Police Call on Public for 33 Unsolved Murders in Bermuda

Police Call on Public for 33 Unsolved Murders in Bermuda

Any unsolved crime is a concern for the community. It generally means that a criminal has gone without punishment and may still be at large. That’s especially true when the crime committed was murder.

According to the Bermuda Police Service, the island has 33 unsolved murders. Rather than being closed cases, the serious crime unit has stressed that they are very much open. Read on as we take a closer look.

A new era of crime

The 33 unsolved murders in Bermuda all occurred in the past two decades. According to Detective Inspector Jason Smith, they represent a new era of crime. That’s defined by gang culture, the use of guns and retaliation.

Speaking to the Royal Gazette, he explained how a murder in 2003 marked the beginning of changing times in Bermuda. “We started to get more and more reports of gunshots, and then one or two shootings in between,” he explains, “leading up to the surge in gun crime that we started to get in about 2009.”

Changing culture for criminals

One of the key issues highlighted by the police is insensitivity. While previous crimes may have been committed under the cover of darkness, criminals now have a level of brazenness.

“These crimes are being committed in broad daylight and in full view of people,” says DI Smith. “The big difference is we are seeing people more emboldened to do what they are doing and in front of the public eye.”

Retaliation is another pattern in lots of these unsolved cases. The police suggest that many shootings are “tit-for-tat” incidents. However, it’s only a matter of time until there’s a silent victim – “the neighbour, the resident, the member of the community who just happens to be at the wrong place and wrong time when crime has happened,” according to DI Smith.

How the public can help

A lack of public involvement has been cited as one of the factors contributing to the culture change described above. Criminals are brazen because “they feel no one is going to report on them.”

DI Smith explains that there was much more public cooperation at the start of his career, with people coming forward and letting the police know what was happening in their communities.

Over time, people have become more reluctant to talk to the police – which may be down to fear of consequences or just apathy. That’s not solely a Bermuda problem, but a trend that’s been identified across the world.

Crucially, Smith explains that “witnesses who come forward and give evidence” are crucial to “every single case that we have successfully taken before the courts.”

Speak to Crime Stoppers

Addressing the 33 unsolved murders, DI Smith explained: “These cases are not closed but are in fact wide open — and you hold the key in being able to unlock a lot of doors we can open, and walk through, and bring closure.”

Crime Stoppers Bermuda works in cooperation with the police to help solve crimes through tips from the public. Our anonymous online form and confidential phone line (800 8477) allow you to provide information without any fear of consequences.

We’ve contributed to over 300 arrests to date – and with your help, we can keep that number going up and make Bermuda even safer.

Crime Stoppers Bermuda 800-8477

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About Crime Stoppers Bermuda

We are a registered Bermuda charity (No. 410) helping law enforcement to locate criminals and help solve crimes. We have an anonymous 24-hour Hotline phone number, 800-8477 (TIPS), that people can call to pass on information about crime; alternatively people can send us information anonymously via our Anonymous Online Form. You don’t have to give your name or any of your personal details. We do not trace calls or track IP addresses.

Crime Stoppers Bermuda, P.O. Box HM 2711, Hamilton HM LX.

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