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MINISTERIAL STATEMENT The Hon. Jeffrey C. Baron JP 25th May 2016

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Madame President and Members of the Senate, in the midst of the celebrations of Bermuda Day and the remainder of this Heritage Month, a harsh reality has intruded on the lives of two families in our community. 

The past weekend's incidents were tragic and as I indicated immediately following, our first responsibility as citizens is to remember those families in our thoughts and prayers as they deal with such terrible loss. 

The mandate of the Ministry of National Security is to support the security services, in particular the Bermuda Police Service, in their mission to keep Bermuda safe. That support extends to the wider community and our second responsibility in times like these is to come forward if we have information that can assist in the ongoing investigation into these events. I echo the calls by the lead investigators for information and for witnesses to come forward. No detail is too small or insignificant and what someone saw may make the difference in a difficult area of police work. 

Madame President, there is a significant system in place to provide ‎support to neighborhoods that are directly impacted by gun violence. That system includes direct contact with residents providing an outlet for their expressions of grief and anger. Much of this work is done away from the glare of the cameras, but I wish to assure the public that resources have been deployed in support of this effort and full attention is being paid to the social and community side of the tragic shooting death of Mr. Dill. 

Madame President, travelling on our roads has always been challenging. ‎Too often we travel at speeds which are unsafe for us and for those also using the roads. As a country, we need to slow down, follow the rules of the road, exercise extra care every time we get behind the wheel of a car or onto a bike. The roads policing strategy of the Police Service continues to be a priority and I fully support their actions designed to reduce the unacceptable number of road traffic accidents. 

Madame President, strong enforcement and proactive action on the part of the Police to deal with anti social behavior whether on the roads or with respect to gun crime must be supported by us as representatives and in turn by the wider community. ‎As the Police implement these critical strategies it may affect our daily lives and in some cases inconvenience us. But I urge patience and cooperation on the part of the community as we work together to reduce and eventually eliminate the conditions that lead to such tragedies. 

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