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Bermuda, from the west (left) looking east
Aircraft approaching Bermuda from the east
By Keith Archibald Forbes (see About Us) at e-mail exclusively for Bermuda Online
To refer to this web file, please use "bermuda-online.org/abcbda3.htm" as your Subject.
The UK's Foreign and Commonwealth Office ( FCO) administers Bermuda internationally but in all other matters Bermuda is a self-governing British Overseas Territory (BOT) of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, one of the 14 BOTS worldwide. (The others are (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_overseas_territories).
UK Statutory Instruments Applicable to Bermuda as a BOT. See http://www.bermudalaws.bm/site_docs/ukstat.aspx.
Flag description and protocol. Red, with the flag of the UK in the upper hoist-side quadrant and the Bermudan coat of arms. The Coat of Arms of Bermuda show a red lion holding a shield that has a depiction of a sinking ship upon it. The red lion is a symbol for the United Kingdom and alludes to Bermuda's relationship with that nation. The sinking ship is a depiction of the sinking of the Sea Venture off the coast of Bermuda in 1609 when under the command of Admiral Sir George Somers. He was en route to Virginia with a Supply Fleet of colonists and provisions but was shipwrecked on a Bermuda reef. This unintended disaster, with only a few lives lost and with the colonists having thrived in the sub-tropical climate of Bermuda, led to the official launch of Bermuda as a British colony. That ship was the first British ship to visit Bermuda. Foreign civilian ships visiting any British Overseas Territory should fly, as a courtesy flag, the Territory's own Ensign. The undefaced British Red Ensign is always an acceptable alternative. If the ship is a Foreign government vessel it should fly the Territory's Blue Ensign. Foreign warships should fly a British White Ensign. The Union Flag (Union Jack), should not be used by either British or foreign vessels.
All our files on Bermuda
Bermuda National Symbols are
|Bird||Cahow. Because of its perseverance, strength and endurance. Long thought to be extinct, wiped out by early 17h century colonists, until re-discovered 300 years later.|
|Flag||See top graphic above.|
|Flower||Bermudiana. (Sisyrinchium iridioides). A member of the iris family first recognized by Carolus Linnaeus as different from the American blue-eyed iris. This was confirmed in 1884.|
|Tree||Bermuda Cedar, a unique species of juniper. An integral part of the landscape since 1606 and once used to create furniture, build ships and construct beams for houses.|
|Vegetable||Onion. First introduced from England in 1616 and for 300 years afterwards was exported from Bermuda to West Indies and North America.|
One of the nine smallest places in the world, in total land area. 21 square miles or 53 square kilometers, compared to the USA's 9.629 million square kilometers. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_and_outlying_territories_by_total_area .
Bermuda is "bm" as a country code on the Internet. Bermuda is named after the man who first discovered it, Spanish navigator Juan de Bermudez. Before he first discovered Bermuda via shipwreck on local reefs in 1503, Bermuda was uninhabited. Later Spanish, Portuguese, French and British mariners also came ashore, mostly involuntarily because of sharp uncharted reefs that damaged or sunk their ships. As soon as they built small vessels from local cedar, or made repairs, they left. Portugal and Spain claimed Bermuda but did not take possession or settle. Bermuda had no permanent residents until 1609 when the flagship "Sea Venture" of the British Third Supply Fleet was caught in a tempest with 150 British officials, colonists and crew, including Admiral Sir George Somers, Sir Thomas Gates as Virginia's first Governor-Designate, and John Rolfe. See Bermuda's Links with the USA and Bermuda's Early History portrayed in its cultural postage stamps.
The other name - the Somers Isles - commemorate Bermuda's British founder father, discoverer in 1609 and colonizer, Admiral Sir George Somers, when it was not populated at all. In 1612 the Bermudas, then the Somers Islands, were in the third charter of the Virginia Company. More English colonists arrived specifically for Bermuda. The charter was revoked in 1684 when Bermuda became a British crown colony. However, it was once referred to as Virgineola, in its 16th century brief period as a dependency of Virginia.
Today, Bermuda remains a (nominal) British possession, a completely self-governing British Overseas Territory 3,076 miles from London, with its own laws - not those of the United Kingdom. No UK laws apply in Bermuda and Britons are just as much foreigners as are Americans, Canadians, Europeans, Asians and other citizens.
Bermuda has no natural resources - no oil or gas, other exports or industry. Practically everything is imported, mostly directly or indirectly though the USA.
The Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) is the British Government department responsible for Bermuda's foreign affairs, through its headquarters in London and its Embassies, High Commissions and Consulates. It is represented by the Deputy Governor's Office at Government House, 11 Langton Hill, Pembroke HM 13, Bermuda. Telephone: (441) 292-2587, Fax: (441) 295-3823). E-mail email@example.com.
The whole of Bermuda is tiny by world standards - with a land area of only 21 square miles or 56 square kilometers. It includes all the islands mentioned above. Residents and visitors can travel from one end to the other in just over an hour and from north to south in 10 to 15 minutes. Scientific theory has it that what we know today as Bermuda began some 100 million year ago as a volcanic mountain, with the volcanoes having disappeared 70 million or so years ago.
Some oceanographers say the Bermuda Rise juts up from the deep Atlantic Ocean floor in the form of three steep- sided mountains, the largest of which supports the Bermuda Islands we know today, on the southern margin of a shallow water platform, with Challenger and Argus (or Plantagenet) Banks to the southwest. Others say the Bermuda Rise is five mountains including the more distant Bowditch and Muir Seamounts (the furthest of which is about 150 miles to the northeast).
The Bermuda Mountain is longer - 32 miles - than the land area width and much wider - 16 miles wide - than the maximum land width of 1.5 miles. At sea, the Argus and Challenger Banks are round and about 6 miles across.
Harrington Sound is an inland lake with access to the sea under Flatt's Bridge and many subterranean caves. It marks the lowest point on the Bermuda sea platform. It is about 23 meters in depth at its deepest point (off Devil's Hole). Its geological formation is not yet fully explained. It is not the crater of an extinct volcano as often assumed. To the right of Harrington Sound is Castle Harbour, with the airport nearby
Below the level of limestone and 450 feet below sea level is volcanic rock; and below that, only black lava and other igneous volcanic rock. Only in one place in Bermuda - 60 feet below sea level at the southern end of Bermuda International Airport - nis volcanic rock found so near to sea level.
Bermuda is (an observer) member of CARICOM and member of the ICFTU and IOC.
Bermuda is a foreign country and requires valid passports from:
Americans (who number about 85% of all visitors, See Bermuda's Links with USA). Before they arrive, American visitors should note that the US Government has implemented new regulations that will require all those traveling to Bermuda and from here to the USA by air or sea to travel on a valid passport. All travelers, including American citizens, going to and from the Caribbean, Bermuda, Panama, Mexico and Canada must have a valid official passport to enter or re-enter the United States. Other regulations will require that visa applications to Bermuda via the USA or from Bermuda to the USA for those thinking of going from Bermuda to live and/or work in the USA be completed online. The USA's Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 requires this. Further details can be obtained from the US Consulate in Bermuda. Americans should also read and heed the US State Department's Travel Advisory section on Bermuda, on its website.
Non-citizens of the USA must also carry a US Green Card showing them to be legal registered aliens there, if entering Bermuda from USA
Britons (5% of all visitors, see Bermuda's Links with the UK):
Canadians (5% of all visitors). See Bermuda's Links with Canada file.
Non-citizens of Canada or the United Kingdom must have an appropriate travel visa from Canada or the United Kingdom if entering Bermuda and not a citizen of that country.
Nationals of other countries (5% of all visitors).
All adults and children - irrespective of nationality - should have individual official passports from their country of birth or domicile to enter Bermuda. It is the only way of confirming and proving both your nationality and your identity. Birth certificates and drivers' licenses, not issued by countries but merely by sub divisions of them, don't show such confirmation or proof. Travel documents for all must be shown to Bermuda Immigration on arrival.
Air mail, in normal conditions, from North America or Europe can take more than a week to arrive and is sometimes delayed for longer. Most of the incoming mail comes from the USA. Residents without their own Post Office mailboxes should note that incoming mail will not always be delivered every weekday, never on Saturdays, Sundays or Public Holidays; and not if the postal carrier is sick or away.
All mail leaving Bermuda for the USA, Caribbean and South America is x-rayed in Bermuda. Always use first class air mail or courier service or secure electronic mail. There are several courier services operating to and from Bermuda.
