Mon, 2005-05-09

The following represents the comments of the Commissioner of Police for use at the regular Quarterly Crime Statistics Release Press Conference of the BPS.


  • Crimes of violence: 80
  • Crimes of Stealing: 56
  • Breaking and Entering: 244
  • Removals: 222

Total for the Quarter: 602

First Quarter Comparison:

  • 1999: 694
  • 2000: 593
  • 2001: 710
  • 2002: 735
  • 2003: 723
  • 2004: 477
  • 2005: 602

26 % up on the corresponding first quarter figure from last year.

7 % down (602 reported offences) on the seven (7) year average (647 reported offences) for the period 1999-2005.

Categories where Bermuda is experiencing an increase in reported crime:

Violent crime: 80 reports in the last quarter. Up from an average of 67 reported in the quarters from 2001-2005. We continue to place heavy emphasis on the investigation of violent crime incidents. Our Serious Crime Unit has been tasked with leading on many of these investigations and we have drawn in additional staff from other areas of the service to assist the serious crime unit with these investigations. We have very deliberately put additional resources into these investigations to reduce the opportunities for re-offending and to reduce the escalation of serious assault offences. We have also very deliberately recommended to the DPP that ‘objections to bail’ be raised at the earliest opportunity and we have seen the positive crime reduction impact where violent criminals have been incarcerated. It is simply our responsibility to provide the DPP’s with as much relevant information as we can as we work towards reducing the levels of violent crime.

We have formed a Tourist Crimes Unit and this Unit will be deployed operationally within the next two weeks. Officers from our Hamilton Police Station Criminal Investigations Unit are now actively working on an Attempted Murder investigation from yesterday evening on Palmetto Road, Pembroke. Investigators in all areas of the BPS are working hard and long hours on violent crime investigations and we understand the priority which must be given to these crimes.

Categories where Bermuda is experiencing a decrease or where the category is generally stable:

Removed Vehicles: 222 in the past quarter. Down from an average of 296 reports per quarter in the period 2001-2005. Five of the past six quarters have been below the average figure of 296.

Stealing offences: 56 reported offences in the past quarter. Down from an average of 68 reported offences reported in the period 2001-2005.

Breaking and Entering Offences: Generally stable. 244 reported offences for this past quarter. The average is 240 offences over the period 2001-2005.

Crime overall (15 Quarter Selected Crime Comparison – all four categories – Violent crime, stealing, removals and breaking and entering) – 602 reported offences for the quarter. The average for the past 15 quarters has been 673 reported crimes.

General comments regarding Police visibility and enforcement:

There has been public comment recently on the activities of the Bermuda Police Service and our ability to sustain a level of Service which this community deserves. Our visibility - and in particular our officers who are on patrol which are seen by the public – is important to us as a Service and I recognize the importance to the public.

We are working hard to increase our visibility by hiring new officers, training them and deploying them so as to increase the numbers of officers we have on patrol. One of the challenges we have faced in the past two years is the retirement, resignations and deaths of no less than 100 officers – almost 22% of our established officer strength. We are working extremely hard to fill the remaining positions which are vacant and new officers, particularly those experienced officers from overseas are fitting in well and getting quickly embedded in the operational work of the Service.

Over the next few months, we will be carrying out a number of higher profile policing and enforcement operations. While I am not at liberty to reveal the details today, we will be concentrating on traffic, crime, drugs and disorder offences.

I’d like to share some figures with the public and the media about the efforts this Service is making in meeting the demand for calls for service and in dealing with crime, drugs, and disorder in particular.

The following is a summary of Police activity (calls for service) in the 4 day period between 8:00am last Thursday morning and 8:00am yesterday (Monday morning):

