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Police asked to let public know about live firing exercises

Renee Ming, the Minister of National Security (Photograph supplied)

The Minister of National Security has asked police to make sure notice is given before any training exercises that could affect nearby residents.

Renee Ming’s request came after sounds heard from the Bermuda Police Service Prospect headquarters in Devonshire were mistaken for gun attacks last night.

She said: “It’s important to recognise that there’s heightened anxiety in our community for a number of reasons, most particularly being the fact that we are still navigating through a pandemic with additional local cases.

“This, coupled with recent activities of gun and knife violence – I can absolutely understand why the public concluded that last night’s police training activity could have been associated with a response to antisocial behaviour.”

Ms Ming added: “I take the public safety concerns of our community very seriously.

“I can confirm that I’ve communicated with the police leadership that when they intend to hold such training exercises that will have a community impact, they must provide clear and ample notification to the public.

“This Government is keen to support the police in their efforts to plan and prepare, however, we also expect that they have a level of empathy for the public during these challenging times.”

A BPS spokeswoman said last night that a social media message being circulated suggested “there was a ’shoot-out’ in town”.

She added: “We would like to inform the public that there is no truth to this rumour.”

The spokeswoman said that between 8pm and 8.30pm BPS teams were involved in a training exercise in the Prospect HQ area.

She added: “This exercise would have involved a number of loud bangs which may have been heard by people in the area.

“We wish to apologise for any distress that this may have caused.”

• A BPS notice warned that the Police are conducting a live training exercise along with the Bermuda Coast Guard on the water throughout today.

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Published November 26, 2020 at 3:18 pm (Updated November 26, 2020 at 3:16 pm)

Police asked to let public know about live firing exercises

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