Encouraged: Paul Wright welcomes the help provided by the public. *Photo by www.moongateproductions.com
Encouraged: Paul Wright welcomes the help provided by the public. *Photo by www.moongateproductions.com
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WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 8 UPDATE: Gun crime has reached a three-year low, despite the gangland-style murder of a man in a barber’s chair, police said yesterday.

Most crime has decreased with the second quarter of 2012 the second lowest three-month period for crime in the last five years.

Serious assaults, robbery, offences against children and indecency – have all fallen compared to the first quarter of the year.

But sexual assaults have more than doubled from the first quarter total of four to nine in the second quarter of the year. That compares to seven sex attacks in quarter two of last year.

And burglaries at hotels and guesthouses went up from just one in the first quarter of the year to seven in the second quarter. Burglaries at homes and businesses have all fallen over the same time frame.

Firearms incidents

Acting Deputy Police Commissioner Paul Wright, unveiling the latest crime figures, said: “The second quarter, from a firearms perspective, represents a 44 per cent reduction in firearms incidents over the previous quarter and is the lowest period for firearms reports in the last three years.”

He noted that Joshua Robinson was gunned down as he sat in a barbershop in Pembroke’s North Shore Road in June. While Richard Steede was shot and wounded in May.

Mr Wright added that four illegal and imitation firearms had also been recovered by police between April and June, while ammunition was seized on two occasions.

The statistics for the second quarter of this year show a drop of 10.7 per cent in total crimes compared to the first quarter and a fall of 8.9 per cent compared to the same period last year.

The total of 1,038 offences was also the third lowest quarterly figure in 12 years.

Firearms offences have dropped from 16 to four from the first quarter of 2012 compared to the second, although other weapons offences increased slightly from 13 to 15 over the same period.

Anti-social behaviour and disorder offences both increased over the first two quarters.

There were 151 incidents involving anti-social behaviour in the second quarter compared to 137 in the first quarter, while disorder offences increased from 24 to 29 over the same period.

Mr Wright said: “The long term trend for crime continues to be decreasing, notwithstanding the fact that our community continues to be hit by acts of disturbing violence.”

He added that even though laws and penalties had been beefed up and communities were taking a stand against violence, there “continues to be an element in our society that is intent on criminality.”

Mr Wright said that the Cup Match holiday showed that some were still involved in criminal behaviour and gangland-style confrontation.

Focus on threat

He added: “There remains a relatively small number of young people who regularly create trouble — or at least the potential for trouble almost everywhere they go.”

And he warned: “The Bermuda Police Service will continue to place its focus on those who present the greatest threat to the community.

“The aim is to try to influence them to behave better or face the consequences if they do not.

“We continue to be aided by the general public and we encourage our community to keep doing more of the same by supporting the police, reporting crime, passing information and generally making gang life uncomfortable in Bermuda.

“Today’s crime figures suggest that, together, we are making a clear difference.”

Police are also carrying out far fewer “stop and search” operations than they were a year ago, the figures reveal.

In the second quarter of 2012, there were 1,127 stop and searches carried out, a decrease of 42.5 per cent or 833 searches compared to the first quarter.

The drop when compared to the same period last year is even steeper — stop and searches have decreased in the second quarter of 2012 by more than 5,310 over the same period last year, an 82.5 per cent fall.

But Mr Wright said the numbers reflected the threat of gun crime and the number of shootings.

Importation of drug offences also showed a sharp increase between April and June this year and the first three months of the year.

There were 54 cases detected in the second quarter – double the figure of 27 logged by officers for the first quarter and up by ten offences compared to the same period last year.

Impaired driving offences remained almost static with 66 offences in the second quarter of 2012 compared to the first quarter total of 67.

Those figures are a dramatic drop on those recorded for the same two quarters of 2011, which saw 108 offences in the second quarter and 95 in the first.


This report covers the period of 1st April to 30th June 2012.

OVERVIEW:

The BPS has been working very hard at Making Bermuda Safer in conjunction with our community and law enforcement partners and that hard work is paying off. I am pleased to report that most crime categories have decreased in the second quarter of 2012. Total Crime is down by 10% over the previous quarter (1,163 crimes) and down by 9% over the previous year. We are always mindful that individual categories tend to rise and fall from one quarter to the next and therefore we are careful to give the perspective of long-term trends instead of comparing month to month. With that said, the long term trend of total crime is continuing downwards. The second quarter for 2012 is below average for the previous 12 months and it represents the second lowest quarter in the last five years.

FIREARMS:

The second quarter of 2012 recorded 4 confirmed firearm reports of which two separate shooting incidents resulted in the tragic murder of Joshua Robinson on 23rd June and the wounding of Richard Steede on 22nd May. 4 illegal firearms/imitation firearms were recovered by police and there were two recoveries of ammunition. The second quarter represents a 44% reduction of firearms incidents over the previous quarter and is the lowest period for firearms reports in the last three years.

(Stats: since Q1 2009 74 people shot of whom 18 have died and 56 were injured. 25 convictions and 19 awaiting trial during same period. 70% conviction rate for gun crime)

OTHER CRIME:

Crimes Against the Person fell below the average for the last 12 months and decreased by 8.6% over the previous quarter.

Crimes Against the Community recorded 8 more offences than the previous 3 months but still represents a 12% reduction over the previous year. A continuing increase in antisocial behaviour offences (offensive words, threatening behaviour, etc.) is attributed to the slight rise over the last two quarters.

Crimes Against Property fell below the average of the previous year and decreased by 15% over the previous quarter. The most notable decrease was recorded in residential burglaries which fell by 23%. Tourist accommodation burglaries, however, increased from 1 report to 7.

DRUG SEIZURES:

Total drug seizures for the second quarter increased by 11% but are below average for the previous year. The context, however, is that last year’s unusual seizure of $52 million worth of drugs pushed the average up significantly. The primary seizures were made at the borders by the Department of Customs and totalled over $3 million. Another $200,000 worth was seized from the street or interdicted en route to Bermuda. The total drug seizures for the year to date are valued at $5.1 million.

Summary:

The long term trend for crime continues to be decreasing, notwithstanding the fact that our community continues to be hit by acts of disturbing violence. Despite increased police enforcement, despite new legislation, despite harsh penalties and despite more community empowerment, there continues to be an element in our society that is intent on criminality. That can be seen in the police report for the Cup Match period.

Clearly, the police were busy and it cannot be said that the long weekend was incident-free. But, taking the whole period into consideration, and given the volume of events and spectators, parties and party-goers, marine and road traffic – it should be noted that the policing incidents were generally minor in nature.

The “usual suspects” unsurprisingly featured in a few incidents, all of which were promptly attended by police and most of which have ended in charges being laid or arrest being made.

The police achieved what we set out to do for Cup Match: to keep people safe, minimize disruption from anti-social behaviour and to swiftly deal with offenders. The cooperation of the public and the assistance from our partners made this a much easier task.

There remains a relatively small number of young people who regularly create trouble – or at least the potential for trouble almost everywhere they go. It is clear to us that the rest of Bermuda is losing patience with this group and keeping a close eye on their activities or even excluding them from some events and locations.

The BPS will continue to place its focus on those who present the greatest threat. The aim is to try to influence them to behave better or face the consequences if they do not. We continue to be aided by the general public and we encourage our community to keep doing more of the same by supporting the police, reporting crime, passing information and making gang life uncomfortable in Bermuda.

Today’s crime figures suggest that, together, we are making a clear difference.