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Police presence wanted over city brawl

The Mayor of Hamilton has called for a police presence at the city’s bus terminal to tackle antisocial behaviour and violence.

Charles Gosling’s plea comes after a vicious brawl involving several young male students erupted on Church Street outside the terminal on Monday afternoon.

Graphic footage that shows young men kicking and punching each other before members of the public intervene has been shared on social media across the island.

Mr Gosling told The Royal Gazette the city needed more officers on foot patrol, but acknowledged that a police presence at the bus terminal as children waited to catch buses home from school was important.

He said: “I would like to see a police presence around the bus terminal when children are going home after school to prevent these incidents of violence and antisocial behaviour.

“But there is another issue here: how can we expect the children to behave in an appropriate respectful manner when we have people just 50 yards away defecating and urinating on the City Hall front lawn in the middle of the day with no repercussions.

“The message right now that is being sent out is appalling.

“I would just like to see more of a police presence on the streets of Hamilton. I feel that police walking around has an immediate impact to the community and shows that there will be repercussions to antisocial or violent behaviour.”

Yesterday police confirmed that they were investigating a disturbance that took place at 4.55pm on Monday close to the bus terminal.

A spokesman said: “The Bermuda Police Service is aware of historical concerns stemming from large numbers of school students congregating in the City of Hamilton after school hours, thus officers are deployed in an effort to reduce opportunities for antisocial behaviour to occur.

“The BPS recognises that there are issues affecting public transportation as well as other contributing factors that may sometimes necessitate students visiting the Hamilton area.

“However, we advise that parents and administrators of both public and private schools recommend that students, as much as practical, travel home directly from school or the surrounding environs and avoid travelling into Hamilton unless absolutely necessary.”

The spokesman said the brawl on Monday was broken up by two plainclothes police officers who were on patrol.

“CCTV footage of the incident is being reviewed and the Bermuda Police Service is aware of mobile phone video footage of those involved circulating via social media,” he added.

Anyone with any information regarding the circumstances that led to this disturbance is asked to contact the main police telephone number 295-0011.