2001 crime stats
A sad reflection on Larry Smith's
attitude toward tackling drug crime
Over $11 million worth of cocaine found on plane -
Bermuda narcotics officers find 60 kilos on Puerto Rico to Newark flight
diverted here. By Karen Smith
|Cocaine with a
street value of at least $11.7 million was discovered on one of the flights
diverted to Bermuda last week amid the US terrorist attacks – bringing the
total drug seizures for this year so far to more than four times that of
2000. Bermuda Police Narcotics chief
Superintendent Larry Smith spoke exclusively to The Royal Gazette
last night and said the Island was on course for
its most successful year yet in drug interdiction.
He revealed that a massive 60 kilos of cocaine was found by both
Customs and Police officers at Bermuda International Airport on board a
plane bound for Newark from Puerto Rico last Tuesday.
At the very least, and calculated at its lowest possible street value, the
packages of coke would have fetched almost $12 million in Bermuda. However,
if the drug is found to have a higher purity, that value will hugely
believed to be the greatest-ever seizure made at the airport.
But, even with that aside, the drug seizure rate on the Island this year is
up on previous years. Last year there was just more than $7 million worth
intercepted. Supt. Smith said: "Up to
September 7 this year, both Customs and Police narcotics officers have made
major drug seizures worth $17.8 million. "But that
figure will go up because figures for the third quarter of the year are not
as accurate as we would like yet because we have been unable to get some of
the weights and purity of some of the seizures confirmed from the analyst.
Some have not been included in our estimates. "I
think we can safely say that we have certainly surpassed 2000 so far by more
than double. But then on top of that, last week, during the influx of
passengers diverted to Bermuda, HM Customs and Bermuda Police intercepted a
large shipment, believed to be 60 kilos of cocaine, destined for the US."
He continued: "At its lowest value it could be worth about $11.7 million,
but that could go up. We are now liasing with the US authorities and
jurisdiction has been handed to them.
"So, adding those amounts together, we are just about at four times what we
got for the whole of last year."
However, the drugs chief said he was not calculating in this year's haul the
half a tonne of cocaine (585 kilos) found on board a yacht at the beginning
of August. The yacht is believed to have entered the Island's waters over
the Cup Match holiday on its way from the Caribbean to Spain after the boat
ran into mechanical trouble and some of the crew found the drugs on board.
The boat and the drugs, thought to be worth hundreds of millions of dollars,
were handed over to British authorities, who are investigating.
do you measure success based on the amount of narcotics you seize?
Is it that you were 4
times as bad at siezing narcotics last year? Possibly everyone has
realised what a soft touch the island is and taken to importing narcotics
making it easier to locate some.
what of those unfortunates who are sacrificed (intended to be caught) to
allow other 'mules' to succeed.
Are you really that
Why do you measure
success based on the seizure of drug seized, bound for another country?
Larry, you need to look
at the amount of crime on the island that your country's drug trade creates.
If this decreases, pat yourself on the back.
If the price of
narcotics goes up, pat yourself on the back - simple school boy supply and
demand curves would suggest there is a lack of supply in the price
What you have is a
massive demand for the drug which you are unable to quell or control.
You continue to fail; the seizures are symptomatic of the problem, not the
$17.8 million is only
$100 / head of population (approx). Your users require
|In both that case
and the one last week Bermuda Police are assisting authorities overseas.
During the first three months of this year alone, authorities at the
airport seized more than $9 million of drugs.
By the end of April that amount had increased to about $13 million,
with seizures continuing to be made over the summer at the airport.
However, in comparison, seizures on the cruise ships this year have
been much slower.
Supt. Smith said his officers were ready for a change in trends at any time.
He added: "Customs and Police have really done an excellent job thus
far and I want to commend both organisations.
"The co-operation between the two is improving daily. However, we know that
we cannot rest on our laurels. "We have had
a relatively slow season this year with the cruise ships, but we are being
very vigilant at the moment. Supt. Smith
continued: "Normally, towards the end of the cruise ship season there is a
lot of stockpiling to get as many drugs as possible on the Island before the
season comes to an end. "We will be stepping up
our vigilance even more now that we are approaching the end of the season on
the cruise ships."
ships bring a great amount of drug into the island -
cruise ship passengers can continue to be concerned.
|Supt. Smith said
sometimes he had to "rob Peter to pay Paul" when it came to placing his
staff at either the airport or the cruise ship terminals.
