The public are reminded that amendments to section 315 of the Criminal Code empower the Police and the court system when it comes to dealing with weapons offences. When a suspect is caught with a knife or any other bladed or pointed article, that person will be arrested and will remain in custody until the next available court session. This is to expedite and drive home the seriousness of these offences.
Upon reaching court, a suspect may find themselves serving a mandatory three year sentence as well as a $5000 fine. This is for a conviction in the Magistrates Court. If the matter is heard in the Supreme Court, the offender stands to face a mandatory five year sentence as well as up to $10,000 in fines.
A definition of bladed and pointed weapons can be as follows:
Any type of knife or any homemade item which has a blade or a sharp point. Simple construction tools such as screwdrivers and chisels are included. Also encompassed is anything that has been sharpened. To give you an example even a sharpened toothbrush would count. Most usually encountered by Police are machetes and kitchen knives.
Offensive weapons encountered by Police will be items made and adapted to cause injury. Without giving too much detail on what these items are, something as simple as a piece of rope with a blunt object on the end of it. This will be sufficient to cause injury when used. A conviction in Magistrates Court can land an offender with a two year sentence as well as a $1500 fine. A Supreme Court conviction will lead to a five year sentence as well as a $5000 fine.
The police ask that members of the public who work with knives, gardening tools or anything else which could be deemed a weapon, leave these items at work or immediately take them home upon completion of work. It will not be an excuse at 3:00am to say that the machete we just caught you with was used for trimming trees and that you just knocked off work. The police have heard all the excuses and are able to easily investigate any claims made by an offender.
Bermuda Police Service urge parents to be aware of what their children are up to and where and with whom they hang out with. If you can, be aware of what items your kids are leaving the house with and take note of anything that could be deemed a weapon as previously described.