Minister lays out anti-gang work

  • Wayne Caines, the Minister of National Security (File photograph)

Steps to quell gang violence in Bermuda were detailed this evening by Wayne Caines, the Minister of National Security.

Mr Caines appeared on ZBM to highlight “milestones and key initiatives” this year, and said that the island was “heading in the right direction”.

Overall, since 2016, gun violence has dropped by 40 per cent, year over year.

Mr Caines said there had been a marked drop in gang conflicts at the island’s two public senior schools since September 2018, thanks to intervention by the Gang Violence Reduction Team.

The team also defused tensions at the street level as well as in prison, Mr Caines said.

He added: “The team provides intervention by developing trust-based relationships that serve to de-escalate and mediate tensions when necessary.”

As well as mediating, the team links “the proven at risk population to much needed community based programmes and services”.

The minister cautioned that much of the work by Pastor Leroy Bean, the gang violence coordinator, was “high touch, highly confidential and sensitive”.

“It involves directly working with persons who are currently involved or have been directly impacted by gang violence.”

Weekly meetings are held between the Governor, the minister and Stephen Corbishley, the Commissioner of Police to get updates and review the operational policing plan for tackling gang violence.

Mr Caines said the goal was “to understand what caused the shootings and how to prevent them happening in the future through effective policing and gang intervention”.

“Alongside our strategies, over the next six months we will hold a gang summit to bring together all the community stakeholders.”

To read the minister’s statement in full, click on the PDF under “Related Media”.