My thanks to the Bermuda Sun for their article ...
Bermuda Sun Newspaper
WHY does Bermuda have a 330- or 413-man police force?"
I'll lay out the facts, but leave the brainwork up to you. So, on with your thinking cap.
Fact one: In June 1959, there were 163 people in the Bermuda police force. By the end of 1961, Bermuda's police establishment had increased to 274 (111 additional policemen or a 68 per cent increase. Most of the 111 new men came from the U.K.
Questions: Was there a huge increase or sudden surge in Bermuda crime in the three-year period from 1959 to 1961? If so, what Bermuda crime went up and by how much?
Fact two: In April 1968, there were still 274 policemen serving in Bermuda. By the end of 1973 (five years later) the police establishment was 381 ญญ or 107 more policepersons. A 39 per cent increase in police strength from 1968.
Questions: Was there a huge increase or sudden surge in Bermudian crime in the six-year period from 1968 to 1973. If so, what crime went up and by how much?
Fact three: In December 1977, there were still 381 policemen. However, from April 1978 to the end of 1980, police establishment increased from 381 to 449 (68 more bodies) representing an increase of 18 per cent on 1977's strength.
Questions: Was there a huge increase or sudden surge in Bermudian crime in the four-year period from 1977 to 1980? If so what crime went up and by how much?
Fact four: From 1987 to 1988, police-established strength rose from 449 to its highest-ever level of 489 -- an increase of nine per cent of 40 more people. (For a short time there were actually 493 policepersons or four extra bodies.)
Questions: What happened in the years 1987 and 1988? Was there a huge increase in Bermudian crime? If so, what crime went up and by how much?
Fact five: From 1959 to 1988, Bermuda's population grew from 42,000 to 58,000 -- an increase of 38 per cent. During the same period, the Bermuda police force establishment grew from 163 to 489 -- an increase of 200 per cent or 326 more policepersons. Thus, the police force grew five times faster than the population it was policing.
Questions: In the 29 years between 1959 and 1988 was there a 200 per cent increase in Bermudian crime? If so, what Bermudian crime went up and by how much?
Fact six: From 1949 to 1959 -- 14 years -- the police force establishment grew from104 policemen -- a growth of 56 per cent or 59 policemen. In the same 14-year period, Bermuda's population grew from 33,000 to 42,000 -- a growth of 28 per cent. Thus in this period the police force grew twice as fast as the population it was policing.
Questions: What happened between 1946 and 1959? Was there a 56 per cent increase in Bermudian crime? If so, what Bermudian crime went up and by how much?
Fact seven: With police presence and "crime in Bermuda'' rising so rapidly from 1959 to 1988, it's reasonable to expect that this increase in "crime'' would affect our tourist arrivals. In 1959, 143,330 tourists came to Bermuda. In 1988, 585,218 tourists came.
Questions: Did tourist arrivals rise or fall in the period from 1959 to 1988? What three large new hotels were built in the period from 1959 to 1988?
Fact eight: From 1946 (when there were 104 police) to 1988 (when there were 489 police), a total of 385 police persons were added to Bermuda's police establishment.
Questions: From 1946 to 1988, what changes occurred in Bermuda? Which group of Bermudian people sought change? Which group of Bermudian people opposed change? Which group of Bermudian people made the decisions about the size of the police force?
Fact nine: In 1988 through 1999 and still in 2000, Bermuda's police force cited, and is citing, "rising crime" and "a shortage in police manpower" as critical problems that are linked.
Questions: Were the increases in the Bermuda police force a response to crime in Bermuda, or in the Bermuda police force a response to crime in Bermuda, or were they in response to social changes in Bermuda? Given the "rising crime" allegations of recent years, have any of the increases in the size of the police force had any effect on Bermuda's crime rates? With those facts, you (and Michael Dunkley, UBP MP) can answer that opening question:
"Why does Bermuda have a 330 -or 413- or 433-man police force?"
If you work it out -- and keep your whirling brain cells going -- here are four "teaser" questions.
One: "Can a police force which may have been designed, intended and set up as a tool for social control (a sledgehammer), change roles and styles and philosophies and become a 'police service' (a screwdriver) without massive internal reorganization and restructuring?"
Two: "Can Bermuda be policed more effectively, more efficiently, and less expensively, by a leaner, smaller, smarter, better deployed, indigenous police force that operates with a different style and philosophy and has the full support of Bermuda's whole community?"
Three: "In 2000, is Bermuda's police force over-manned and under-deployed?"
Four: "If past trends hold and the Bermuda police force goes on growing faster than the Bermudian population, in what year will the Bermuda police force outnumber the rest of us?'' (For this you'll need a computer or calculator.)
Now if you've lasted this far without melting down --this'll incinerate you!
Five: "Given the historic pattern of growth of the police force, given the apparent (popular) theory that large police forces will result in diminished crime, and given your answer to question four, in what year will crime in Bermuda be policed out of existence?"
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