr Daniels explained: “We've tried to be really, really focused on those who appear to be causing us the most harm.
“We have a new co-ordination and task force in the process, which will really focus on where the information's coming from and where these cases are happening.
“We also want to do more engagement with our communities, be a bit more visible and the like.”
Chief Inspector Arthur Glasford said the reason for the attack was under investigation and could not be said to be gang-related at present.
The shooting was one of a string of violent crimes over the past few weeks.
Joshua Rowse, 22, was stabbed outside of Rubis petrol station on South Road, Warwick, on June 14.
Kenneita Wade, 33, was left fighting for her life after a machete attack in the same parish just five days later.
Wayne Caines, then Minister of National Security, said last month that the two crimes were believed to be connected.
The physician Kyjuan Brown, who has spent most of his life in the Happy Valley area, also appealed for an increased police presence in the wake of the violence.
The 39-year-old said: “The police are doing a much better job than they were ever doing before, but they really do need to increase their presence.”
Dr Brown added that he did not hear the shooting, but found out about it the next morning from the news and neighbours.
He added that violence was so frequent that it had become “a blur”.
Dr Brown said: “It's almost becoming a common occurrence nowadays, which is quite disturbing.”
He added: “I spoke with my neighbours and everyone's concerned and a little shaken up because now it's getting closer and closer.
“Some of my neighbours are elderly and they usually sit outside on the patio to get a breeze.
“The last thing we want is for them to be shot by a stray bullet by these young people who are doing whatever they want to do.”
Diallo Rabain, the interim Minister of National Security, said: “I join with the community in expressing frustration and condemnation of this incident.
“I have been briefed by the Commissioner of Police and have been assured that the necessary resources are being devoted to investigating this latest act of gun violence.”