Senator critical of CCTV delay, but Governor sees ‘action-oriented’ crime-fighting
Government's failure to install CCTV cameras in crime hot-spots is just one example of its lack of “action-oriented leadership,” claims United Bermuda Party Senator Michael Dunkley.
According to Sen Dunkley, Bermudians are still concerned about the level of gun violence after the double shooting this weekend.
He said people from all walks of life were looking for better leadership and for Government to “take action to solve the crisis”.
In a statement released yesterday the Senator said: “Action-oriented leadership has been missing on this extremely serious threat to Bermuda's way of life.”
He said CCTV cameras promised by the Progressive Labour Party in a by-election in Pembroke East Central two years ago have still not been installed.
“Why has this not happened? The community wants them, the area MP said he wanted them, yet nothing has happened.
“Installing the cameras is easy to do. The CCTV system is already in place, so what is the problem?” Sen Dunkley asked.
Last night Governor Sir Richard Gozney responded to the comments and said: “I am afraid that I disagree with Senator Dunkley. This year we've seen a series of changes.”
In addition to six gun crime trials, including five resulting in convictions, the enforcement of tougher anti-firearms laws and a doubling of drug enforcement activity, there has also been tougher laws to permit police to establish identities, said Sir Richard.
“If those changes are not evidence of what Senator Dunkley terms action-oriented leadership, by the police, supported by the other law enforcement agencies and by an active Minister and Government who have been willing to find extra resources when necessary, then I'm not sure how I would illustrate that phrase.
“Of course we'd all like to see more successes, on the streets and in the courts. That's what the police and the other agencies are working towards.
“In the meantime I suggest that we need to allow them, and the Minister, leeway to decide how to prioritise their budget in terms of when and where they install the cameras which everyone wishes to see.”
The Bermuda Police Service had no comment; while National Security Minister David Burch said he agreed with and echoed the Governor's response.
According to Sen Dunkley, Government's failure to act on such “nuts and bolts” anti-crime measures has affected the community's confidence and morale.
He said it fosters cynicism and added: “I'm not sure the Government understands this, but if they took the time to listen to people in the community they might take action.
“The powers that be need to understand the psychological toll of unchecked crime. People feel they are under siege.
“The Government needs to demonstrate that they ‘get it'. They need to do whatever they can to give people better security and a better sense of security.”
He added: “It takes understanding, commitment and action. So let's do it. We will support any action that achieves these things.”