Crime – The Royal Gazette | Bermuda News, Business, Sports, Events, & Community

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Four years ago, Dr. Brown called for a greater Police presence and promised a review of the entire criminal justice system as he vowed to combat crime through community resolve.

But family campaigner Sheelagh Cooper said: "Regrettably, Premier Brown has presided over what is probably the largest and most consistent increase in violent crime ever witnessed in Bermuda."

Mrs. Cooper pointed to statistics showing Bermuda suffered three murders in 2006. So far in 2010, more than 20 people have been shot, including seven who have been murdered.

"This makes Bermuda a leader in the democratic world in per capita murders, almost 20 times the homicide rate in the UK," said Mrs. Cooper.

"While the seeds of this tragic decline in the quality of life in Bermuda were sown well before Dr. Brown assumed control, the trajectory has not only continued in the wrong direction but has escalated dramatically and despite stated commitment to altering this course, it is clear that the few efforts that have been made, have been unsuccessful.

"The Premier and the Commissioner of Police are right when they assert that this is a community problem, but there is still a huge role that needs to be played by Government in alleviating the conditions of extreme poverty, the absence of a social safety net, unaffordable housing and completely inadequate wages at the lowest end of the economic spectrum, all of which is directly related to violent crime, drug use and anti-social behaviour.

"Until these conditions are taken seriously and addressed properly, this trajectory will continue and is likely to become worse."

Dr. Brown has previously bemoaned former Governor Sir John Vereker's refusal to bring former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani's security firm to the Island before gang violence escalated out of control.

And he says his Mirrors programme should help ensure more young men can be kept on the right tracks in the future.

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Published October 22, 2010 at 1:00 am (Updated December 10, 2010 at 10:06 am)


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