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An undercurrent of violent crime

On viewing our scenic South Shore waters on a calm sunny day, there is usually no sign of hidden dangers beneath the surface in the form of undercurrents that have caught even strong swimmers off guard, and there have been occasions when some have had to be rescued.

Although these dangerous undercurrents are generally associated with rough seas, it is not uncommon for someone to fall victim to the oceans beneath the surface pull, when everything appears to be quite normal. We have some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, which have been enjoyed by Bermudians and visitors over the years. However, it would be unwise for swimmers to move into deeper waters without being aware of the ever-present undercurrent.

Despite progress over the years in many areas of our business world and social activities, many Bermudians have an increasing concern about what appears to be a growing trend of violent crime that often has gunplay or knives involved, in what could be described as a social or cultural undercurrent of our Bermudian infrastructure.

If allowed to continue, future generations could be confronted with unknown challenges when it comes to security and safety.

Do Bermudians feel relatively safe? The answer would be yes, with the “but” word attached. That is because there are still too many incidents where disputes escalate into violent encounters that leave serious injuries and sometimes even loss of life. Since there is no indication where or when there is likely to be violent crime, everyone to a certain degree is at risk. No right-thinking person wants that kind of Bermuda.

The big question for every citizen should be how do we go about reversing this disturbing trend? The solution will not be easy because it will involve how well we teach young minds that the greatest victory in daily living is becoming a good citizen with respect for decent values that are needed for a healthy safe society.

Those values should be taught constantly in our youth programmes, whether it be football, cricket or any other sport. Those engaged in trying to implement such values need full community support, which should also begin in the home.

Our Crime Stoppers organisation should also be commended for toiling over the years to encourage all to make use of an opportunity to assist in fighting crime by making a highly confidential call without fear of reprisal. Even they hope one day that such an organisation would be obsolete. But reality dictates that society will never be perfect and that the struggle against crime must continue.

In our small society, there is a tendency with many to look the other way when something happens, out of fear of being involved. All that changes when there is an incident in their backyard. If we fail to move away from that trend of thought, our island home will always be susceptible to the undercurrent of violent, criminal activity.

Collectively, we can all play a part in seeking a solution by keeping positive values alive throughout every aspect of community life. Just as we watch children closely when swimming on our beautiful beaches, we must also be mindful of the social undercurrents, which can be just as dangerous.

Domino effect: the weekend violence at Southampton Rangers Sports Club was followed closely last night by the shooting murder of a teenage boy in Devonshire (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

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Published October 19, 2016 at 9:00 am (Updated October 19, 2016 at 9:03 am)

An undercurrent of violent crime

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