If a large haul is found at the airport it may take a team of
officers out of the equation while investigations get underway, so officers
from the dedicated cruise ship team may be temporarily drafted in to help
out, or vice versa. Once the cruise ship season
comes to end in October, the emphasis will be mostly back at the airport.
He added: "We want people with information about drug interdiction to
help us. "Drugs are a vast money-making thing,
almost like a machine. It is one of the quickest ways to make money
universally, especially if heroin is involved.
Supt. Smith added: "If anyone does have information, we would urge them to
People can call Police on 295-0011, or Customs on 295-4816.
you need more staff. But Bermuda already has the highest number of police
officers per head of population in the world.
2001: When is art pornography? When the
Bermuda police say so!
Click on the picture for a larger image, and
HERE for the 'news'.
||What is reported
Kudos and salutations were heaped on outgoing Police Commissioner Jean
Jaques Lemay at the official command change ceremony on Thursday
afternoon. He had after all achieved the goals he had been contracted to
accomplish, namely to develop a strategic plan and a succession plan for
the Bermuda Police Service.
Johnathan Smith will find the service "in good shape" said His
Excellency the Governor, Thorold Masefield, who pointed to statistics
which showed a 50 percent decline in almost every crime category over
the last seven years
service has a plan .... everyone can relax ??? Can you imagine how
crime was if (as we are expected to believe) it is now greatly reduced
(see opposite). So just why do the residents find it necessary to
luck to the self-appreciation society.
continues to assert that the island is a "paradise for drug
dealers". MP Ottiwell Simmons
appears to be in agreement, if only in part (see opposite).
course - drug dealing / use only exists if you locate it. It is
not one of those crimes that is 'reported'; an officer is not confronted
by drug dealers / users each day claiming that someone has stolen their
drugs or that the narcotics sold are not of good quality or fake.
If you do not go looking for drugs, you will not find them. The
up-side is that you will be able to report a 'reduction'.
crimes associated with drug dealing / use relate to the acquiring of
funds to purchase the high-price commodity; robbery (theft - violent
attack) and burglary (theft - from premises). Is it any surprise
these crime are continually reported?
Drugs clean-up `a
Two years after the
launch of a concerted campaign to clean up the St. Monica's Mission neighborhood, the
area continues to be used as a drugs supermarket,
claimed an MP.
St Monica’s Mission,
also known as 42nd Street, has gained notoriety over the years as being
a haven for drug
Works and Engineering
Minister Alex Scott said that Government was playing a "supporting
role" which he believed had yielded some results in the sense that
the residents were
beginning to police the
Hotel managers to
meet Police Commissioner
Hoteliers are planning
a meeting with Police to discuss the recent
attacks on tourists and break-ins at tourist accommodations.
Take a stand
against attacks on women
march through Hamilton this week in protest of the growing
number of violent and sexual attacks around the Island has
been acknowledged by the Police.
Police probe the no-show
Police Commissioner designate
Jonathan Smith has launched an investigation into non-appearance of Police
officers in court cases after Director of Public Prosecutions Khamisi Tokunbo
and Acting Senior Magistrate Ed King slammed Police on Thursday for wasting
"My officers (DPP staff) are
constantly embarrassed by officers not turning up," said Mr. Tokunbo. The
DPP suggested that Police are suffering from lack of discipline and said
he had written senior officers about the no-show problem, but to no avail.
Mr. Tokunbo made the impromptu
comments after Mr King denied the Crown an adjournment on a speeding case when
Police officers failed to show up.
Mr. King said the problem of absentee
Police witnesses was reaching "epidemic proportions".
Police responded yesterday that
the service also finds non-appearance unacceptable "if the appropriate
notification for their appearance has been given".
