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Spike in gang-related attempted home invasions and robberies

A spike in attempted home invasions and robberies by known gang members has been logged in the last four months, the Minister of National Security said yesterday.

But Renee Ming said the Gang Violence Reduction Team continued to work to reduce the risk of crime.

She said: “The last quarter saw the GVRT diligently at work in the community with a proactive approach that has proven to be quite effective in both the neighbourhoods and schools.”

Ms Ming, speaking in the House of Assembly, added: “Honourable Members will recall that the GVRT has been charged with the strategic development of prevention and intervention programmes that target our at-risk population.

“Over the past four months, the GVRT have noticed a spike in attempted home invasions and robberies allegedly from known gang members and/or affiliates.”

Ms Ming said: “With that being said, the GVRT continues to actively use and implement their multipronged approach in the affected communities.

“In order to lower community tensions, the GVRT further increased its focus on street level outreach throughout the shelter in place, curfew and other emergency measures.”

Cole Simons, the Opposition Leader, asked Ms Ming what procedures were in place for the GVRT and its Coordinated Crisis Response Unit to share intelligence on illegal activity with the Bermuda Police Service.

She said the Inter-Agency Gang Enforcement Team working group would be “the only level of interaction” with the BPS.

She added: “The GVRT would collaborate on what is the best way forward. There are certain sensitivities around certain things and a more structured approach is required.”

Ms Ming said the GVRT “continued to visit targeted neighbourhoods and build connections and relationships with at risk young people and their families”.

“The team continues to show a visual presence throughout the island as they visit the various homes and neighbourhoods, especially those that are impacted by antisocial behaviours.”

She added: “The GVRT provides intervention through the formation of trust-based relationships that serve to de-escalate and mediate tensions when necessary. Mediation of the tensions and conflicts has been direct and inclusive of individuals from all areas.

“The outreach work of the GVRT has connected many at-risk individuals to various resources and long term solutions that provide case management services.”

She added the goal was to steer young people who might become involved in crime towards activities “that provide a range of opportunities for change”.

Ms Ming said that 13 trainees were enrolled on the ministry’s Redemption programme, which has been in operation for the past 20 weeks for those considered at risk.

She added: “The trainees have been placed in various local businesses around the island to complete 30-week work placements around the island with the GVRT business partners.“

Ms Ming said three trainees had got full-time jobs and five of the team’s business partners had plans to transition their trainees to part-time or full-time employment.

She added four trainees were job-hunting and one had enrolled at Bermuda College.

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Published June 19, 2021 at 8:39 am (Updated June 19, 2021 at 8:39 am)

Spike in gang-related attempted home invasions and robberies

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