Lack of Confidence



October 2007

Following another unsolved murder of a young man on the island, the Bermuda Sun (newspaper) survey report can be read by clicking here.

some points to com out of the survey:

  • nearly 70 per cent of residents are "not very" or "not at all" confident in the police's ability to bring certain criminals to court
  • 89 per cent of people think shootings and gang culture are getting out of control.

apparently, as though to justify the concerns, police commented that the vast majority of violent incidents involve people known to one another.  More worrying is that during 2006 the constabulary on this island of about 64,000 inhabitants managed to arrest over 4,000 people.  assuming the majority to be residents, that's about 1 in 16 people suspected of criminal offences!

Apparently, the public should be reassured that in just one year over 15% of their countrymen were sufficiently considered guilty of criminal offences such that they were detained.  It is claimed that Bermuda still remains one of the safest countries in the world."

How many other countries have such a high population to arrest rate?  Not many we suspect. So what does the island have; over zealous cops (it appears not as no one has confidence in them) or a lot of (stupid – they get caught) criminals?

What of the conviction rate?  Or does the island simply release those that they have caught ‘back into the wild’?

but the island has known of the gang culture for years

In 2005 this site was contacted by a US Officer expressing his concern about the markings he had seen whilst holidaying in Bermuda; Gang 'graffiti'. The officer, who has d produced a substantial file on the gangs and their markings, took the time and trouble to forward the information (presentation) to us. 

We have offered the file to the Island's Governor and the Bermuda police.  To date, we have heard no further from them.  Is it that Bermuda just does not care or would they rather brush such information under the carpet, ignore the problem in the hope it goes away by itself or for fear of harming their tourist trade?

Only a year ago, in October 2006, Bermuda's press reported on an article in the New York Post:

THIS summer’s outbreak of shootings and gang violence has garnered further bad press for Bermuda – this time in the Travel pages of the tabloid New York Post. Referring to the July slaying of 18-year-old Jason Lightbourne and a series of earlier drive-by shootings, the US tabloid highlighted the growing crime problem on the island. In a page lead article headlined Straight outta Hamilton, the feature asked readers: “Visiting Bermuda any time soon? Be extra careful about the clothes you pack: Too much red might miff the Crips, too much blue and the Bloods will be out for yours.  “Yep, the kind of Menace II High Society-like shenanigans you’d expect in less, shall we say, secure climes, has finally come to the mid-Atlantic haven for billionaires.”

“Earlier gang-related nonsense includes a bar shoot ‘em up and a shocking drive-by – an expensive ordeal considering Bermudans [sic] pay over $6/gallon for gas,” the commentator quipped." Meanwhile, graffiti and tattoos affiliated with the Bloods and the Crips are popping up all over the British island,” the article continued.

“What’s going on? Police blame drugs. Bermuda’s narcotics sales total $200 million a year – not a bad haul when only 65,000 potential users live there.

“The tourism industry, of course, is less than pleased, telling New York Post Travel that the Government would definitely be taking measures to make sure this craziness stops.”

The gunning down of Mr. Lightbourne made international headlines earlier in the year, with many news agencies and national newspapers giving over coverage to the rise in violence.
Tourism Minister Ewart Brown was later quoted as saying that such headlines did not promote the sort of image that Bermuda was trying to sell.

The police appear to have their work cut out; how are they expected to address gang crime when confronted by poor morale, depleted numbers, a lack of training and are still required to investigate the likes of the now Premier Ewart Brown and the Governments missing millions ($800,000,000)? 

Given the concerns about tourism, it would appear that the emphasis has not been on prevention and detection but more on brushing matters under the carpet .... and the Bermuda police / politicians appear to be adept housekeepers.




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