National Security Minister Wayne Perinchief. *Photo by Kageaki Smith
National Security Minister Wayne Perinchief. *Photo by Kageaki Smith

FRIDAY, DECEMBER 2: Spot checks on offenders on parole or probation are set to be introduced, National Security Minister Wayne Perinchief announced today.

Court officials and police will make unscheduled out-of-hours visits on people subject to curfews or other court-imposed conditions.

Mr Perinchief said the scheme — to be run jointly by the Department of Court Services and police — was based on the successful Operation Night Light run in Boston, which was introduced after an upsurge in violent crime.

He said: “These two agencies have formalized an arrangement to coordinate regularly scheduled and unscheduled visits to the residences to ensure compliance with conditions of curfew and provide accurate reporting back to the courts and Parole Board on violations.”

Mr Perinchief told the House of Assembly that Operation Night Light was pioneered by police and court officials in Boston in the early 1990s, when the city experienced heightened gang violence and an increase in the number of teenage murder victims.

Previously, probation officers had worked independently of police, curfews were often not imposed by courts and if they were, they were difficult to enforce.

Operation Night Light pairs a probation officer with two police officers to make surprise visits to the homes of high-risk offenders on probation.

Mr Perinchief said that members of Bermuda’s Inter-Agency Gang Task Force visited Boston in May and heard about the city’s scheme from top probation officer William Stewart, who also helped implement the anti-gang Operation Ceasefire, a version of which is also due to be introduced in Bermuda.

Mr Perinchief told MPs: “The people of Bermuda will continue to see results from these and other collaborative efforts. The Inter-Agency Gang Task Force is working and its targeted efforts will provide effective solutions to the problems that threaten our quality of life.”