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Keynote speaker to talk on gang-related violence

The professor who came up with the Operation Ceasefire concept will be the keynote speaker at a police chiefs' conference being held in Bermuda next week.

David Kennedy, of John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York City, will talk about combating gang-related violence at the 2013 Association of Caribbean Commissioners of Police (ACCP) Conference at the Fairmont Hamilton Princess.

He will address delegates at 10.30am on Monday, following the opening of the conference by Governor George Fergusson at 9am. The talk is not open to the public. The four-day event, hosted by Bermuda Police Service, has the theme Police and Public Partnerships: linking prevention, intervention and enforcement strategies to tackle gang and youth violence.

Police Commissioner Michael DeSilva said: “The theme of this conference is about bringing the entire community together to tackle guns and gangs from every angle. Law enforcement can only do so much and most of our work comes after extensive damage has already been done.

“Professor Kennedy's address promises to provide real examples of how other agencies can engage the problem across the wide range of social, political and economic factors.”

Professor Kennedy, co-chairman of the National Network for Safe Communities, is the author of the book 'Don't Shoot', which outlines his successful strategy for tackling gangs in Boston, now often referred to as Operation Ceasefire.

Operation Ceasefire is credited with dramatically cutting youth homicide in the Massachusetts city and has been used effectively in other cities.

A press release from BPS said his ideas included “direct communication with offenders, prior explanation of criminal sanctions, focused moral engagement by community figures, the provision of social service support and explicit attention to racialised conflict between law enforcement and troubled communities”.

The One Bermuda Alliance promised in its inaugural Throne Speech that “a Bermuda Operation Ceasefire programme will be crafted and implemented” though it was not mentioned in the 2013/14 Budget.

Next week's conference will be attended by Premier Craig Cannonier, Public Safety Minister Michael Dunkley and Ellison Greenslade, the ACCP's president and Commissioner of the Royal Bahamas Police Force.

l Useful websites: www.bps.bm and www.accpolice.org.


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Published April 24, 2013 at 9:00 am (Updated April 23, 2013 at 11:41 pm)

Keynote speaker to talk on gang-related violence

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