House: violence ‘a public health crisis’
Violent crime in Bermuda is a public health crisis, national security minister Wayne Caines told Parliament this morning.
Specifically addressing the impact of crime on the black community, Mr Caines noted that 35 black men had been shot and killed since 2009.
He said: “We are determined to change the narrative to reflect an approach that does not target the proven at-risk population, but supports all young men and women in Bermuda.”
Mr Caines added that partnerships such as Operation Ceasefire, the Inter-Agency Gang Task Force and Gang Resistance Education And Training have been re-energised in the last 100 days.
Bermuda was also assessed by members of the National Network of Safe Communities earlier this month, he said.
Mr Caines added that a group for mothers affected by gang violence will meet on November 30, and the Night Light programme for parolees has been re-established.
Setting up a national day of prayer is also being considered, he said.
Mr Caines added that Bermuda has “flirted” with violence issues without properly addressing them.
“This work is not easy. We are engaged in reversing trends that have been decades in the making,” Mr Caines said.
He traced many of Bermuda's problems with gun and knife violence to the “systematic devaluation of young black men”.
• To read Mr Caines's statement in full, click on the PDF under “Related Media”.