Weeks in appeal for crime-free Bermuda Day weekend
The national security minister yesterday made a heartfelt plea to keep violence out of the Bermuda Holiday Weekend.
Michael Weeks appealed to those “caught in the vicious cycle of retaliation and violence” to be mindful of the impact their actions could have on innocent families.
He added: “The theme of this year’s parade is ‘togetherness’.
“We need to celebrate who we are with Bermudians and reconnect with family and friends.
“I am asking us all to remember that theme and to leave out those things which have no place in our culture.”
Mr Weeks was speaking as police and the Royal Bermuda Regiment Coastguard outlined their plans for the Bermuda Holiday weekend.
Acting Superintendent Jerome Laws said that there would be an increased police presence at night and visible patrols during the day to deter antisocial behaviour.
Roadside sobriety checks will take place throughout the weekend, as well as a crackdown on speeding and driving without due care and attention.
Mr Laws said that police officers will also be positioned along the various racing routes to minimise risk of harm, particularly towards cyclists and runners.
He reminded the public that the Bermuda Bicycle Association race will start in Somerset and finish on Cedar Avenue in Hamilton, while the Junior BBA race will start at the Harbour Road junction with Lover’s Lane and end in Cedar Avenue.
The Junior Classic Running Race will start at the east end of Front Street and finish on Dutton Avenue, while the annual Bermuda Day Half Marathon Derby will start in Somerset and also finish on Dutton Avenue.
Racing routes will be closed to traffic at 8am and will reopen around 12.30pm.
Anyone travelling to the airport from the West End must be past Barnes Corner before it closes.
Officers with the Royal Bermuda Regiment will also be on patrol during the Bermuda Day Parade, which is due to start at 1.30pm tomorrow.
Spectators are asked to comply with their directions and to not obstruct participants in the parade.
The parade will start at the Front Street junction with Bermudiana Road and travel along Front Street, Court Street, Church Street and Cedar Avenue before ending on Marsh Folly Road.
King Street between Reid Street and Church Street will be converted into a two-way road from 12.30pm until the end of the parade.
Non-parking spaces will be marked and no one will be allowed to move their parked cars from closed roads during the parade.
Specific road closure times will be found on the Official Gazette.
Mr Laws asked the public to be “patient and tolerant” of other partiers, particularly regarding loud music, and to work together to keep the peace and avoid police intervention.
He added that “if you see something, say something” and reminded those who suspect anything wrong to call the main police line or 911 for emergencies.
Captain Jeff Patterson, the officer commanding the RBR Coastguard, said the Coastguard anticipated “a very busy weekend” as revellers flocked to beaches and the water.
He added: “As part of our ‘no surprise’ approach to planning for this weekend, the Coastguard will be asking the public to keep safety in mind.”
Captain Patterson said there will be a crackdown on boating offences such as operating a vessel while impaired and speeding.
He reminded boaters to be considerate of others on the water and surrounding neighbourhoods.
Captain Patterson added that boat pilots should file a float plan over Bermuda radio before leaving the shore and to have all safety equipment, including a life jacket for everyone aboard.
Boaters should avoid Clarence Cove near Admiralty House, Pembroke, and Shelly Bay, Hamilton Parish, Smith’s, for the sake of swimmers.
Pilots were reminded not to exceed five knots and not to cause a wake 100 metres from shore.
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