Crime figures down, but residents don’t feel safe
Residents don’t feel safe despite recent police statistics showing crime is down.
And they believe crime levels will rise as long as the current recession continues.
The Royal Gazette took to the streets following 2011 crime statistics released this week by Police Commissioner Michael DeSilva. Those figures revealed crime fell to its lowest level since 2000, with a total of 4,370 crimes or an average of 12 crimes per day.
Patricia Dill said she’d been targeted by thieves more than once in the past year.
“I’ve had break-ins and I’ve had a bike stolen. You have to take notice of your surroundings when you go to put the key in the door, I don’t feel safe in my house anymore.”
Leopards Club president
Denny Richardson said: “Given all the previous crimes, we haven’t gotten off to a bad start this year but two months into it anything could happen.
“It didn’t start yesterday; it might take that much longer for us to get where we need to be. We had a stabbing incident outside the Leopards Club this year, that worried me.
“I saw gangs coming here 30 years ago and I mentioned it Wayne Perinchief [who is now National Security Minister] back then.
“When I see young men killing each other I feel sad that the love we had for each other has fallen apart. We need to get back to loving each other.”
Ivan Trott, 76, made his feelings known in no uncertain terms.
“Crime is not down, we need a deterrent a strong deterrent. They’re putting things on the books but they’re not utilising them.
“Number one I would reinstitute the floggings. The Bible states if you spare the rod you spoil the child, am I right or wrong? If a man takes a life he should be willing to give his life, an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. I believe in that 200 percent.
“I would put a banner up on the Government Administration Building, just like they do in the Philippines. If you’re caught trafficking or using illicit drugs, or using any type of weaponry this is the penalty. There is no appeal.
“All you need is one or two people and you will see a difference. Bermuda is gone, it’s finished, it’s gone down the tubes in a bread basket and you can’t get it back without real deterrents.
“I’ve got great grandchildren and none of them have been in any trouble, if they did they would lock me up because I will put the belt or stick on them.”
Vincent Whitter said: “With the break-ins, I can’t see that getting any better until the economy gets better. I don’t think the recession will help.”
Raymond Russell Sr said: “The recession is going to cause more crime. Innocent people are going to turn to crime if they’re not working. You have to eat. When you can’t eat you will do something that you wouldn’t ordinarily do.
“I think organisations like the clubs and unions really should be helping more, they don’t help as much as they should.”
Doris Wade said: “I don’t feel much safer. As a woman who has a pottery business in Hamilton, Bermuda is too small for gun violence. I’m really concerned about crimes against women and not feeling safe walking on the street at night. We used to feel safe and didn’t have to worry about watching our backs, I’m looking forward to a time like that again.”
Vaughan Clarke said she personally feels safer, despite living on her own.
“I know there are things I can do to secure my house properly and now I know I have to do that. But I’m a strong believer and I know I’m protected by a higher power.”
Tammy Harmer said: “I definitely don’t think it’s safer, I think that people are struggling for cash. If it’s dark when I leave work, I take a buddy to walk me to my car. I even go get my car early sometimes.
“I feel pretty safe at home. If I lived in a stand-alone cottage I wouldn’t feel safe but I have neighbours on both sides and upstairs so I feel safe at night.”