Premier, Minister Weeks condemn gun violence

“Gun violence leaves more than just the physical wounds. It leaves families, neighbourhoods and communities traumatised and fearful. I pray for all of those impacted by the recent shootings and want to reassure them and all of Bermuda that the Government is committed to making our island safer,” said the Premier, the Hon. David Burt, JP, MP.

“Gun crime is something that must be addressed collectively as a community if we are to stamp out anti-social behaviour in our neighbourhoods,” said the Minister of National Security Michael Weeks, JP, MP.

The Premier and the Minister’s comments come in the wake of last week’s incidences of gun violence.

And in a measure of reassurance to the community, Minister Weeks, visited the Middle Town neighbourhood in Pembroke over the weekend following the shooting on Thursday, which left several injured. Minister Weeks was accompanied by area MP Curtis Dickinson.

Following the visit, Minister Weeks said, “Rightly, the residents in this area are fearful and concerned. This brazen daylight shooting should cause us all to pause. During our visit on Saturday, we listened intently, with care and compassion, to the neighbourhood’s concerns. I assured them that this Government is resolute in our determination to confront and overcome the pervasiveness of gun violence.”

The Minister continued, “But we cannot do it alone. It is a collective effort – Police, community stakeholders and, of course, members of the public. We cannot allow fear or silence to prevail. We must all do our part. And it is imperative that we unite as a community to ensure the safety and well-being of all our residents.”

The Minister noted that under the Government’s National Strategic Plan for Community Violence and Anti-Social Behaviour, significant efforts are underway to address the root causes of violence.

The establishment of the Gang Violence Reduction Team (GVRT) marked a crucial step forward in this endeavour, which focuses on reducing gang-related violence and its detrimental effects on our neighbourhoods. Additionally, progress continues to be made on implementing an island wide CCTV system, which, while not directly related to the anti-violence strategy, will serve as a vital tool in detecting and deterring criminal activity.

Looking ahead, Minister Weeks confirmed that further details regarding the National Strategic Plan will be forthcoming, underscoring the Government’s commitment to transparency and proactive engagement with the community.

Premier Burt added, “I fully support the work being done by Minister Weeks, his team at the Ministry of National Security, and the Gang Violence Reduction Team to address the root causes of anti-social behaviour. I also thank our emergency services for their devotion and care in responding to these incidents.

“We must also have support and assistance from the community for the work being done to be truly effective. This collaboration is essential, as it is only by working together that we can make Bermuda safer for all.”

Lastly, both the Premier and Minister Weeks extended their “profound gratitude” to all of Bermuda’s emergency services personnel for their dedication in responding to a spate of critical incidents. They jointly acknowledged the BPS’s efforts in their heightened presence and vigilance, and for their response to other emergency activities to ensure the safety of “our communities amidst these challenging times.”

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