FRIDAY, APRIL 13: Shootings are spilling out of known gang areas because of a police clampdown on hot spots, a Minister warned yesterday.
National Security Minister Wayne Perinchief said that heightened police activity in the heartland of gangs like 42 and Parkside meant that gunmen were seeking their targets in previously neutral areas.
Mr Perinchief, a former Assistant Commissioner of Police, added: “What we have found is concentrations of young black men residing in lower income areas have targeted each other in those areas.
“We do see a creeping out of that because the police have ring-fenced these areas — 42, Parkside and another couple of areas.
“Now gangsters who want to get at anybody have taken to other venues — South Shore roundabout, Reid Street, next to a building which houses international business.”
Only three weeks ago, an attempted hit on a man in Reid Street in the early hours of the morning saw around five shots fired — with two bullets hitting a window in Sir John Swan’s Seon Place building.
Neither bullet penetrated the double pane plate glass window, and no one was injured. Police enquiries are continuing.
In October, shots were fired in broad daylight at a man working at the roundabout on Trimingham Hill, in Paget.
No one was injured in the shooting, which happened around 2.20pm.
Mr Perinchief said: “It has become a problem for all of us…it’s not strictly a racial thing, it’s much more a social problem.”
Mr Perinchief was speaking after he announced he would today table amendments to proceeds of crime legislation allowing police to seize things like jewellery, cars and boats from those suspected of profiting from crime — even without a conviction.
The Minister said that — although some countries in the Caribbean have adopted paramilitary-style tactics to crack down on gangs – the Bermuda Police Service had opted with a “more subtle” approach.
Mr Perinchief added: “They have chosen other means of arrest and incarceration — they haven’t had to confront an armed criminal and, lo and behold, they haven’t had to shoot an armed criminal and that would be the straw that breaks the camel’s back.” He said: “Bermuda is a very civilized and civil community — I have discussed with other jurisdictions to the south of us as to how they dealt with hardcore gang activity. We wouldn’t tolerate that in Bermuda.”