Commissioner warns of crackdown on knives after man stabbed near school
A 35-year-old man suffered a serious stab wound after he was attacked last night, police said today.
Acting Commissioner of Police Darrin Simons said the man was stabbed in the back and had a gash to his head after he was attacked on Glebe Road, Pembroke, just before midnight.
Mr Simons was speaking as he outlined a crackdown on knife crime.
A police spokesman added that the man was found in the car park of the Victor Scott Primary School, Glebe Road, Pembroke.
He added: “It is believed the stabbing occurred on South Terrace, directly behind Victor Scott School.”
The man was rushed to the King Edward VII Memorial Hospital with “potentially life-threatening” injuries.
The spokesman said today that the injured man was in “stable” condition in the KEMH intensive care unit.
The BPS launched a campaign to crack down on knife crime.
Acting Commissioner of Police Darrin Simons said officers had stepped up stop-and-search patrols in an effort to crack down on violent crime.
He added that the strategy was introduced after police noticed an increase in the number of people carrying blades.
Mr Simons said: “The Bermuda Police Service has noticed what appears to be an uptick in violent incidents involving the use of bladed articles.
“We’ve increased our level of engagement significantly as a result of some of the uptick we’ve seen in violence. We are very much out there already.”
Mr Simons pointed out that police had the authority to carry stop-and-search patrols in any particular area for a certain amount of time.
He added: “The officers do not need reasonable grounds in the circumstances. The authority is given for an area, for a period of time, and officers have the ability to stop and search anyone in that area in order to prevent violence.
“Police officers have the authority to stop and search any individual they suspect of carrying a bladed article.”
Mr Simons said: “I cannot overstate our position that we will use all means available to us to end this and any other form of criminal activity as we seek to meet our mandate of making Bermuda safer.
“This will obviously include utilising our powers of stop and search.”
Ms Simons said there had been 13 knife incidents in the past 12 months, three of them fatal.
He added: “Another stabbing incident two weeks ago could have had a similar outcome. The victim in that matter — a 14-year-old male who at the time was on his way to school — continues to recover from his injuries in what can only be described as a brutal attack.
Mr Simons said: “What we have observed is that individuals are arming themselves with a knife or knives out of potential concern or fear for themselves potentially being set upon.”
He told the public: “However, carrying a knife increases the risk of you becoming more involved in a dangerous situation rather than protecting you from one.
“If you feel threatened, do not arm yourself. Report your concern to someone in authority.
“The safest thing to do if you’re threatened is to move away from the threat, to distance yourself from any opportunity to get involved.
“The reality is access to a knife or any bladed article is ubiquitous — they’re everywhere and readily available in every home.
“But it’s when these items are used for nefarious purposes that issues arise.”
Mr Simons added that a conviction for possession of a knife could result in a two-year jail sentence.
He said that people who worked with knives or other potential offensive weapons should leave them at work or take them straight home after they finished work.
Mr Simons added: “It will not be an excuse at 3am to say that the machete you were just caught with is the one you were using to trim trees or that you just knocked off work.
“We’ve heard it all before and these claims are easy for us to investigate.”
He appealed to the public — particularly parents — to do their part to keep weapons off the streets.
Mr Simons said: “If you can, be aware of what items your kids are leaving the house with and take note of anything that could be deemed a weapon.”
Anyone with information on the Glebe Road attack should contact Detective Sergeant Clifford Roberts on 717 0590 or 247 1376.