  • A total of 312 separate calls for service/incidents were generated in our dispatch system over this period.
  • There was a very wide range of demand placed on the Service in this period – ranging from attendance at breaking and entering offences, structural fires, a road traffic death, marine offences, arrests for a variety of offences, high speed chases, road traffic collisions, a wounding, a robbery report, assaults, domestic disputes, execution of warrants, dealing with traffic offences, and seizures of drugs at street level. A total of 56 different call types were attended and dealt with.
  • Officers made arrests for: stealing, offensive weapons, impaired driving, apprehension warrants, summary jurisdiction warrants, burglary, removal, wilful damage violently resisting arrest, offensive words, assault, possession of controlled drugs.
  • The Police Support Unit provided high visibility policing patrols at: St. Monica’s Mission, Tribe Road # 5 in Paget, Eastdale Lane, Ord Road, Warwick, Cedar Hill, Horseshoe Road , Court Street, Hermitage Road, Alexandra Road, Cedar Park, Friswells Hill and all through the City of Hamilton in particular. Other patrol units worked from Hamilton, St. George’s and Somerset Stations. This is not an exhaustive list – but it does illustrate the work of the PSU and other patrols in patrolling some of the more problematic neighbourhoods.
  • These pro-active Police patrols resulted in: arrests for offensive words at the Ice Queen and Ord Road, Warwick, two arrests for controlled drugs at Southampton Rangers, numerous warrant arrests at: Tribe Road #5 Paget, Friswells Hill, Ord Road, Warwick, an impaired driving arrest, several juveniles arrested on suspicion of removal and arrests for offensive weapons. Officers on patrol responded to a complaint from a member of the public on Reid Street and arrested a man who was found in the act of damaging vehicles. We believe over twenty vehicles received some damage in a short time frame and Police intervention and arrest prevented further damage.
  • In addition, Police Officers seized cannabis from Middle Road, Devonshire, cannabis from St. Monica’s Mission, cannabis resin (hash) from Middletown, crack cocaine from Court Street, heroin from Parsons Road and cannabis from Parsons Road.
  • Investigators were also heavily involved in the investigation into the robbery of visiting Canadian tourists; a separate investigative team worked on the investigation into a series of breaking and enterings and sexual assaults in Pembroke and Devonshire, an arrest was made for drugs at the BIA and other investigators worked on several outstanding cases.
  • A Police Officer’s residence was subject of an arson attack; another detective had his life threatened and two other Police officers attending a domestic dispute between a mother and son were confronted by a man with a knife who threatened them.
  • This description of policing activity is not intended to be exhaustive – but it is intended to demonstrate the point that a high volume of policing activity is occurring (and I’ve just relayed some detail from a 4 day period) and the Service remains committed and capable of dealing with a very wide range of policing activity. There have been over 10,000 incidents generated in our dispatch system so far this year and the over-whelming majority of those incidents have required Police attendance. Hundreds of those individual incidents become protracted investigations which will be brought to a conclusion months, and sometimes years, after they were first reported. We will continue to strive for improvements in our delivery of service to the public and protecting the residents and visitors and over the next few months the senior management of the Service will be examining a Response Management plan designed to add efficiencies in responding for calls for service.

Current crime problems (post first quarter: April – May 2005)

The island has been experiencing a noticeably higher rate of breaking and entering offences in April and May and this remains a problematic crime problem. Our most recent analysis indicates that breaking and entering offences are being reported at a rate of 44% higher than the rate for the corresponding period last year. The majority of these homes are being broken into between the hours of 8:00 am and 5:30pm when the occupants are at work. Jewelry, cash and small electronic and computer equipment are all being targeted and we continue to advise home-owners to properly secure their homes – particularly when the house is unoccupied. A special team of detectives is working on these housebreaking investigations with the aim of arresting those responsible and reducing this particular crime.

You have heard me previously refer to the stark reality that drug dependency continues to be very strongly associated with this particular type of crime. We have seen little change in this trend in recent months. It is very clear to our investigators that a significant core group of men with chronic drug dependencies are rotating through the criminal justice system being arrested, convicted, released and re-offending and this is having a dramatic effect on our efforts to reduce crime in this particular category. We consistently recommended to the DPP that ‘objections to bail’ be raised in the courts in our efforts to contribute to crime reduction efforts and while we’ve seen some positive impact of this a great deal more needs to be done in my view in dealing with the cause of and actual drug dependencies.

I’m not saying anything new that those in the criminal justice system and the corrections environment don’t already know – it’s just one of the complexities – and realities – that we have to deal with that law enforcement is just one component of an overall strategy to deal with drug-induced offending.


At 6:45pm on Monday, Police attended a reported assault involving a vehicle on Palmetto Road in Pembroke near the junction with Railway Terrace. It appears that a silver Hyundai collided with a black Suzuki motorcycle, with the motorcycle ending up completely under the car. The silver car also collided with a white Nissan car. The rider of the motorcycle, a 37 year old Hamilton parish man, was not seriously injured and declined medical treatment. The driver of the Hyundai, a 24 year old Pembroke man, fled the scene on foot. All three vehicles sustained damage as a result. The silver Hyundai car and the black Suzuki motorcycle were subsequently impounded. Inquiries into this incident are underway. Police are appealing for any witnesses to this incident or anyone with any information to contact the Hamilton Criminal Investigation Unit on 295-0011.


At 10:05pm on Friday, Police attended a reported fire at a Random Lane, Warwick residence. On arrival at the scene, officers assisted neighbours with making sure no one was inside the apartment and in extinguishing the flames. No one was inside the Police officer’s residence at the time of the fire. Inquiries into this incident are underway. Police are appealing for any witnesses to this incident or anyone with any information to contact the Somerset Criminal Investigation Unit on 234-1010.

Around 6:35am on Monday, Police arrested a 35 year old Warwick woman on suspicion of arson in connection with this incident.

Marine Incident

At 9:50 this morning, Marine Police were on patrol in St. George’s Harbour observing the cruise ship ‘Norwegian Majesty’ enter the harbour. There were approximately 40 visiting yachts at anchor in the harbour at the time. It appears that as the Norwegian Majesty maneuvered in the harbour the ship collided with two yachts, while Marine Police assisted in moving the anchored vessels out of harms way. There were no reported injuries.