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Tougher laws on crime public’s top priority

Toughening laws on crime is the public's number one solution to solving Bermuda's gun violence problems, according to a new poll.

The Global Research survey, commissioned by The Royal Gazette, found 24 per cent of people named stricter sentencing or better laws when asked: “What does Bermuda need to do to tackle its gun violence problem?”

The next most popular answers, with 11 per cent each, were improving public school education at all levels, increasing police presence and tightening regulations at Customs.

A further 9 per cent said Bermuda needed to address its underlying social issues, such as the breakdown of the family unit and the poor economy.

The telephone survey of 402 registered voters took place between June 6 and June 13, and has a margin of error of +/- 5 per cent.

About two weeks earlier, on May 21, Patrick Dill became the first fatal shooting victim of 2016 when he was killed in Crossland Lane, Pembroke. Mr Dill, a 26-year-old father of two who is believed to have had no connections to Bermuda's gang culture, was the 28th man to die in gun violence since May, 2009.

Cup Match cricketer Fiqre Crockwell, 30, became the 29th on National Heroes Day last week, when he was shot dead in Woodlands Road, Pembroke.

Mr Crockwell has also not been identified as being involved in any gang.

Senator Jeff Baron, the Minister of National Security, has said that Team StreetSafe was infiltrating Bermuda's most volatile gangs and saving lives on a daily basis. The charity has been providing counselling support to families in an attempt to defuse rising tensions.

Full results

Stricter sentencing or better laws: 24 per cent

Improve public school education at all levels: 11 per cent

Increase police presence: 11 per cent

Tighter regulations on imports: 11 per cent

Address the underlying social issues such as breakdown of the family unit and poor economy: 9 per cent

More support for witnesses: 5 per cent

More positive activities and opportunities for youths: 4 per cent

Increase community support for police: 4 per cent

More discipline in the home: 3 per cent

Higher rewards in exchange for guns: 3 per cent

Seek overseas police assistance: 3 per cent

Better CCTV: 2 per cent

Control coastal lines more: 2 per cent

Take the guns off the streets: 2 per cent

Pinpoint those who are bringing in guns: 1 per cent

All parties should come together: 1 per cent

Legalise marijuana: 1 per cent

Concentrate more on gang members: 1 per cent

More metal detectors: 0.5 per cent

Shooting report: police respond to an incident in Middle Town this month (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

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Published June 29, 2016 at 9:00 am (Updated June 29, 2016 at 7:57 am)

Tougher laws on crime public’s top priority

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