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Gang booklet flies off the shelves

A guide to help members of the public identify gang members and learn how to tackle the issue flew off the shelves in the 24 hours after it was launched.

Minister of National Security Wayne Perinchief and Police Commissioner Michael DeSilva unveiled the booklet on Wednesday evening.

By yesterday evening there were only 50 copies left from the first batch according to a Ministry spokeswoman, who said a reprint has already been ordered.

“A steady stream of people have been collecting them all day from the Ministry,” she said. “There was one order for 500. To ensure no further costs are incurred, we are now meeting demand by e-mailing the PDF version to stakeholders within the community.”

However, Government faced questions from the Opposition One Bermuda Alliance yesterday for basing the book on one already produced in Nova Scotia, Canada, without attributing the source of the information.

A party spokesman said: “We think the booklet can help the community understand things about gang life that they might otherwise not learn. But given the wholesale lifting of the book’s content from Nova Scotia’s Gang Prevention handout, we wonder how much authentic Bermuda information is in the booklet.”

The spokesman also questioned how much Government spent on producing it.

The Ministry spokeswoman responded: “The Bermuda Police Service made some suggested amendments to conform with the messaging they use. Each and every stakeholder consulted signed off and confirmed that it represented identical best practice language and tone used in their work in this area.

“These are the people who address these issues head-one every day and upon whom we rely to tackle these problems at varying stages of the gang lifestyle’s cycle. The Minister indicated in an on-camera interview that he would be relying heavily on the Nova Scotia document for this very reason. The only oversight is to have the document itself reflect that and that will be remedied in a reprint now required because the booklet is so popular.”

She added: “No costs other than printing by the Bermuda Press were incurred in its production.”

The booklet is to be posted on the National Security section of www.gov.bm, although it was not yet available there last night. Hard copies are available from Ministry Headquarters on the first floor of the Government Administration Building, 30 Parliament Street, Hamilton.

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Published February 24, 2012 at 8:18 am (Updated February 24, 2012 at 8:18 am)

Gang booklet flies off the shelves

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