Reaching out: Acting Inspector Troy Glasgow, left, and criminologist Sylvia Chenery. *Photo by Simon Jones
Reaching out: Acting Inspector Troy Glasgow, left, and criminologist Sylvia Chenery. *Photo by Simon Jones
A British criminologist has been drafted in to help police win the hearts and minds of communities plagued by spiraling violence.

Sylvia Chenery has been running a series of seminars for officers of all ranks as part of the force’s new strategy of Problem Orientated Policing (POP).

Mrs. Chenery told the Bermuda Sun the approach is all about getting every part of the community to play a role in crime fighting.

Encouraged

She said she had been greatly encouraged by the response of agencies and community members she had spoken to.

Mrs. Chenery added: “There seems to be a great willingness to work together in Bermuda.

“It’s about getting the community to understand how they can play their role and show a united front.

“The police cannot solve it all on their own — they need to take advantage of everyone’s area of expertise. I have been trying to help people understand the criminal mind, how it works and how it affects communities. It is not a quick fix — it’s about setting down relationships with the community that address problems, build trust and bring everyone together.”

Mrs. Chenery believes community action groups, made up of activists and local figures, have an important role to play in tackling crime.

Problems

She said: “Community action groups are part of the jigsaw.

 “They are the eyes and ears of the police and absolutely vital in solving and detecting crimes.

“By getting the community and other agencies on board in a structured way you can eradicate problems that have been around for a long time.”

More than 250 people, including police officers, civilians, politicians and representatives from Government agencies, have attended the classes in the last two weeks.

The event has been organized by acting Inspector Troy Glasgow.

He said: “A lot of people have come forward in the current climate and said they want to help.

“They want to know what they can do to help their community.

“This is about giving them the chance to say what needs to be done and acting on it with the police.”