LATEST NEWS, inside the BPS

Operation Vega: Speeding, Ignoring Traffic Signs Top Recent Road Offences

Tue, 2022-09-13

The Bermuda Police Service (BPS) continues to enforce Operation Vega, in order to help make our roads safer.

It is concerning to note that 19 motorists were arrested for impaired driving from 8th August until 12th September 2022, despite that number being a slight reduction from the last reporting period (11th July until 8th August 2022), when 22 motorists were arrested for impaired driving.

During this period (8th August until 12th September), 716 tickets were issued for various traffic offences – an increase of 76 from the previous period’s total of 640. Motorists receiving tickets for speeding and ignoring traffic signs also increased from the previous period.

The breakdown of the most recent ticketed traffic offences is below. The change compared to the previous period is provided in brackets.

Speeding                                 368 (+75) highest ticketed speed was 94 kph.  

Disobeying a traffic sign       113 (+35)                 

Unlicensed vehicle                  75 (+1)                  

No third party insurance        59 (-2)           

No driver’s licence                   46 (-12)      

Helmet                                       15 (-7)               

Manner of driving                    12 (-9)

Failure to stop                          11 (+11)

Defective vehicle                       7 (+6)

Seatbelt                                       4 (-17)                        

Disqualified driver                     3 (-6)                     

Cell phone                                   2 (0)

Fraudulent documents              1 (+1)

Failure to give name/address  0  (0)

In addition, 98 warnings were recorded in the most recent statistics, up from 91 during the last reporting period. Since inception (6th July 2021), Operation Vega has logged a total of 7,388 traffic tickets for various road offences.

Chief Inspector Robert Cardwell of the BPS Tactical Operations Division stated, “This last period of Operation Vega enforcement 8th August to 12th September represented another good period of traffic enforcement. The numbers in this period compared to the last period of measurement (11th July to 8th August) were up in most categories.

We remain concerned around the number of unlicensed and uninsured vehicles on the roads as well as the number of people driving without a valid driver’s licence. Speeding offenders continue to dominate the moving violation ticket numbers with speeds in this period seen between 57kph and 94kph. 94kph is almost triple the lawful speed limit. Many of the traffic collisions we are seeing on the roads are attributable to speed and inattention – at times combined. Collision reduction is the goal of Operation Vega.

Impaired driving arrests on the roads even in light of Road Side Sobriety testing, which is unfortunately sporadic due to the legislation framework we have to work within, is also a concern. We continue to caution against driving whilst impaired, whether by alcohol or drug, due to the inherent dangers and risk of injury that can be caused not only to yourself, but to someone else. Any individual driving whilst intoxicated suffers from slowed down reflexes and a temporarily lowered mental acuity, which compromises the ability to control their vehicle. “Buzzed” driving is still drunk driving and is dangerous.

We are very pleased with the traction Operation Vega has had, thanks to the hard work of all of the men and women of the Bermuda Police Service, specifically the Operational Units. Our ultimate goal is to make Bermuda safer. This is what we are all working towards – and includes ongoing vigilance regarding road safety.

Collision numbers are still much higher than we would like to see them and the continued loss of life on the roads is a real concern. We continue to attend collisions that have resulted in serious injury, including head trauma and the loss of a limb. Driving or riding safely should be everyone’s top priority. The practicing of safe driving basics every time you are on the road is every drivers/riders responsibility.

The use of distracting devices such as a cellular phone, which is unlawful, is heavily frowned upon by other motorists sharing the road with you, as a result of the clear distraction it causes while driving.

The speed limit is 35kph and is reduced in some built up areas, such as where pedestrian traffic is high, or in school zones. Driving above the speed limit, or without care, caution and consideration for your surroundings, puts you and others at risk of injury or worse.

Making Bermuda safer is not just a job for the police service. This is something we can all contribute to and it can be achieved on the roads by slowing down as a start. We have been overwhelmed by the public support for Operation Vega and it is clear that calming the roads is the want of most.”

Two Arrested, Cash & Suspected Controlled Drug Seized After Vehicle Stop

Mon, 2022-09-12

Around 1:40am Monday, 12th September 2022 police officers on mobile patrol had cause to stop a car in the Tribe Road Number 2 Warwick area, in the vicinity of Ord Road.

The officers saw two occupants in the vehicle and based on their observations, searched them under the Misuse of Drugs Act.

As a result, a quantity of suspected controlled drug, described as a white rock like substance and a quantity of cash, were seized.

Both occupants, a 64-year-old local man and a 58-year-old local woman, were then arrested in connection with this matter and later released on police bail, pending further inquiries.

A court appearance is anticipated in due course.

Murder Victim Identified as 16-Year-Old Kanye Ford, Suspect in Custody

Mon, 2022-09-12

The Bermuda Police Service, (BPS) can confirm the identity of the victim in that fatal stabbing incident which occurred in the car park of Horseshoe Bay beach, shortly after 11:00 p.m. on Friday September 9th, 2022, as 16-year-old Kanye Ford.

Mr. Ford was among a group of individuals gathered at the car park for a private social event when he became involved in an altercation with several other males.

Mr. Ford sustained stab wounds to the chest and was attended to at the scene by police officers and EMTs. He was transported by ambulance to King Edward VII Memorial Hospital for further treatment.

Sadly, he subsequently succumbed to his injuries.