Only car ships - no freight ships or scheduled aircraft - go between the Caribbean and Bermuda. Surface mail can take many months, especially when misdirected to places with no passenger shipping or airline connections to Bermuda. Mail problems usually occur more frequently from November to March when, in more normal circumstances, air services from the USA to Bermuda are fewer in number and with smaller aircraft. Because of this, regular air mail from the USA for Bermuda has been sent to London first, then redirected to Bermuda on British Airways on the three days a week winter service. To help avoid such problems, all Christmas parcels from Bermuda should be sent by an early or mid October deadline and for Bermuda residents and visitors, letters should be sent no later - and ideally much earlier than - December 8. If with questions, call the Post Office at 297-7893.
Packages sent to recipients from Bermuda by courier are treated in a different way to regular airmail. Recipients must always give their full physical postal addresses, postal codes and telephone numbers. Costs will include:
The overall effect is that a US$39 pair of trousers from a good US retail store like Land's End could end up costing the recipient over US$90.
See under Traditions and homes.
Bermuda's is 77 compares to 77.1 in the US; 78.1 in the UK; 76.9 in Portugal; 79.6 in Canada; 79.2 in France; 79.5 in Spain; and 72.3 in Hungary.
Including, but not confined to, narcotics and weapons.
Arriving via cruise ship or yacht incurs a per-person Arrival Tax imposed by the Bermuda Government, in lieu of the Departure Tax. The Wall Street Journal newspaper reported this tax as by far and away the highest such tax of any vacation destination. Plus, there is a charge per night in Bermuda per cruise ship passenger in both the high season (May through August) and low season (from September). This is the Bermuda Government Passenger Tax - http://www.taxbermuda.gov.bm/guide_passengercabin.htm.
Departing by air to any overseas destination from Bermuda is currently US35.00 per person, irrespective of class of airline ticket. See http://www.taxbermuda.gov.bm/guide_aircraft.htm. It applies to ALL outward bound visitors and residents, per trip. Airlines serving Bermuda now include this in the cost of their tickets. On a per square mile basis, the tax makes Bermuda, with its 21 square miles, at US$1.66 per square mile, by far and away the most expensive place in the world from which to exit.
The Bermuda Government does not permit visitors to rent automobiles or drive those owned by residents. Visitors are restricted to a low powered rented moped or scooter (not safe if you are not used to them). Companies are not allowed to own cars in corporate names. They don't have chauffeured limousines. Bermuda properties are not allowed to have limousines to collect or deliver guests to the Bermuda International Airport. Public buses are not equipped to accept passengers with luggage. Only one automobile is allowed for each Bermuda family or household.
Most American, Canadian & other visitors will find that if they need cash in Bermuda, local ATMs from either of the two largest local banks will service them. But note carefully the dollar notes they dispense will be in non-exportable Bermuda dollars only (which cannot be cashed overseas). It is an odd anomaly in a country where the US$ is otherwise fully accepted as a legally permitted currency for visitors and is officially at par with the Bermuda dollar. It is recommended that departing visitors go to the airport bank before they check in and exchange their Bermuda dollars for US dollars. If there is a small premium it will be worth it. (If this is not done at that time it may be much more expensive to do so in their home states).
Because so many have been written, brief mentions only are included. Because Bermuda has changed so much over the years, all older guide books are no longer accurate.
Most offices open from 9 am to 5 pm five days a week. Many shops and restaurants (except those in hotels) are also open on Saturday but not on Sunday. See the Bermuda Cuisine list of restaurants. At this time, all retailers including restaurants who wish to open on Sundays must apply to the Minister of Finance for a special permit and pay for it. Only a few are open on Sunday from 1 pm to 5 pm. Gas stations are usually open on Sundays until 5 pm. A handful of hotel branch store and other pharmacies and some non hotel restaurants are also open on Sundays for dinner. On a public holiday, all local restaurants and shops close and only hotel restaurants are open.
They are available ONLY to Bermudians and other residents - not tourists - for very short periods usually around late string and summer public holidays, in park lands or near public beaches. There is a limited season and campers must bring their own tents, sleeping bags, clothing and more. In the year 2000 there was a $50 deposit and $5 per night charge. They are administered by the Bermuda Government.
Most of the 65 to 70 percent of the black population of Bermuda prefer the African Methodist Episcopal Church. Most of the white Europeans or North Americans (about 30 percent of the community) are Anglican or Episcopalian. Roman Catholics are the third in numbers attending. Weekend times of church services are in the Saturday print editions of the daily and twice a week newspapers.
Churches or denominations with websites should check our Links policy is they wish for their websites to be included here. Once they hyperlink to Bermuda Online at www.bermuda-online.org, a reciprocal hyperlink to their website will be shown quickly, plus an email address. Sorry, not otherwise.