Police response continued: "It is noted that the Acting Senior Magistrate
commented that the problem seemed to be confined to `certain officers'. The
Service clearly respects the role of the courts and will take necessary steps to
ensure that those officers who are properly and adequately notified of their
requirement to attend court, do so."
insult to injury
Bermuda, March 29, 2001
father of murdered Canadian teenager Rebecca Middleton has accused Government of
trying to sweep a report into serious crime under the carpet by repeatedly
putting it off for debate. David Middleton, whose 17-year-old daughter was
brutally raped, tortured and murdered while on holiday in Bermuda, said he could
not understand why a report written last September had still not been publicly
he said it seemed as though Government was deliberately trying to put the whole
Commission of Inquiry into the investigation and prosecution of serious crime on
the Island was held throughout August of last year following an outcry over the
handling of Rebecca's death.
Both the Police and
prosecutors involved, including the now Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP)
Khamisi Tokunbo, were heavily criticised over their involvement.
throughout the inquiry, nobody accepted responsibility for any wrong-doing in
the case, which has constantly been a source of annoyance to Becky's family.
said the inquiry was held in August, and the 100-page report and 60
recommendations written in September. It was then handed out to the Attorney
General's Chambers, Police, and the DPP in October, and finally released to the
public at the very beginning of November.
don't think we got any answers out of the inquiry, anyway. It was
deliberately set up so that nobody would delve too closely into Becky's death.
"As a result, we got no answers, nobody admitted responsibility, and many
of the people involved are still in their jobs, some have even been promoted.
was tabled some weeks ago by backbencher and former Assistant Police
Commissioner Wayne Perinchief, but has been repeatedly adjourned.
this year, Commissioner of Police Jean-Jacques Lemay said senior officers were
studying the 42 recommendations made in the report regarding Police, and said he
was waiting for an update.
run rife within the service. On the one hand the suggestions are Mr Lemay
is putting this off to leave it for his successor who will be able to claim a
lack of knowledge or involvement. On the other, some officers have
expressed the concern there have been no disciplinary hearing. To quote
one: "if this had been an ex-pat Constable making a serious error, we'd
have been on the carpet (the subject of a disciplinary hearing), one rule for
officers, another for us"
Bermuda, March 22, 2001
three months after cricket star Dean Minors was arrested at the Bermuda
International Airport in connection with alleged drugs offences, Police have
said the incident is "still under investigation".
is Bermuda's national cricket team wicket keeper and has enjoyed a clean-cut
image both on and off the field. His arrest after arriving on a charter
flight from Orlando, Florida caused widespread shock throughout the community.
Minors is employed as a physical education teacher at CedarBridge Academy, and
was suspended on full pay following his arrest.
Handbag snatcher strikes
March 1, 2001
A handbag snatcher was bashed
with an umbrella on Front Street after his victim put up a fierce fight.
He grabbed her handbag was able to
free the bag from her grip and flee east along Front Street. The
victim suffered some bruising to both thighs and abrasions to her knuckles.
The stolen handbag contained cash,
bank cards, a cell phone and other personal items.
Call for action against bag
February 27, 200: A Bermudian
woman who escaped a mugger in Jamaica has called on Government here to get tough
with bag-snatchers who prey on tourists.
Still trying to tackle the effects and not the causation. When will
Bermuda admit that they have a serious drug problem which their police
are unable to combat with current training and resources? Tourist season
is coming, the opportunities to commit robbery increasing. The euphemism
'bag snatcher' is used to give the impression this is an inconvenience; a petty
crime. The offence is robbery - theft with violence. Fortunately,
to date, the force used has not caused serious physical injury, not much
consolation to the victims who now have cause to fear Bermuda's formally safe
`moonrocks' hit `big time'
Bermudians have been experimenting with their drugs of choice (cannabis,
cocaine and heroin) for years. In 1986 crack took off and they were
'speed-balling' (injecting a mixture of cocaine and heroin) then also.
The current trend is just another means of taking the drugs; possibly
increasing the demand for heroin given the bad press associated with injecting
the suff which led to may deaths and AIDS related illnesses.
note that crack is advertised at $50 a rock - STILL. Accepting the rules
of supply and demand, nothing has changed in the past 10 years - the price of
crack remains the same! And you really believe the police are 'working
out how to combat the spread of the drug' - they've spent the last 20 years
attempting to address the island's massive cocaine consumption without
success. What makes you or your police think this drug will be any
easier to combat or that the police / government will show any greater
interest in the matter? Face it, you are plagued by complacency.
