During a press conference earlier yesterday, Acting Commissioner of the Bermuda Police Service Darrin Simons released Bermuda crime statistics from 2018. Acting Commissioner Simons mentioned that the youngest person to commit a major offence during that time was only 10 years old.
“ Without a doubt, that information is alarming,” he explained. “ It should cause concern in the mind of any adult in Bermuda when we see young people involved in criminality to the point where an arrest is the appropriate course of action.”
According to him, the BPS sees young people who become involved in criminal activity later becoming more severe criminals within the community.
“ When it comes to the point where crimes committed have to be investigated by the police, the matter is already very serious,” Acting Commissioner Simons said. “ There are issues around parenting, schools that see behavior of wayward or at-risk children, and there are the immediate helping agencies who are tasked with looking at those kinds of things. So, there are a lot of opportunities to intervene prior to a young person’s behavior becoming a criminal issue.”
The BPS’ community-focused ideals mostly take shape through Community Action Teams (CATs), who go into certain areas of the community and try to interact with troubled youth, to try and stop them from becoming serious criminals in the future. Other members go into seniors’ and nursing homes to hear their concerns as well.
With that being said, the Acting Commissioner believes that officers could pay a bit more attention to the concerns for senior citizens and people within nursing homes. But, the BPS has limited resources right now and have to work with what they have.
He believes that the BPS does a really good job when it comes to investigating and solving crimes, but want officers to be a bit more trained on how to deal with vulnerable people and that is contained within their five-year strategic plan.
“ We currently have a very strong vulnerability agenda in terms of equipping our officers to deal with that and hopefully encouraging the public to report more crimes to us,” he said. “ There could be a debate about whether older citizens are vulnerable and I think that a reasonable argument could be made for that.”
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