Adjutant Lute DesBrisay, Salvation Army. She arrived on January 2, 1896 and officially began the Salvation Army in Bermuda.
Under the Bermuda 2002 Statistics Act enacted by the Bermuda legislature, there is a census every 5 years, from 2010.
Bermuda Climate & Weather
Bermuda is widely susceptible to this at times but has not yet suffered any permanent damage. Hurricanes and winter storm surges have debilitating effects on shorelines. A Jamaican firm, Smith Warner International, was commissioned in July 2003 by the Bermuda Government to do a survey at taxpayers' expense.
Awarded by Royal Warrant at the Court of St. James, London, on October 4, 1910. Commissioned by the Bermuda Government from London's College of Arms for Bermuda's tercentenary in 1909.
It is a white and blue shield with a red lion holding a scrolled shield showing the sinking of Admiral Somer's flagship Sea Venture off Bermuda in 1609.
Armorial Ensigns are Argent on a Mount Vert a lion sejant affrontee Gules supporting between the forepaws an Antique Shield Azure, thereon a representation of the wreck of the Ship 'The Sea Venture' (AD1609) all proper, together with the motto Quo Fata Ferunt.
This is from Virgil's Aeneid and its translation from the Latin is Whither the Fates do Lead Us.
Bermuda Consulates (no Embassies)
Bermuda Cost of Living
Internationally, Bermuda has a medium-high crime rate - as duly noted by both Britain and the United States of America in their travel advisories. But there are probably more crimes in Bermuda per capita - per square mile among its 68,000 residents in 21 square miles than anywhere else in the world. In the 1970s, a Governor, his aide and the Chief of Police were assassinated. in 1996, there was a notorious rape, torture, sodomy and murder of a 17 year old innocent Canadian tourist. (See under "Rebecca Middleton" in Bermuda Laws). Most crimes locally are by locals seeking illegal narcotics or the money to pay for them. They trespass by night or day at premises used by visitors and locals. Some may have illegal guns. These thieves go after valuables like cash and credit cards not locked in safes. The crime rate is such that all visitors should not, under any circumstances, leave your room or suite or cottage sliding glass doors or apartment windows or doors unlocked by day or night. If you merely lock a nylon screen from the inside by night or by day if you are out, you risk being robbed by thugs who will cut the screen and enter. Always use a secure safe in your room - and inform the local police promptly if you are robbed or assaulted. Also, be wary of venturing out at night and do not carry a handbag on you or when you are on a moped or scooter, in a place where it can be easily snatched by a thief.
A Tourist Crime Unit has been established, using 2 members of the 469-strong Bermuda Police.
For Bermuda Customs (Import Duty) purposes, residents - not visitors - can claim a $200 per person duty free allowance (it was $400 per person a few years ago) each time they travel for over 3 days, or can lump all such allowances together if returning to Bermuda as a family.
But residents should retain in their possession and produce if necessary the receipts for clothes, personal effects and goods they purchase abroad, in case their value declared by the resident is challenged by a Bermuda Customs officer. Duty is payable at 30% of the value of purchase cost abroad of imported goods less the $100 per person duty free travel allowance. Some goods are duty free, such as books and computer business software (not games). The mere $100 per person duty free allowance for residents allowed by the Bermuda Government does not compare well with the present £145 per person duty free allowance applicable in the United Kingdom for purchases outside the European Union (EU); the much more generous rate for travelers within the EU; $300 for Canadians returning to Canada from abroad; and $800 in the USA for US residents visiting Bermuda.
Also - unlike US citizens or registered aliens returning home to the USA after a vacation or business trip who qualify routinely for a further US Customs exemption of up to $100 per day of bone fide goods shipped from abroad, for their own personal use - Bermudians or residents do not get the same consideration from the Bermuda Government.
Visitors are not entitled to the US$100 duty-free allowance of returning residents. Instead, they may bring in gifts up to the total value of $25 (compared to $100 or so in most other countries) after which they pay duty at prevailing rates.
Bermuda follows the USA, on the same day, a week later than in the UK and Europe. When in 2005 the US Congress passed a bill to extend daylight savings time by a month the Bermuda House of Assembly passed the Time Zone Bill, which keeps Bermuda in line with the US change.
