Minister creating action plan to combat violence in community
Bermuda must have a co-ordinated plan for the “prevention, intervention and reintegration“ of violent offenders, the Minister of National Security told MPs on Friday.
Michael Weeks was providing an update on a recent two-day community violence prevention workshop, which was attended by representatives of numerous segments of the community.
Mr Weeks said he had invited government representatives of ministries including national security, health, education, youth, sport and culture, as well as helping agencies dealing with community violence and antisocial behaviour. He also invited members of the Opposition, saying “this issue is bigger than party politics”.
Mr Weeks said: “This was not a workshop where we asked people to sit and listen to an overseas expert tell us how we should fix this.
“This was an opportunity for key local stakeholders to roll up their sleeves and work on real solutions by having open and frank discussion on not only what we are doing but what is not working and what we should be doing.
“We need to know where there are gaps in services, duplication of services and a need for resources, and further services.
“We need to know what works, what doesn’t, what we are doing well and where we must make improvements. This was not a finger-pointing session, this was an opportunity to review where we are and what needs to be done for a safer community.”
Young people would also be approached to join the conversation, he said.
“Too often young people are talked about or talked at. We must include them, understand their view and experiences and take their advice.
“Over the next several weeks I will be talking to groups of young people to get their views on their Bermuda. It is for them we work and it is with them that we will succeed.”
Mr Weeks said that a strategy and action plan on addressing community violence and antisocial behaviour would be created.
“Following the youth engagement, I will be inviting a number of the key stakeholders to assist in the completion of the strategy and action plan.”