On the heels of an increase in teen violence and fighting in both of the island’s public high schools, TNN’s own Trevor Lindsay observed a fight break out between groups of young people in front of City Hall in Hamilton. The students involved were from several different schools. Mr. Lindsay and another gentleman helped to break up Wednesday’s fight.
Following the altercation, TNN sent queries to both the Corporation of Hamilton and the Bermuda Police Service. Both have responded to our queries.
According to a spokesperson for the Corporation, the city has paid a total of over $113,000 for extra duty police officers since the program’s October 2020 inception.
“ The presence of [extra duty] officers not only discourages criminal activity and antisocial behavior, but it also provides targeted enforcement of parking violations and assists with identifying ‘fly tipping’ offenders,” the spokesperson said. “ Targeted offenses include public drinking on the streets, persistent and aggressive begging, relieving oneself in public, verbal threats, assaults of any nature and anything else that would be considered antisocial behavior . . . aside from the obvious policing benefits, the initiative has also had the unexpected benefit of playing an information-gathering role, with police officers feeding back to us helpful infrastructure data about the area – such as identifying trip hazards and areas which would benefit from speed control or additional signage.”
With all of that being said, however, the City is asking for the public’s continued assistance and cooperation to put a stop to antisocial behavior exhibited by some of the island’s young people, which could result in people getting seriously injured or maybe worse.
The BPS emphasized that the extra duty officers patrol all of South Hamilton and also explained what “extra duty officer” actually means and entails.
“ Extra duty officers are officers who work outside of their prescribed hours of work to
bolster on duty patrol officers who must respond to 911 emergency calls, as well as
other calls for service across the entire island,” a spokesperson said.
According to the spokesperson, officers routinely engage with members of the public, despite what it may initially appear. To prevent large fights from breaking out on school campuses, the BPS monitors the end of the school period and also monitors several routes that students might take on their way to the bus terminal.
“ [ Bearing that in mind, however], preventing youth violence is a responsibility of the entire community and not just the police,” the statement read. “ Children require guidance the moment they wake until they go to bed . . . Where we can influence their journey in life, we will and we stay committed to that [goal].”
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