15-year-old youths arrested after alleged knife offences at football match
Two teenage boys have been arrested after knives were allegedly used in a fight at a football match at the National Sports Centre at the weekend.
The 15-year-olds were arrested in connection with an incident at the Flora Duffy National Stadium in Devonshire, said to have happened at an under-15 football match.
An eyewitness said the fight happened after three young people followed a player as he headed towards a car when the match ended.
The source said the disturbance lasted between “five and ten minutes” and that he saw an individual bleeding from his arm after he removed his tracksuit top.
The witness added: “I think it’s a sad, sad situation — and the thing that I think is so sad is nobody is talking about all these things that’s going on in this island by young Black men.
“That’s what really bothers me and something has got to be done because things are not getting any better.”
Police said one of the teenagers was treated for “minor injuries” as a result of the incident, which happened on Saturday at about 3.20pm.
A police spokesman said one of the boys was arrested for alleged possession of a bladed weapon and had been released on bail. Another teenager, also 15 and also alleged to have had a knife, left before officers arrived but was later traced and arrested. The police spokesman said the second youngster had been bailed.
Assistant Commissioner of Police Antoine Daniels, who attended the scene, thanked bystanders who had intervened.
Mr Daniels said that he remained at the stadium and had spoken to young people who had told him that “the carrying of knives and other bladed articles is fast becoming the norm”.
Mr Daniels said the youngsters had claimed some carried weapons as protection.
He added: “This is not the first time that the Bermuda Police Service has been informed about this type of behaviour.”
Mr Daniels said Acting Commissioner of Police Darrin Simons had highlighted the knife problem at a recent press conference.
He told the public: “I not only wish to reiterate the Acting Commissioner’s comments that carrying a knife or any bladed object for protection creates a greater likelihood of becoming involved in a knife-related incident, but additionally increases the risk of the people around you being injured.”
Police said three incidents had happened inside 24 hours, which sparked a warning about the dangers of carrying a knife.
They included a woman who was stabbed in the back in Sandys at 1am on Sunday.
The 28-year-old woman was injured at Legends Bar on Somerset Road in Sandys.
The injury was said to be “serious, but non-life-threatening” and the woman is being treated in the King Edward VII Memorial Hospital.
A police spokesman said the incident came after an argument that “escalated and resulted in the victim having sustained a one-inch stab wound on the left side of her back”.
He added there were several customers in the bar at the time and appealed for witnesses.
The spokesman said the weekend’s bladed-article incidents started at 3am on Saturday when police stopped a 19-year old man for traffic offences.
The suspect fled after being told he had outstanding warrants. But he was caught, found to be carrying a three-inch knife and arrested.
Police announced a crackdown on knife crime last month after a series of stabbings.
Mr Daniels said that officers had been granted powers to stop and search anyone who they suspected was carrying a blade.
He agreed that people were arming themselves because they feared “themselves potentially being set upon” but emphasised that carrying knives only heightened the potential for harm.
He added: “If you feel threatened, do not arm yourself. Report your concern to someone in authority.”
Police have reported more than 33 incidents involving blades since the start of last August.
Mr Daniels said it was “a worrying trend for a small, island community”.
He highlighted that one of the incidents was alleged to have happened at “a sporting event attended by a large cross section of the community, old and young alike”.
Mr Daniels said that police were “thankful” the woman injured in Sandys did not suffer a life-threatening wound.
He added: “It’s not lost on us that another family could have been left to face a tragedy as there is real potential for loss of life stemming from each of these senseless acts.”
Mr Daniels warned that police would continue to use stop-and-search policies.
He said: “We will be increasing our efforts in that regard as we seek to bring an end to the practice of individuals going out in public armed and ready to engage in violence.”
Anyone with information on the weekend’s incidents should call 211 or the main police number at 295-0011.
The public can also use the independent and confidential Crime Stoppers hotline at 800-8477 or provide details to a police officer they know.