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Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Blog gain Front Page attention from the Royal Gazette

Esme Williams (Executive Director B.B.B.S Bermuda)

On Tuesday 8th January 2008, Sam Strangeways a reporter that works with the Royal Gazette of Bermuda wrote and published a story featuring the blog “Crushing Fools;” personally I did not see the news worthiness of this blog. Miss Strangeways being a skilled professional that she is; possesses the ability to write a story on any topic and make the matter take on a level of importance. Miss Strangeways showed even me, that the blog (which was created to encourage citizen and residence of Bermuda to become more community conscious and to work together with the other agencies in the community to ensure the level of tranquility that is now experience is maintained) can be news worthy enough to make the front page of the Royal Gazette.

This story brought tremendous attention to the blog “Crushing Fools”. I must say the amount of support and encouragement I received from the Bermuda community my friends and my colleagues was overwhelming. The response from my Big Brother Big Sister (B.B.B.S) fraternity especially those which were expressed by the executive director of B.B.B.S Esme’ Williams, who after hugging me expressed a sense of pride to have me as a big brother was tremendous.

All I am trying to do, is to contribute what little I can for the community that I am thankful to be a part of at this stage of my life, until it is time for me to rejoin my friends and family in my native Land of St. Vincent and the Grenadines. It is all about giving back to this community in a very small way.

Below is the well received story as it appeared in the Royal Gazette news paper, which featured and brought attention to the blog “Crushing Fools.”

Blogger calls for residents to 'be courageous'

By Sam Strangeways

A serving Police officer has launched an Internet blog calling on the community to "be courageous" and unite against violence and crime.
P.c. Allan Palmer, who is originally from St. Vincent and is understood to have been a policeman
in Bermuda for about four years, began posting messages on his Crushing Fools site last month — before the violence which marred the Island's Christmas celebrations.
The first entry in his online journal is titled: "It is time to take our community back."
P.c. Palmer writes that he has been told by members of the community that there are people with "sound and relevant information" on recent unsolved murders who are not coming forward.
"It was also brought to my attention that the individuals who have pertinent information that could be of evidential value and which may ensure the victims' families gain the closure they are looking for, are afraid of retaliation," he adds. "Fear is never a justified reason to cause or aid in the miscarriage of justice. Everyone that resides in this tranquil community needs to be courageous."
Father-of-three P.c. Palmer, 41, who describes himself on his website as an "independent thinker", says residents of the Island need to be put aside their fear of retaliation if they want justice to be done.
"Courage is not the absence of fear but it is the willingness to act even when you are afraid," he writes. "If we use fear to allow an offender to evade prosecution, whether it is for the offence of murder or for an offence of a less serious nature, we are only empowering the criminal."
The entry, dated December 6, 2007, concludes that Bermuda is "still a very safe community" but P.C Palmer warns: "I can see the potential for things to get out of control. It will be a shame if the citizens and residents of this tiny island are made to live in a petrified state.
"Have we adopted the 'it's not my business' mentality? For the sake of this little island, I hope not."
On December 23 — just a couple of days before the Christmas shootings which left Aquil Richardson dead and two other men injured — P.c. Palmer posted another online entry titled: "Let the stats speak to you."
In it, he argues that official Police statistics on crime leave out key categories such as assault causing actual bodily harm, willful or criminal damage and drug-related offences. He also points out rises in theft, burglary, assault causing grievous bodily harm and sexual assault between 2005 and 2006.
P.c. Palmer states that "murder has seen an unprecedented rise of 50 percent every two years. This can quickly become a frightening number. These are serious times."
There were two murders in Bermuda in 2003 and in 2004 and three in 2005 and in 2006.
P.c. Palmer did not wish to comment on the blog when contacted by The Royal Gazette. It can be found at http://crushingfools.blogspot.com.

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