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PLP calls for more preventative policing

Following the murders of Ricco Furbert and Haile Outerbridge, the community has been urged to come together by the Progressive Labour Party.

Shadow Public Safety Minister Michael Scott called for a greater emphasis on preventive policing so that the tragedy isn’t repeated.

“While the police must receive public support, they too, from the top leadership to the lower ranks, must be held accountable to prevent gun murders, not just apprehend the perpetrators; a matter that is often the easier part in a community of our size,” he said.

“The urgent agenda is halting gun deaths and escalation of violence and the destabilisation of Bermuda. The PLP will not, nor will I, support a police strategy that presides over increasing loss of the streets to this mobster element and the loss of human life.

“The Governor and the [Police] Commissioner's operational leadership must be stepped up to reflect strategic preventive action. The PLP has these concerns and we have action plans that we are prepared to share with the police leadership as we did as the government.”

Mr Scott expressed his condolences to the families of the victims, and urged members of the public with information to come forward.

“We must as a Country act — act to support the police and security forces, and act to prevent gun and ammunition importations,” he said.

“I know that in asking the public to give information also puts you at risk; however, if we stand together we can and must make our communities safe again.”

Area MP Michael Weeks expressed his condolences to the families of the murder victims and to the Boulevard Community Club, which both victims were involved with.

He renewed his call for the community to come together in order to deal with the problem of violent crime on the Island.

“The police service, Government, churches, schools, community partners and neighbours, must work together to tackle this issue of violent crimes, recognising, that each time this occurs, it threatens the social and economic stability of our country, and pulls at the very fabric of our society,” Mr Weeks said.

“As a Country, we must understand that a matter of this severity, cannot only be addressed by the police, but as stakeholders, we as private citizens have to play our part in speaking up and assisting wherever we can.

“These guys are not just dropping out of the sky. Somebody is hiding them. Someone knows who they are, where they are.”

Mr Weeks called on the OBA to follow the groundwork set out by the PLP Government by continuing to implement programmes such as Ceasefire which he felt could go a long way towards remedying the problem.

"For the good of our community, we have to work together on this,” he said. “I think across social lines, across racial lines, we have to come together as one to deal with this.”

Opposition MP Rolfe Commissiong, who represents the neighbouring constituency of Pembroke South East, said both of the victims and their families live in the area.

He said it was time for the Island to address underlying problems that have sparked recent violence that has occurred in primarily working-class black communities.

"We cannot be in denial about that,” he said. “I think until we learn to talk the hard truth about what's going on, as I have attempted to do over the last 20 years before becoming a Member of Parliament, we are still going to be finding ourselves spinning our wheels in trying to reduce and quell what is becoming a social threat to all of Bermuda.”

Rolfe Commissiong (foreground), PLP MP for Pembroke South East and Michael Weeks PLP MP for Pembroke East Central, talk to the media outside Belvin's Variety store on Happy Valley Road, where a double shooting murder took place on Wednesday night.

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Published January 25, 2013 at 9:15 am (Updated January 25, 2013 at 9:14 am)

PLP calls for more preventative policing

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