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Can Bermuda respond to crime like Boston did?

See something. Say Something. Know something. Say Something. Those are not just words, Mr Acting Editor, but powerful advice which, when acted upon, can constitute an effective tool in helping to combat crime and bring criminals to justice.

Now think Boston.

I expect that, like me, you were transfixed by the television coverage of events as unfolded last week in Boston. As distressing as it was, and it was, it made for compelling TV. But it was also more than that. We not only watched in awe at how the press were able to make us witnesses to what occurred from bombing to capture five days later, but at how the police, city, state and federal, were able to mobilise forces quickly, deploy them strategically, implement a citywide lockdown, conduct house to house searches, the whole time engaging and ultimately relying on the public at large for critical support and assistance.

I don’t know about you, but I marvelled at the role which the public took on during a time of terror and personal danger for them.

Maybe like me you also wondered: why we haven’t we been able to respond as a community in Bermuda to gang warfare, the shootings and the murders? Okay, maybe not in exactly the same way but with similar demonstrable and evident commitment.

We all know that it cannot really be the case in all cases in Bermuda that nobodyknowsnuffin.

Al Seymour opened the discussion earlier this week when he wrote on “Lessons of the Boston Bombings”. It’s a conversation which we should continue to have and let me prompt readers with some pointed questions: —

1. Is that we simply don’t have the policing resources in Bermuda, including the manpower to tackle murders and shootings as and when they occur? or,

2. Has the necessary political will to step up the battle been lacking? or,

3. Are there laws that need to be changed to make it happen — and, if so, why hasn’t that been done with more dispatch?

4. Does anyone still have doubts and reservations about blanketing hot spots and other streets with CCTV cameras? We learned just how effective they can be in Boston.

5. Or is there a kind of NIMBY at play here in Bermuda? Some of us honestly do not know any useful thing, or maybe don’t care to know anything, or simply don’t care, period, so long as it doesn’t reach our neighbourhoods and our backdoors — ultimately making it also a matter of race.

6. Or is it because we are a small, relatively tight-knit community in which everyone knows everyone else, and their brother, and cannot bring themselves to provide information that may lead to the arrest, interrogation, trial, conviction (not always a certainty) and imprisonment of someone they know and/or to whom they are related and/or whom they love? Gangs and their members have become so embedded in our community, in neighbourhoods, in our families, in schools, in clubs, such that no place and no person is immune, and we prefer to believe that some other approach is needed and/or that the problem will just go away if we let the police get on with their job?

This isn’t a test. Neither is it multiple choice. Maybe you think it is none of the above.

Me? I recall what Sharon Wilson wrote a short while back in a piece that was published in your paper, Mr Acting Editor: “They is us”. She also thought that we needed a national push and a big conversation on the issue.

* Join in the conversation by blogging on my column at www.royalgazette.com or by e-mailing jbarritt@ibl.bm.


Readers write, this week in reaction to last week’s column on tourism and gambling and here’s a couple of excerpts from the website, Mr Acting Editor:


“Fool’s gold is how the lure of casinos has also been described on hindsight by those who have chosen that path.” [JB]

Only by those that waited too late.......and Bermuda is.......still waiting. Now legalising and commercialising marijuana would be.....ahead of curve.......instead of......waiting......again.......


.......providing value for money is a prerequisite. Unfortunately, and not just in Bermuda, it’s often assumed, wrongly, that people especially concerned with value for money are budget-minded. My particular beef is that only when Bermuda gets rid of its customs-taxation policy, half its number of MPs and half of its civil service and loosens up on the controls to visitors that occur here but nowhere else in the world will we offer any realistic chance of value for money.


When are [they] gonna do some professional market research as to WHY repeat visitors come to Bermuda ...? When are we gonna hire a professional, CREATIVE ad agency and a P.R. company with some resort experience that actually knows what they’re doing. Bermuda is NOT “so much more” ... it is “less.” And that’s good. And giving free trips to Bda to travel bloggers doesn’t cut it! When are you lot gonna Get It?!

There were e-mails too. One reader lamented that there were some good ideas out there but that the problem was “actually get things done. We’re way too slow”. As if to prove the point another reader complained at length at how his ideas for rejuvenating tourism were welcomed with the promise of a follow-up he never heard anything more despite further efforts on his part. He said he understood the new Government needed time “to sort out much of the position they found themselves in”, but is now losing faith in how things work, or don’t in his case. More work for the SAGE Commission, Mr Acting Editor?

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Published April 26, 2013 at 9:22 am (Updated April 26, 2013 at 9:22 am)

Can Bermuda respond to crime like Boston did?

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