An Evaluation of the Police Response to Gang-Related Violence and Future Security Threats

  • Paul CanfieldEmail author
Part of the Advanced Sciences and Technologies for Security Applications book series (ASTSA)


Over the past decade Bermuda has experienced a dramatic increase in gang violence. The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime’s Global Study on Murder showed that Bermuda’s murder rate had increased from 3.1 per 100,000 people in 2003 to 12.5 in 2011 (Strangeways in The Royal Gazette, 2010). While the increased prevalence of gangs is not something that is unique to Bermuda (Bullock and Tilley in Shootings, gangs and violent incidents in Manchester: developing a crime reduction strategy. Home Office, London, 2002; Battin-Pearson et al. in Gang membership, delinquent peers, and delinquent behavior. Youth Gang Series. Washington, 1998), the sharp increase was a cause of great concern within the local community, the police and politicians (Parliamentary Joint Select Committee in a parliamentary joint select committee publication under part IV of the Parliamentary Act 1957, 2011). The reason for this may be that Bermuda’s economy relies largely on tourism (Central Intelligence Agency in The World Factbook. The Central Intelligence Agency, 2013) and international business, especially reinsurance, which increased its presence on the island since the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington on the 11th of September 2001. Any increase of gang violence in an otherwise peaceful and low crime country may deter future investment in the island (Washington Post in Gang violence jolts formerly quiet Bermuda; tourist getaway grapples with string of shootings, 2006). This research primarily seeks to outline the development of Bermuda’s gang culture and how the Bermuda Police Service (BPS) responded to the gang violence. It has been suggested that gang-related crime is essentially a social problem and not just an undertaking for the police, but the community as a whole (Muncie in Crime Justice Matters 34:4–5, 1999). Socio-economic factors may have also influenced the development of gang crime in Bermuda, but this research focuses on the situational crime prevention strategies that the BPS adopted and whether these strategies have helped to reduce gang violence, and whether the techniques used may be considered suitable in preventing a rise in terrorism.


Gang-related violence Terrorism Policing Bermuda 


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© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of LeicesterLeicesterUK

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