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Violence can not be allowed to ‘escalate further’

Politicians from both parties called for a renewed community effort to tackle gang violence in light of the latest shootings.

In a statement issued yesterday by Shadow Public Safety Minister Walter Roban, the MP stated that any further escalation of gun violence must be stopped.

“News of two firearm incidents last night [Tuesday] on the heels of reports that the suspect in the murder earlier this week fired at Police, represents a clear escalation in gun violence and crime in Bermuda,” he said.

“What is disturbing about this recent escalation of gun violence is that many Bermudians are becoming desensitised to it and see no resolution in sight.

“All lives are precious and with the recent shootings at the Somerset Cricket Club, the shooting death of Prince Edness, officers of the law being fired upon and last night's shootings this cannot be permitted to escalate further.

“The Bermuda Progressive Labour Party joins with our government in repudiating gun violence and encourage the public to do all they can to assist in helping to end this blight upon our Island.”

His comments were echoed later in the morning in the Senate, with both OBA and PLP Senators speaking out against the recent spate of shootings.

Junior Public Safety Minister Jeff Baron said the issue of gang violence impacts everyone on the Island and must be addressed by all segments of the population.

“There seems to be this feeling that if it's not impacting me, if there are not cops in my neighbourhood, then I'm not a part of this.

“If SWAT teams are not coming and hitting my doors down, well then I'm not a part of it,” he said.

“Every single person in this community, in this Island, you have skin in the game whether you know it or like it or not.

“And if you think this does not impact your life and your family's life and your community's life, you're wrong. You are a part of this.”

PLP Senator Diallo Rabain noted that the Island has now seen seven firearms incidents within a month, which have resulted in several people being injured and one killed, saying that everyone needs to do more to combat not just the gang violence but the root causes.

“What we are doing is having some impact, it's just not having enough in my humble opinion,” he said.

“What we need is less political speak and more of a concentrated effort to address the root cause of why our young men feel that this is a route that they can take in resolving differences or, in some cases, just making ends meet.”

Senator Renee Ming said the recent series of shootings was unprecedented and cannot be allowed to become the norm, while OBA Senator Lynn Woolridge — who herself lost a nephew to gang violence five years ago — said she was extremely upset to learn that another young man had lost his life.

Shadow Public Safety Minister Walter Roban (Photo by Glenn Tucker)

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Published December 10, 2014 at 11:29 am (Updated December 11, 2014 at 12:23 am)

Violence can not be allowed to ‘escalate further’

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