The drug in itself is not the problem, it is simply symbolic of your failure
to realise that there are those who profit from your acceptance of the situation.
It doesn't hurt until it affects someone close by which time it id too
late. However, in Bermuda, one would expect every addiction or death to
touch someone close - so why is the subject not foremost in everyone's minds
and of greater concern? Why do you not demand greater protection?
Bermuda may not have welcomed the drug menace but it appears they have
accepted it; given in. How every sad.
is that 'Larry the wife beater' I se in charge of the Narcotics department -
surely not the former 'head' of Somerset police station - stuck in the same
rank for the past 10 or so years? Do note that it has been around a
while and the narcotics department do not even have a sample yet!
Really, what chance do you stand?
potentially lethal drug cocktail which combines crack and heroin has hit
Police Narcotics squad is now working out how to combat the spread of the drug
known as "moonrocks" or "dope rocks" which is catching crack
users unaware. One user told The
Royal Gazette that the drug had cropped up all over the Island with
marble-sized rocks of crack mixed with heroin being sold for $50 a hit - the
same price as crack. He said:
"It's very prevalent, it's as prevalent as crack cocaine. It's all you can
are going to buy crack but they are not telling you. Everyone is getting duped.
I don't think the dealers are aware they are selling it in many cases.
I don't know where it's come from and I don't know what they are trying
to do but that's what's happening, that's what's here, it's hit big time. They
are selling them at all the same places you normally buy drugs, Court Street,
areas like that."
the dealers would lose out with the switch because the effects were so
devastating that crack users would not be returning soon for another hit.
have tried it - the affects are different.
You don't get the usual rush you get with crack. You are waiting for a
second and you realise it's not working and then the heroin takes over and it
takes over big time. All of a
sudden you are sitting there stupid, thinking what's going on, what hit me? You
are stuck for hours. The heroin takes over and it takes over big time. I have
seen people pass out for hours. The high is just as if you had shot up.
I tried a very small piece. I would have thought it could not have done
that to me but it did - and I have been smoking crack for 20 years.
I was in one spot for three hours."
denied the new drug was creating more heroin addicts; instead it was just
frustrating crack users and leading to violent confrontations. "It's
getting hairy, people are getting hurt. They want their money back. It
took me a day and a half to get it out of my system. It's terrible. I
couldn't control it, I wasn't looking for it, I wasn't ready but I only had a
small portion. There are cases of people throwing up, having accidents,
being irrational. Some end up just nodding, that's all they can do. It
started coming a couple of weeks ago - I don't know where it comes from. We have
Inspector Larry Smith of the Narcotics Department said: "We learned
yesterday there was some in the country. It's a lethal combination, I can
assure you. I have had a meeting with staff to discuss it and we are putting in
some extra efforts to see if we can get a seizure. I am anxious to get hold of
some of the stuff to see what we are looking at. We have not seen any ourselves.
For those people not used to crack and heroin it's supposed to make them
Narcotics Department is now getting data on the drug from the Drug Enforcement
Agency in the United States. National Drug Agency Director Dr. Derrick
Binns said: "This gives us concern. We are sorry to hear that this has
now reached us." He said both cocaine and heroin were dangerous
enough already and the way the pair was combined with other chemicals could
cause more, as yet unknown, side affects.
warned: "You are playing with your life. You can overdose on heroin and it
is not uncommon for cocaine users to have serious respiratory problems and heart
failures. We have had that in Bermuda. It's similar to speedballs - which
were cocaine and heroin but crack has different properties to cocaine.
With crack one person became many people - something similar may happen with
it was important people knew about the new phenomenon so they could begin to
tackle it. One drug addict The Royal Gazette spoke to said
moonrocks had taken off with the drug cartels in the US because they were doubly
addictive. He said the crack would cause a psychological addiction while
the heroin would cause a physical addiction. "If you have both of
those you don't become an addict, you basically become a slave. It's
insanity." But he explained that crack addicts were attracted by the
drug because the heroin allowed them to calm down after the initial crack high
and helped combat intense paranoia, allowing them to disguise their habit.
get a rush from the crack and the heroin brings you down. If you work the next
day, rather than looking at the ceiling all night you can get some sleep."