Police yesterday urged criminals to think about “our community” and not spoil Bermuda Day with violence.
Acting Superintendent Tracy Adams told a press conference there would be high visibility patrols on the May 24 holiday and throughout the weekend “with the intent of making Bermuda safer”.
He said: “We appeal to the public and, in particular to those persons in the community who are involved in violent crimes or have friends and family involved in those crimes, to think about the Bermuda Day holiday and what it means to our community.
“We hope that they won’t spoil these events for the whole community, as has happened on other occasions.”
The officer said police hadn’t received any information to suggest gun activity was expected on Thursday.
But he added: “I can assure you that we are going to be highly visible to deter any type of gun violence that may arise.
“In line with our strategic intents and to reduce problems associated with guns, gangs and violence, the Bermuda Police Service is intent on deterring those members of the public who might seek to disrupt the holiday with acts of violence and criminality.
“Patrol units, assisted by our colleagues from the Bermuda Reserve Police, will be paying particular attention to incidents of public disorder, weapons possession, public drug misuse and, certainly, those persons who are not deterred by the presence of the police.”
Asked if more “stop and searches” would be conducted, Acting Supt Adams replied: “What we’ll be doing is dealing with any infractions of the law. At this time, I can’t say there is going to be a more increased number of stop and searches.”
He asked the public to behave responsibly during the holiday, particularly on the roads and at sea, and to keep the volume of music down at parties.
Acting Supt Adams said the high volume of traffic expected tomorrow and over the weekend was a concern and advised motorists not to drive after drinking, even if they think they are under the legal limit.
“This approach by the public will go a long way to reduce collisions and keep our roads safe for everyone,” he said.
“We would ask the public to think about this Bermuda Day weekend and do their best not to spoil it for everyone by drinking and driving and being involved in road traffic collisions.”
He asked motorists to adhere to all road closures, particularly in the West End during the high-speed cycle race on Thursday morning, for safety reasons.
The officer reminded boaters to:
n ensure their vessels are registered;
n clearly display their current decals on the starboard side;
n carry adequate fuel and safety equipment; and
n steer clear of alcohol.
“It is also recommended that they file a float plan if they intend to go offshore,” said Acting Supt Adams, adding that mariners should watch their speed and exercise care and caution near other vessels and swimmers.
“The five knot/no wake areas will be strictly enforced in order to calm the marine traffic,” he said.
“Bermuda Day traditionally marks the start of the boating season in Bermuda and we expect, weather permitting, that our waterways will be very busy.
“A full complement of officers from our Marine Unit, supplemented by the Bermuda Reserve Police and the Bermuda Regiment, will be on patrol in our waters to deal with marine incidents.”
This year’s Bermuda Day Parade starts at 1.30pm at Bernard’s Park and ends at City Hall.