Updated: Apr 27, 2022 09:59 AM
The Liquor Licensing Authority has quietly required all establishments on the island applying for a liquor licence, to “across the board” have functional cameras operating on their premises.
On Tuesday, the LLA’s panel scheduled a site visit to two private members clubs, specifically to ensure they had quality and well-placed cameras on the premises.
The visit was before the clubs obtained a decision on their applications to operate their bar facilities.
The site visits came after the liquor licence hearings for the Ocean View Golf Club and the Harrington Workmen’s Club had concluded on Monday and authority members adjourned to consider the applications further.
During both hearings, a key feature of questioning revolved around the status of security cameras.
But before the site visit, when asked about the application for one of those before him, Marc Daniels, chairman of the LLA, said the applicant had already met all of the statutory requirements.
He said: “The only thing that was outstanding was making sure that the cameras that they have at the facility are of sufficient quality and they are fit for purpose.”
The original purpose for on-site cameras at Bermuda’s licensed establishments was to cover the bar area, in part to ensure an adherence to the Training for Intervention Procedures regime.
Mr Daniels said cameras were now expected, although there was no statutory requirement, and with respect to the TIPS regime, some camera angles had to cover the bar serving areas.
Many licensed establishments realised the usefulness of security cameras throughout their premises on their own accord, something welcomed by the LLA and police, he said.
But a quick call around revealed that not all senior personnel at every licensed establishment was aware of the expectation.
Mr Daniels said: “We look out, for not only the applicants, but also with our police liaison, we’re looking out for health and safety.
“And one of the key focuses is that some establishments, obviously not all, have unfortunately been targeted by certain elements within our society where various criminal acts have taken place.
“So, as a policy we have mandated across the board a need for security cameras and we want security cameras of a sufficient quality – HD quality – as well as the ability to have the camera [images retained] for at least 30-60 days, as part of a cycle.”
Mr Daniels said that the cameras were also of value to establishments, especially if they have been shut down by police, because it may support their argument for reopening. They are also valuable to police in their inquiries.
Site visits also allow panel members to see access and exit points, parking lots and other areas where there may be people congregating.
He added: “All of that is helpful because we want to mitigate, as much as possible, alcohol-related issues. We also want to see that people who are TIPS-trained and qualified are doing their job.”
Mr Daniels conceded the cameras mandate in some places would be difficult.
He said: “We don’t have the means at this stage to go to every single establishment and check up on things. We are supposed to have an enforcement officer to assist in that regard. But not every tour boat or charter vessel is going to have the capability for cameras. But land-based businesses, yes.
“If there are establishments that we are not aware of, we certainly welcome any feedback to bring them to our attention, so that we can address it.”
Marc Daniels, chairman, liquor licensing authority (File photograph)
The liquor licensing authority has mandated across the board a need for security cameras at licensed establishments (File photograph)