*File photo
*File photo

The Bermuda Police Service wishes to take this opportunity to advise the public on a number of matters to ensure a peaceful and safe time during this year’s Heritage Day holiday weekend.

The purpose of this press conference is to flesh out the details of how we will police the holiday weekend using High Visibility patrols alongside our Partner agencies in the Bermuda Reserve Police and the Bermuda Regiment.

 

High Visibility Patrols

The Police Service will be conducting High Visibility patrols throughout the weekend with the aim of Making Bermuda Safer.

In line with our strategic intent of Guns Gangs, Drugs & Violence reduction, the BPS are intent on deterring those members of the public that might seek to disrupt the holiday weekend with acts of violence and criminality.

Patrols, will be paying particular attention to incidents of public disorder, anti-social behaviour and weapons possession. Those persons who are not deterred by the presence of the police and commit these offences can expect to be promptly arrested and delivered to the Courts.

 

Partnership approach

The Heritage Day holiday weekend is traditionally a busy time on land and water, the BPS will again be partnering with the Bermuda Reserve Police and the Bermuda Regiment. Also the Bermuda Day Parade will be the first “outing” for the 25 new recruits of the Recruit Foundation Course who will be working as marshals along the parade route. 

 

Road traffic

The public is reminded that on Monday a number of roads will be closed and they should plan alternate travel routes accordingly. The routes for the Races and the Parade are similar to previous years and the police will, as usual, be manning junctions along with designated marshals to control traffic.

I cannot put enough emphasis on reminding the motoring public that the marshals and police officers are there for a reason. That reason is to minimise the risk to the runners and cyclists taking part in the races, the participants in the parade and the viewing public. I therefore appeal to the motoring public to take the opportunity to remind themselves of the route prior to Monday’s races and parade, and on the day to follow the officers and marshals directions and if possible to avoid driving onto the routes from private driveways and side roads during the events.

RACES: Due to the speed at which the cyclists will travel and the sheer numbers of riders and runners that the event now attracts Middle road will continue to be closed at the South Road junction at Barnes Corner at 8.30am to all West Bound traffic. Participants are reminded of the need to arrive early, or at least clear this junction before 8:30 am to avoid any disappointment.

Traffic heading West that does not make it past Barnes corner by 8.30 can expect lengthy delays of up to 1 ½ hours before the road can be safely reopened.

PARADE: Certain roads and road junctions will be closed in the city until the Parade has concluded and Corporation of Hamilton Waste Management teams have completed trash collections. We will be unable to open roads in order to allow cars parked within the city to leave. Cars parked in areas that become isolated due to the closures (particularly Reid Street) will not be able to move until the roads and junctions are opened.

No parking areas will be clearly marked, and specific road closure times are contained in the gazetted notices.

Adherence to the following rules will assist in making the events safer for all:

Do not encroach on to the cycle race route. The cyclists travel at high speeds and at considerable risk to themselves. If they are obstructed by a spectator and collisions occur, serious injury or death could easily occur. Please keep young children under your strict control while the participants pass.

Do not encroach on the marathon race route. The slightest alteration to a runners cadence or direction, particularly in the latter stages of the race can negatively affect their performance and finish line results.

Do not obstruct the passage of the participants of the Heritage Day Parade. Many of the performers demand the entire width of the road, and others are mounted on heavy vehicles with limited vision. Serious harm and/or disruption to the parade could result in the event of spectator interference.

 

Marine

In Partnership with the Bermuda Reserve Police and the Bermuda Regiment there will be a visible joint law enforcement presence on the water during this busy time of year on our waterways.

We would like to remind the boating public to ensure that their vessels are registered; that a current 2014 decal is prominently displayed on the starboard side of the vessel; that they ensure that all required safety equipment is on board; that they are carrying enough fuel for the intended journey. It is also recommended that they file a float plan if they intend to go offshore.

Additionally, speed is an issue not only in maritime collisions but in the general nuisance factor that is experienced by boaters at anchor near the shoreline. The boating public is reminded of the need to exercise care and caution around other vessels and to be on the lookout for swimmers. To this end, the 5 knot – no wake areas will be strictly enforced in order to calm the marine traffic. We also encourage that persons do not mix any use of alcohol with power-boat operating or sailing.

 

Loud Music

Loud music complaints both in residential neighbourhoods and on the water are also a problem associated with this Holiday and we accept that the celebration of Heritage Day brings with it a party atmosphere. We ask two things of the public: patience and tolerance on the part of the complainants, along with a display of respect and courtesy on the part of the subjects. We encourage members of the communities that they live in to work together to keep the peace in the neighbourhood and avoid the involvement of the police.

 

Crime Prevention

In recent weeks a trend has emerged where residents have left their homes unsecured when they are out, and on their return have found their homes broken into and valuables stolen.  We urge the public to be aware of this and to secure their homes properly over the long weekend particularly if they are planning to attend any of the many events being held. We also stress the need to ensure that bikes and cars are properly locked and the keys are taken out to prevent crimes of opportunity

 

Our final message this year is to encourage everyone to exercise patience, tolerance, caution to help the BPS to do our job.

On behalf of the Commissioner of Police, I wish the entire community a pleasant, enjoyable and safe long Weekend.