In 2008, The Miscellaneous Taxes (Rates) Amendment Act increased the rate of departure tax for all visitors and residents from $25 to $35 per person. Bermuda has by far and away the highest Departure Tax in the world per square mile, - of US$1.66 per square mile.
Bermuda has both direct taxes - in Employment Taxes paid by both employers and employees - and so many indirect taxes including import duties averaging 31 percent at wholesale value and a high Death Duties tax that all locals and visitors pay a premium in costs of all imported goods and services. The biggest cost is to pay for the 51 paid legislators - 17 times the international average of the ratio of legislators to voters in a total of only 20 square miles - and army of civil servants amounting to 15 percent of the entire work force. Mostly because of this, the overall cost of living in Bermuda is about 2.64 (two point six four) times the cost of living in the USA and about 1.8 (one point eight) times the cost of living in Canada or the United Kingdom. This is one reason why the Internal Revenue Service of the USA allows Americans living and working in Bermuda a $ 76,000+ exemption before they pay USA federal taxes.
Because the Bermuda Dollar - see above - is based not on the UK Pound Sterling but on a par with the US Dollar and is strictly local, not an exportable currency or money, the US dollar is the recommended currency for all visitors. Unlike all other foreign currencies, the US$ accepted everywhere in Bermuda. But US Money Orders issued by the US Post Office cannot be cashed in non-American Bermuda. Unless for sentimental reasons or as souvenirs of their visit they particularly with to keep (but not sell ) any Bermudian notes and coins they may receive in change, American, Canadian and other visitors should always ask for American dollars and coins in change.
Bermuda's banks offer the Euro to all visitors and business executives or representatives heading for Europe. However, incoming visitors from Europe should note that the Euro is not accepted in Bermuda. They should use US dollars.
See why Bermuda is one of the most expensive places in the world.
Golf is a superb but expensive pastime in Bermuda, with some magnificent ocean-view courses, with the second-highest ratio of number of golf courses per total acreage in the world (after Northern Scotland).
They are expected from visitors at the rate of 15 percent of a restaurant bill instead of tipping, 10 percent or more of where you stay in most cases, a discretionary amount when using a gas (petrol) station, usually US $2 for two bags if you use a packer in a grocery store, and whenever you use a taxi, at about 15 percent of your fare.
All visitors - including those from the UK - should note they are not covered locally, so should insure themselves adequately to cover their visit or employment locally. Costs of medical services are appreciably more expensive than in USA.
Hotels, cottage colonies, guest houses, etc. are required to add the Bermuda Government's Hotel Occupancy Tax, currently 7.25 percent, to your room rate. Most will also ask you for a further 10% or more of your total bill, as gratuities for their staff. There is also a Resort Levy tax for people staying at resort hotels.
Bermuda does not follow the USA, Canadian, UK and European methodology of free Internet access at libraries, Tourist Board offices and Visitor Service Centers. However, some hotels and some other places to stay now routinely offer either WIFI or wired access to their paying guests. Bermuda's three cruise ship ports are not among those that offer free WIFI. A local Internet Cafe may be more reliable.
Bermuda has its own legal system, UK laws are not in force despite Bermuda being a British Overseas Territory. Britons and other foreigners are not Bermudians unless granted Bermuda Status by marriage to a Bermudian spouse 10 years after that marriage.
English is the only official language but a few people, mostly expatriates, may speak others. Some locals speak Portuguese, going back to when Bermuda imported many Portuguese men from Madeira, later the Azores, for agricultural purposes from the 1840s. Later, they were allowed to bring their families.
98% of all males and 99% of all females age 15 and over can read and write.
The Royal Gazette (on the Internet daily, Monday to Saturday except for public holidays in print editions) national and international newspaper - the only daily -is better than most newspapers up to 10 times the population and size of Bermuda. All places to stay have them. Overseas newspapers, sometimes a day old, are weekday and Sunday editions from Boston, London, New York, Washington DC and elsewhere. There are also leading British and North American business magazines. But the latter two categories are very expensive locally. The Sunday edition of the Boston Globe is over US $5.00. Some English Saturday or Sunday newspapers now cost $10 in Bermuda.
Police Headquarters, 10 Headquarters Hill, Devonshire DV 02, Bermuda. P. O. Box HM 530, Hamilton HM CX. (441) 295-0011. Fax (441) 299-4459. Government House has direct responsibility for the operational side of Policing with the Police Commissioner reporting directly to the Governor, while budgeting and manpower is Governmentís responsibility. The service is paid for by Bermuda taxpayers, not the United Kingdom.
