After addressing the community’s reluctance to cooperate with the police to ensure that the environment in which they live continues to be conducive for living; without the element of fear for one’s safety, the safety of our families, friends and the protection of their properties, I think it was fitting for me to review the crime statistic according to the Bermuda Police Service (BPS) as is posted on the BPS very informative webpage (http://www.bermudapoliceservice.bm/)
Although the page shows an overall decrease in the number of actual crimes reported, (which is far different from the number of crimes committed) I could not help but to notice there were some very important categories missing from the stats sheet. The categories are as follows:
· Assault Causing Actual Bodily Harm;
· Physical assault on an individual that leaves on the victim’s body any swelling, discoloration and or bruising;
· Willful/criminal damage, which is anyone without a lawful authority or reasonable excuse who damage any item no matter the value, but as long as that property had/has an owner;
· Drug related offensives such as possession, importation, etc.
These discoveries lead me to ask the question, would the exclusion of the above categories of criminal offences in anyway change the statistics and affect the general outcome of the crime rate? This is a question for you to answer.
In analyzing the statistics I will attempt to not only reveal the discoveries I made but I will also try to explain what some of the crimes constitute in a very simple form. It is also my hope that the revelations found here would only help to motivate concerned Bermudian into action and enable a greater community consciousness. This will inspire a greater level of collaboration between the community and the police in keeping this very small Island safe from the criminal that is waging war against all who live and visit this Island that is synonymous with tranquility.
There was a 24% rise in report of theft when compared to 2005 and 2006. This means that there were 24% more victims who had been deprived of enjoying the pleasures of the sweat of their brow. Their hard earned monies and other personal possessions were taken from them by another whose intention was/is to permanently deprive the owner of such.
Crimes of intrusion also saw a leap in 2006 when compared to 2005. Our home, business premises and schools had become less safe, in that to secure these premises was not enough to ensure there safety.
The increases were as follows:
· 11% increase in unlawful home invasion.
· 19% increase in unlawful school invasion.
· 73% increase in unlawful shop invasion.
· 47% increase in unlawful office invasion.
· 20% increase in unlawful unclassified premises invasion.
What does this mean to us as citizens who are the main stake holders of this rock, residents who are only here in most cases at the pleasure of their employees, and visitors who comes to enjoy the peace and stability of this tranquil Island?
Assault causing Grievous Bodily Harm
We have seen a 34% rise in assault offences that may have resulted in possible broken bone and other injuries that may or could cause improper function of one’s limbs or organs due to nerve damage etc.
Crimes of sexual assaults are normally crimes against females but not restricted to females. Another class of individuals who are increasingly becoming victims of such crimes are children of both genders. Bermuda has seen a 22% rise in such crimes for the period 2005-2006, and a 43% from 2004-2006.
The offence Murder has seen an unprecedented rise of 50% every two years. This can quickly become a frightening number.
These are serious times. I know most people may say we are not as bad as some other jurisdiction. But the question to ask your self is are we as good as we were before. It is extremely important to note, that the prosperity of most country, state, Island etc. is vastly dependant on the following:
A low or a controllable crime rate
A trainable workforce
But there is nothing that can drive away investors and potential investors like an environment that have become criminally unstable. The ball is in your court. And you must play it with common sense and with intelligence.