Public Safety minister Colonel David Burch is working to establish a 'community led' group to tackle gang crime.

Minister Burch said he wanted to take the politics out of the debate and have people from all backgrounds, political or otherwise, come together on a task force to work out how to resolve the issue.

He expects to make an announcement in the next few weeks as to how that will proceed. Col. Burch said the recent shootings, culminating in the murder of Kumi Harford on Saturday morning, had "sucked the breath" from him.

He said: "It is perhaps more painful for me because I am responsible for public safety. It demoralizes you... There are a number of social issues, family issues that need to be addressed. We need the community to take the lead with the support of the Government.

"When people are determined, in spite of any consequences to harm and kill each other it is difficult to even process. It requires a number of wise heads working together.

"We need to take the political fighting out of it and address it as a community."

Other politicians have already contributed a raft of ideas on the issue and how it can be resolved:

Premier Dr. Ewart Brown

"While we've taken action to address the crime issue, we are not yet satisfied and are calling for more reforms. Unfortunately, despite being in government, we are hamstrung in our abilities to act. In spite of the fact that the Bermudian taxpayer pays for our police service, an unelected Governor has full control over operational policing.

'We have repeatedly called for reform in operational policing strategies. Specifically, we are calling for a greater police presence in known hot spots. We are calling for greater community policing to build trust between the people and the police. And, we are calling for international experts to be brought in to help train our police in best practices for reducing gang violence."

UBP leader Kim Swan

"This country of ours is experiencing a spiritual malaise; a malaise made possible by the disappearance of core values and discipline in too many of our homes. It is weakening the very soul of our society.

We cannot afford to allow the St. Monica's Mission community bear the brunt of this trauma alone. The situation we face is a reflection of a breakdown in the family unit, about the loss of values from one generation to the next, about children having children and self-interest before collective well-being.

Our children are being raised without God in their life and we are feeling the effects of a community that has turned a blind eye to core values that work and build a wholesome society.

We will continue to put forward tangible solutions... I am duty bound to share my belief that "we must aspire to become a people who are prepared to put God first, are caring and humble."

Mark Pettingill, Bermuda Democratic Alliance

"We have to look at a combination of community policing and making wider use of technology.

In London crime reduced by 40 per cent, partially as a result of sophisticated CCTV coverage across the city. They achieved similar results in Manhattan.

A properly manned control system where cameras are watched in real-time would act as a deterrent in the first instance and would take the pressure off eye-witnesses in others.

We also need to look at mobile systems that can be used for football games and events. Electronic monitoring of criminals, an idea that we advocated that has been taken up by the Government, is another example of how we can use technology.

We need to combine this with community policing."

Governor Sir Richard Gozney and Premier Brown, joint statement

"We are both anxious to do all that we can to help and to encourage the Bermuda Police Service to combat the shocking rise in gun crime. In fact, we discuss policing in Bermuda together, frequently and intensively.

Some U.S. police officers experienced in anti-drug gang and anti-gun crime will be coming to Bermuda to help the Police and to lend the Bermuda Police Service the benefit of their experience and expertise.

Meanwhile, the Police Service's disruption of known and prolific offenders is intensifying, helped by the greater scope given them by one of the new laws, the Police and Criminal Evidence Act."