Bermuda Police have British-style uniforms and United Kingdom-style police cars. They wear Bermuda Police Bermuda Shorts for part of the year.
Bermuda is now the third most heavily Policed country in the world according to statistics unearthed in December 2009 by Bermuda's Royal Gazette newspaper.Bermuda has 7.01 Police officers for every 1,000 people, just behind Montserrat at 7.81 per 1,000 of population and Mauritius at 7.24. There are also several hundred part time, all Bermudian, Bermuda Police Reserves (telephone (441) 299-2442), with a capacity of up to 180 men and women. In comparison, Isle of Wight Police force, just off the south coast of England, covers an area of more than 146 square miles and a population of more than 129,000 with 208 police officers and 77 backroom staff a fraction of the Bermuda total. The English Channel Islands of Jersey and Guernsey also make interesting comparisons. Guernsey, which has a 65,000 population spread over 24 square miles, has 177 police and 37 civilian backroom staff, comprising 214 in total about one third of Bermuda's total. And yet crime dropped 12 percent in 2008 with 2,648 incidents compared to 3,024 the year before. Bermuda Police recorded 2,918 crimes last year. Jersey, Channel Islands, has 240 Police officers serving 90,000 islanders over 45 square miles, costing the Jersey taxpayer $36 million just over half of the Bermuda bill. That force had to deal with 4,802 crimes last year. Closer to home, the Cayman Islands has 343 Police and auxiliary officers and 64 support staff covering 101 square miles of land spread over three islands dealing with 2,501 crimes in 2008 in a population of around 50,000.
In the USA, there is an average of 2.5 (two point five) Police Officers for every 1,000 permanent inhabitants. Sutherland, Scotland, has 29 policemen in 2,300 square miles.
In Bermuda, a 24 percent rise in manpower in just ten years means there are now 29 Police and support staff for every square mile of Bermuda territory. The Bermuda Police Service has a 2012/2013 budget for 477 officers, a rise of 155 officers in ten years, now supported by 136 civilian staff, making a total of 613 people. (In 1999 the Bermuda Police strength stood at 408 officers, supported by 86 civilians a total of 494 people in an annual budget $41 million). The rise means there is now one Police officer for every 142 people in a population of around 68,000. Crime is the biggest fear among Bermuda's residents according to recent polls. That fear is understandable with violent crime now far more visible. As well as deadly gun violence there have been violent clashes at Cup Match and football games.
It is no secret that much of the crime committed on the Island is drugs related, with more than half of Westgate's (Bermuda's main prison) inmates having used drugs prior to incarceration. The rate of recidivism remains stubbornly high at around 80 percent.
Facilities and services include a fleet of boats including 22 foot Boston Whalers, 27 foot Boston Whalers, 24 foot Arctic Rigid inflatables and a 46 foot Hatteras. Police officers provide the primary search and rescue facility in local waters (there are no police helicopters). There is also a Financial Investigation Unit (FIU) of the Bermuda Police Service, for Internet-related crimes and anti-money laundering procedures, following implementation of the Proceeds of Crime (money laundering) Regulations 1998. All members of the Association of Bermuda Compliance Officers in regulated institutions - such as banks - are required by law to appoint a reporting or compliance officer. He or she is responsible for passing reports of suspicious transactions to the FIU. The Police Support Unit has a wide variety of tasks. The attractions of the service include a starting salary from $45,900 excluding overtime, a retirement pension plan and vacation of 24 working days annually. Police do not usually wear pistols, primarily because all members of the public are forbidden by law to carry guns. But despite this, Bermuda has had more firearms offences in the past two years than in all the earlier 20 years combined, primarily because of many illegal local drug pushers. Another direct result of this has been the availability to all policemen and policewomen of a dual purpose protective vest that can combat knives and gunshot attacks. Officers can carry radios, batons, handcuffs and other equipment in special, easy to reach pockets.
Some officers undergo special training in Britain. Ranks follow the British tradition. In ascending order of seniority, they are constables, sergeants, inspectors, chief inspectors, superintendents, assistant commissioners, deputy commissioner and Commissioner.
Periodic visits are made by Britain's senior advisor for Dependent Territory Police Forces. He makes periodic recommendations to increase efficiency and effectiveness.
