Government Launches ‘Stop the Violence’ Campaign
Bermuda is a place that usually conjures up images of sun, sea and relaxation. While this isn’t far from the truth, the island is also suffering from a growing gang problem. To combat the fear, crime and disruption this brings to Bermuda’s communities, the government has launched a ‘Stop the Violence’ campaign for 2023.
Read on to find out more about the problem and how the programme will help.
Violence in Bermuda
Historically, Bermuda has not been a dangerous country. But in the last two decades, gang-related crime has evolved into a consistent problem for the country, with 186 gang-related incidents reported from 2012-2022.
This year, Minister of National Security, Michael Weeks, reported to the House of Assembly that gang-related crime was once again on the rise, with 88 murders in recent years.
He also reported a disturbing statistic that children as young as 8 are being recruited into gangs. That contrasts the “shared hope that future generations of young people could be spared,” as highlighted in a parliamentary debate ten years ago.
Back then, legislation had been brought in, making it a crime to force someone to take part in illegal gang activity. The hope had been that these measures would be temporary. But 10 years later, the problem has grown and these measures are still needed.
What is the campaign?
Michael Weeks has outlined the elements of the campaign:
- The government will set up a database of information on gang violence, recording personal information on the victims and gang members.
- Administrators for the campaign will work with anti-crime agencies, charities and other organisations to develop a strong front line against gang violence.
- There will be a 52% increase in funding, compared to the previous year in order to develop and create an effective programme.
- It will include outreach opportunities in primary schools to protect children before a gang can influence them. Also, work experience projects will be available for young offenders to decrease their risk of reoffending.
- Mr Weeks believes that tougher laws aren’t the answer. He stated that areas such as poverty, single-parent families and poor education all make a massive impact on the growth of gang activity. Through the campaign, the hope was that collaborating on these social issues would give a bigger chance of success.
Support ‘Stop the Violence’ with Crime Stoppers Bermuda
Stopping violence in our communities is an extremely passionate cause for many people. You can help keep your neighbourhood safe by supporting the government’s ‘Stop the Violence’ campaign. If you have witnessed a crime and have information to pass on, Crime Stoppers Bermuda is here to help.
Our confidential service guarantees you anonymity when you contact us. Your call won’t be recorded, and you won’t be asked for any personal information. Contact us on 800-8477 or use our confidential online form.