WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 1: Police and Regiment soldiers will join forces on land and sea in a major Cup Match operation designed to safeguard the public.
And Minister for National Security Wayne Perinchief said that coolers will be banned from night-time beach events in a bid to crack down on under-age drinking.
Soldiers from the Regiment’s Operational Support Unit and the boat troop will work alongside police over the holiday in a massive security operation.
Regiment CO Lt Col Brian Gonsalves said that troops were already trained for a public order role.
But he added: “Our soldiers have received additional training so they can give the necessary support to their police counterparts.”
And he pointed out that UK soldiers had taken on a major security role at the London Olympics.
The boat troop will work with the police marine section to police the waters around Bermuda – in a joint operation Col. Gonsalves signalled would become more common in the future as the Regiment gears up to take a bigger part in maritime operations.
Minister for National Security Wayne Perinchief said: “What we expect and what we’re asking is that everyone acts civilly and has a good time. We are planning for the worst but expecting the best for this Cup Match holiday.”
Superintendent Martin Weekes added that the joint operation was designed to deal with “gangs, guns, drugs and violence reduction.”
He said: We are aiming to deter those people who would disrupt the holiday. Those persons who are not deterred can expect to be promptly arrested and placed before the courts.”
Mr Weekes added that – in addition to a high visibility presence around the Cup Match venue of Somerset Cricket Club – officers would also be out in force around Horseshoe Bay, which will play host to Beachfest today and Thursday and in Dockyard.
He said: “All of our boats will be in the water and fully manned by our Marine Unit, the Reserve Police and the Regiment too.”
Mr Weekes added that house parties should be considerate of neighbours and not play music too loud. He said he wanted “patience, tolerance, consideration and a bit of old-fashioned common sense.”
On Monday, police and road safety campaigners warned that drinking and driving was out of bounds for Cup Match.
West End police commander Chief Inspector Mark Clarke said that police, including armed officers, police reserves and troops, will all be on duty at the game at Somerset Cricket Club.
The grounds will also be covered by metal detectors at the gates and CCTV inside, while searches of people and bags will be carried out to minimize the risk of trouble.
And Chief Inspector Clarke warned motorists to expect road closures and delays as islanders descend on Somerset for one of the biggest holidays of the year.
He said: “By creating a safe environment, they will be encouraged to enjoy themselves. In addition, we will be using the same amount of police officers we have used in the past. We already have an armed capability on duty – they will be in the area and encouraged to patrol the grounds, but they will have other functions.”
Chief Inspector Clarke was flanked by Anthony Santucci, chairman of alcohol and drugs charity CADA, and the Bermuda Road Safety Council’s David Minors and Carlton Crockwell.
Mr Santucci said people travelling to the game should “put a plan in place before you leave home to ensure you can return home safely.”
He said signs and banners had already gone up around the island warning of the dangers of drinking and driving. He also reminded licensees that it is illegal to sell alcohol to under-age customers. And he said CADA would have a stall at the ground offering water donated by drinks firms Gosling’s and Barritt’s during the two-day cricketfest.
Mr Crockwell reminded drivers to “slow down, buckle up and enjoy the holiday with no tragedy”.