As at October 17, 2011 Bermuda's resident population was officially 64,268. This averages 3, 060 people per square mile. Bermuda's latest Census data, released in October 2011 for Census Day, May 20, 2010, revealed a total of 71,258 people physically present in Bermuda that day, an increase of seven percent over 2000 (date of last Census). Of that 2010 total, 801 were reported to be in institutions, 58,965 were civilians who were not institutionalized and the rest (11,492) were visitors and transients. Three cruise ships were docked in Bermuda on Census Day 2010, compared to just one in 2000, making the Visitors and Transients category by far the greatest contributor to the total population increase. The normal resident population, which excludes visitors but included 82 homeless people, was recorded at 64,268. Just 39 homeless people were counted in 2000. Broken down by parishes, St Georgeís (18 percent), Paget (12 percent) and Hamilton (11 percent) were reported to have the highest population growth since 2000. Just two parishes, Smith's and Pembroke, which recorded declines of five and six percent respectively showed negative growth. Pembroke and Warwick maintained their positions as the most populous parishes with 10,602 and 8,606 persons respectively. The City of Hamilton increased its residential population by six percent from 969 persons during the preceding Census, to 1,030. The change reflects condominium developments in the City during the intervening period, according to the Statistics Department. The Town of St. George also saw a population increase of three percent from 1,752 persons to 1,802 in 2010.
|Bermuda size & population||20.75 (Twenty point seven five) square miles in total. 64,268 residents|
|Resident population density per square mile||3,097 (Three thousand, zero nine seven). Third highest in the world|
|Government Code of Conduct for legislators||None. There is a voluntary code, with no legislative teeth. It is ignored by some. No equivalent at all of the UK's Ethical Standards in Public Life Act.|
|Number in Cabinet||13. Same number as USA, equivalent in Bermuda to 0.63 (Point six three) per square mile. They have "The Honorable" before their name.|
|Number of elected legislators in House of Assembly and their salaries||36. Equivalent to 1.93 (One point nine three) per square mile. They have "MP" for Member of Parliament after their name. If they are also Cabinet Ministers, they earn well in excess of $100,000 a year, plus unlimited expenses.|
|Number of registered voters per Member of Parliament||On December 17, 2012, date of last General Election - the average was one thousand two hundred and ninety seven). Contrast this with no fewer than 72,810 and no more than 80,433 per member of parliament in the UK in 2011 and approximately the same in the USA per congressperson and Canada.|
|Number of appointed politicians in Senate||11. Equivalent to 0.53 (Point five three) per square mile. They have "Senator" before their name. If they are also Cabinet Ministers, they earn this plus what is shown above under "Number of elected legislators."|
|Number of Government Boards||About 108. All require the approval of the Premier who controls all Public Information. See Bermuda Government Boards separate website shown at the end of this file.|
|Number of Police||About 460, over 20 per square mile. Plus, there are Reserve officers.|
|Number in Bermuda Regiment||600 members, mostly Bermudian men, mostly part time. Some non-Bermudian men and women from British Commonwealth countries and female Bermudians are serving but on a volunteer basis as conscription regulations do not require enrolment by Bermudian females and non-Bermudian males. Only male Bermudians under a certain age resident in Bermuda are liable to be conscripted, on a selective basis.|
|Registered voters who can participate in a General Election||Total number of registered voters in late November 2012 - date of last registration period before the December 17, 2012 General Election - was 46,678 - about 60% of the entire resident population.|
|The Bermuda Society|
In the Bermuda General Election held Monday, December 2012, the Progressive Labour Party, in power since 1998, were defeated 17-19 seats by the relatively new political party the One Bermuda Alliance (OBA) which was contesting its first General Election. Less than 18 months after it was formed in 2012 the OBA is now the Government. The new party brought together members of the United Bermuda Party, the Bermuda Democratic Alliance, former Progressive Labour Party supporters and people with no previous political involvement at all. In the end, the OBA is a beneficiary of the dismal state of the economy, although its members may soon wonder what they have gotten themselves into as they delve into the Governmentís books.
Between The Progressive Labour Party (PLP) - in Government since 1998 - and United Bermuda Party (UBP) - in Opposition. The PLP remained as the Government by winning 22 seats to the UBP's 14. The UBP lost several key seats.