A second male who was also injured during the altercation, was attended to at hospital, for a non-life-threatening injury to his arm and discharged.

A 19-year-old male has been arrested in connection with this, the eighth murder for the year and is assisting police with the ongoing investigation into this matter.

Detective Inspector Jason Smith of the Serious Crime Unit said, “There were approximately thirty people in attendance at the event at Horseshoe Bay car park, when this tragic event occurred. While our investigation is being progressed based on information received, we are once again appealing for anyone who was present or, who may have any information on what transpired to please get in contact with us. Someone had to have witnessed what happened and we urge you to come forward and help bring closure to the family of Mr. Ford and those responsible to justice.”

Anyone with information on this incident is asked to contact the lead investigator Detective Constable Odessa Philip on 717-2193, via e-mail, ophilip@bps.bm or, Detective Inspector Smith on 717-0864 or, via email, jsmith2@bps.bm.

Of course you may also call 211, the main police number 295-0011, Crime Stoppers on 800-8477 or, provide the information to a police officer with whom you are familiar.

Suspect Arrested, Cash & Suspected Controlled Drug Seized

Wed, 2022-09-07

On Wednesday, 31st August, 2022, The Bermuda Police Service Drugs Unit, executed a search warrant at a Hamilton Parish residence where several packages containing the suspected Controlled Drug Cocaine, and cash in excess of $16,000.00 BDA, were seized.

The Bermuda Police Service can confirm that a member of HM Customs Bermuda, has been arrested in relation to this matter, as well as other offenses stemming from a police operation conducted on 4th August, 2022.

Acting Detective Superintendent Sherwin Joseph of the Specialists Investigations Department stated:

“Our investigations into these matters are ongoing and no further information will be provided at this time”.

The BPS Drugs Unit will continue investigations.

Labour Day Holiday Policing

Wed, 2022-09-07

Acting Deputy Commissioner of Police Martin Weekes - "The Bermuda Police Service would like to take this opportunity to thank the community for their cooperation in ensuring there were no major policing incidents during the recent Labour Day holiday weekend.

Whilst a number of reports were made to police, they were generally in connection with minor incidents such as loud music complaints, which were quickly resolved using a Community Policing approach.

Arrests however were made in a number of cases resulting in a total of 39 arrests made over the long weekend.

Sadly, despite it being publicised that Roadside Sobriety Testing checkpoints would be deployed throughout the weekend, eight individuals were arrested whilst driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

One of those arrests involved an individual who upon taking the breathalyser test, recorded a reading of 197 milligrams of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood. That is more than twice the legal limit of 80 milligrams of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood.

Thankfully, our policing efforts resulted in these individuals being taken off the road, preventing any tragedies from occurring. However, the BPS reminds and encourages the public to take responsibility for their behaviour and simply do not operate any kind of vehicle if you have been drinking or may have taken any mind altering drugs, legal or otherwise.

Also of concern is the fact that close to ninety individuals were issued speeding tickets, with the worst offender being clocked at 96 kilometres per hour. Bearing in mind, the speed limit is 35 kilometres per hour.

There were two people arrested for possession of bladed articles – knives. In one instance, police received a report of an individual with a knife at an establishment on Front Street in the City of Hamilton. Officers went to the location and approached an individual fitting the description of the suspect. A knife was recovered from him and he was arrested and taken to the Hamilton Police Station where he was detained.

In the second incident an individual who had cause to attend Hamilton Police Station was arrested and upon being searched and found to be in possession of a knife.

Both individuals have since been released on police bail pending further investigations.

Again I wish to thank the public for their cooperation and understanding when delayed on the roads due to the requirements of Roadside Sobriety Testing Checkpoints as well as those set up where required to prevent acts of violence and the carrying of weapons."

Road Sobriety Checkpoints in Effect 2nd Through 6th September 2022

Fri, 2022-09-02

This Labour Day holiday weekend, the Bermuda Police Service (BPS) will be conducting road sobriety checkpoints in 7 parishes (Hamilton parish, Smith’s parish, Devonshire, Pembroke, Paget, Warwick & Southampton) starting this evening, Friday 2nd September through Tuesday 6th September 2022.

Officers from the Community Policing Division, Tactical Operations and Roads Policing Unit will operate the checkpoints, which are in addition to general BPS patrol officers enforcing Operation Vega.

Please plan ahead and do your part by not driving or riding impaired. If you are intending to go out and socialise, make sure you have arranged for a designated driver, taxi or another responsible transportation service to get you to your destination safely.

Public Advisory: Swing Bridge, St. George’s [Updated]

Tue, 2022-08-30

The Bermuda Police Service (BPS) is advising the public – motorists in particular – to expect delays at the Swing Bridge in St. George’s and if possible, to avoid using it, until further notice.

Apparently some electrical wires have come down across the bridge, causing normal traffic flow along the span to be affected. The cause of the downed wires is not known.

It is unclear at this time if any of the wires involved are live. BELCO has been notified and are en route. Police officers are currently on scene assisting with traffic management.

The BPS appreciates the patience and understanding of the motoring public and area residents while this situation is addressed. Our main concern is safety.

A further update is anticipated in due course.

Update: The Bermuda Police Service can now confirm that normal traffic flow has resumed across the Swing Bridge in St. George’s. We are grateful for the assistance of BELCO in resolving this issue, as well as the patience of the motoring public and area residents.

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