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Cox Let’s get serious about gun violence

Premier Paula Cox last night said Bermuda needs to show it is tackling gun violence for the sake of international business and tourism.

Ms Cox said Saturday's double-shooting in St Monica's Road - coupled with the murder of Vaughan Allen in New York on Monday - had once more underlined how the Island has to get to grips with its soaring gang problems.

She told a Southampton West constituency meeting: “It's very important for us, as a jurisdiction that depends on foreign exchange, international business and tourism, from a security point of view we stabilise and send a message that we are taking care of issues of law and order.”

The Premier said the recent shake-up of Ministries - bringing Customs matters under the wing of National Security Minister David Burch, and corrections, court services, probation and justice under Attorney General Michael Scott - would help Government focus clearly on bringing crime under control.

In a low-key meeting in front of about 25 residents at Dalton Tucker Primary School, hosted by local MP Randy Horton, Ms Cox spoke briefly to “whet appetites” on a broad range of issues, particularly the economy.

“Bermudians are having to deal with hardship that they haven't had to deal with before,” she said.

Government will now be creating better value for money by streamlining Ministries, trimming the Civil Service and being more careful with its own spending, she said.

She warned some “nice to-dos” would be put on hold, suggested business and tourism links could be forged with China, and said the Island would tap into the green industry by giving residents incentives to be more environmentally friendly.

In a question period, one woman, a small business owner, claimed many companies are on the brink of closure and asked what help is available to those who don't qualify for concessions on existing initiatives.

Ms Cox said many people simply don't know what support is out there, and said Government would find better ways of communicating information. She said businesses also need to find a balance of entrepreneurial spirit and conservatism.

Other constituents raised fears over impending redundancies, with Ms Cox responding that reform of the Civil Service means choosing not to fill unnecessary vacancies as opposed to getting rid of people.

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Published December 01, 2010 at 1:00 am (Updated December 10, 2010 at 3:40 am)

Cox Let’s get serious about gun violence

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