Just a few weeks ago I announced from this podium that in partnership with CrimeStoppers Bermuda the Ministry of Public Safety would be launching a gun bounty programme in the month of May.

I am pleased to be joined again by CrimeStoppers Chairman Mr. Raphael Simons as we fulfill the promise made to the community. Also with me today is Ms. Andrea Burgess whose son Stefan was tragically murdered in 2012. Andrea and I have shared how this tragedy impacts families and friends of victims. As a community we must do more than express sympathy, we must do whatever we can to bring killers to justice.

Starting this weekend, local media will feature a graphic campaign designed to challenge those in the community who have information about firearms to come forward. If you know something, say something.

This is the basic challenge. It is a call to help law enforcement succeed in the fight against guns, gangs, drugs and violence. It is a call to those who know that it is never too late to do the right thing.

It is also a call to those who want to see an end to the violence that has scarred a generation and left too many families in turmoil.

It is a call to anyone and everyone that we can turn the tide; but we must be prepared to meet violence with truth and courage.

This campaign recognizes the reality of the gang lifestyle and the conflict that might be feared by sharing this kind of information.

No-one will know the source of the information you provide. CrimeStoppers operates a totally anonymous system which protects people who help solve crimes in this way.

Through this partnership totally confidential tips will be encouraged as a means to find criminals and their guns. Community engagement at all levels is the key to success in reversing the destructive trend of the gang lifestyle.

With the added incentive of a reward for valuable information, we expect to achieve some success. To receive any reward, the information provided must lead to the recovery of a firearm or the arrest and prosecution of an offender.

Firearms are illegal in Bermuda and recent cases clearly demonstrate that the Courts will not hesitate to punish those who handle or use them.

In recent weeks and months, the Bermuda Police Service has been hard at work preventing and investigating violent crime. The results have been enhanced by strong community support. The launch of this initiative is just another tool to spur the return to safer streets and neighborhoods that we need in Bermuda. I encourage anyone with information about illegal firearms to come forward and to respond positively to the challenge of doing your part to make Bermuda safer.

If you know something, say something!

Thank you.