Pubdate: Wed, 21 Jul 2004
Source: Royal Gazette, The (Bermuda)
Copyright: 2004 The Royal Gazette Ltd.
Author: Matthew Taylor


Police sounded a warning about criminals from America and the
Caribbean targeting Bermuda as crime went up slightly up in the second
quarter of 2004.

Police Commissioner Jonathan Smith said links had been fostered with
American Police forces as well as the Federal Bureau of Investigations
and the Drug Enforcement Administration.

"Those relations are very solid. There is a free exchange of
information between us.

"One of the disturbing trends that we are maintaining a very close
watch on is the increased involvement of foreign nationals engaged in
drugs and violent crime in Bermuda.

"Some of those nationals have been linked with gangs and criminal
enterprises overseas and this is indeed a worrying trend that we are
dealing with.

"We will continue to exploit our liaisons with law enforcement
officers overseas and will continue to act upon available intelligence
and investigate known offences in a bid to reduce the effects of this

"Over the past year we have dedicated additional resources to dealing
with that problem. It has involved increase intelligence coming in."
He said violence clashes between warring gangs were one result and
were being handled by a boosted serious crime unit.

Police say the first two months of the year have been the best for six
years however the underlying trend shows instances of violent crime,
which used to stand at 4.1 per 1,000 population in 2000, are now at
4.5 per 1,000.

The Commissioner said violent crime was a continuing concern but often
Police hit a brick wall with victims and witnesses unwilling to co-operate.

But he commended officers for tackling it and said the Police Support
Unit which patrols crime hot spots had made 522 arrests this year.

Mr. Smith said there had been a drop in breaking and entering offences
and removals because repeat offenders were in prison or on remand.

He said narcotics, vehicle crime, CID and the reserves were more
active at night when criminals were active and this was boosting drug
and weapons seizures.

Assistant Commissioner Carlton Adams said: "Overall crime for the
second quarter has increased but it remains considerably less for the
same period last year."
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