There is a Post Office in every Parish (county). They are owned by the Bermuda Government, sell postage stamps, commemorative First Day Covers, pre-stamped air letter forms without enclosures, have and rent Post Office boxes for those who prefer to receive their mail this way instead of being delivered. They are open 5 days a week, from 8 am to 11:45 am then from about 1:30 pm to about 4:45 pm. Most are closed on Saturdays, Sundays and Public Holidays. When this happens, unlike in Europe, North America and United Kingdom where there are machines selling postage stamps, there are no other ways in Bermuda to buy postage stamps. Post offices do not sell postcards. There is one mail delivery a day, 5 days a week (Mondays-Fridays except Public Holidays) to homes without Post Office boxes, less when a postal worker is sick or if there is a dangerous dog on the premises. Tourists and business visitors expecting any mail during their Bermuda visit should allow at least a week for receipt and should ask at where they stay for mail as there are no mail deliveries directly to their cottages or rooms or apartments or rented houses.
Many, compared to the USA. Note both their celebrations and how services are restricted on the days concerned.
Bermuda's military unit, of which the vast majority are conscripts.
In Bermuda's 21 square miles in total land area, the Bermuda roads - the biggest being one lane each way usually - total about 155 miles (250 km) in statute miles total length of all of them combined. Only the main roads - North Shore Road, South Road and Middle Road, for their positions on the North Shore, South Shore and Middle respectively - are wide enough for traffic to go on either side. Many residential roads are too narrow for fire trucks and ambulances to enter. All roads have names, British style. All are listed alphabetically, with local postal codes. Most road signs and direction markers are in both miles and European-style kilometers.
The surface of all Bermuda roads is asphalt with granite aggregate chips. They provide a durable, reasonably non-skid surface. The asphalt is flexible enough to absorb the weight of heavy vehicles without cracking. It is impervious and sheds water. But their narrow width is another matter. They are often congested, very narrow, hilly, noisy, sharp-cornered and twisting compared to most other places.
In many parts of Bermuda, there are either no sidewalks or pavements or on one side of the road only. They are not suitable for people in wheelchairs or who have difficulty walking or who are on roller blades or scooters. Health and safety-conscious visitors are advised not to run or jog on them because of the illegally high speed of many local motorists but instead to go to one of the national parks.
Bermuda has the busiest and noisiest roads in the world, with more road traffic and illegally noisy vehicles by far per square mile, than any other place in the world.
Primarily because of a very high Bermuda Government import duty, prices of all liquor (including wine and beer) bought in Bermuda are high - sometimes twice or more than in the USA. As visitors, you may import one liter per person. Soft carbonated drinks are also expensive by North American standards, US $3.24 for a 2 liter bottle of the Bermuda-made product, or $1.99 for a same size imported house brand soda.
There are no large discount stores like in the USA. To avoid paying much more in Bermuda, stock up on:
Five Trees, Wood Lane, Stanmore, HA7 4JZ, England. Phone 020 8954 0652. Formed in London in 1987 to look after Bermuda's interests on a number of fronts, particularly in the areas of finance and commerce. Its membership includes Bermudians living in London and rest of UK, plus former Governors of Bermuda. It promotes Bermuda's image; fosters closer links between Bermuda, the UK and Europe.
Bermuda is in the Atlantic Time zone, like Nova Scotia to the north and Caribbean 1,000 miles south. Atlantic Time is one hour ahead of Eastern Standard Time (EST). Bermuda is normally four hours behind Greenwich Mean Time and British Summer Time in the United Kingdom. But as the latter occurs one week before Bermuda observes the beginning of US Daylight Savings Time on the same night as the USA, for one week only, Bermuda is five hours ahead of the UK.
The area of the North Western Atlantic Ocean involved. See the following books:
The Bermuda Triangle. Charles Berlitz. 1974/1975. 189 pages.
The Bermuda Triangle Mystery - Solved. Lawrence D. Kusche. 1975.
Also see under Gambling.
The airport in Bermuda has no jetways so the handicapped in wheelchairs or otherwise disabled must be lifted down manually, when arriving and departing. Please see the Bermuda Physically Handicapped Association for more details. For details of hospitals and medical support groups locally, see Health Care Support Groups in Bermuda.
About the same number per capita as in USA.
See under "Pharmacies" in Senior Citizens of Bermuda. "
If not Bermudian, the company will need to:
See See http://www.gov.bm/portal/server.pt?open=512&objID=275&&PageID=231427&mode=2&in_hi_userid=2&cached=true.
In 2013, on a day to be announced, there will be a referendum in Bermuda to see if this should be allowed and if so to what extent, for example if cruise ships should permit it while they and their passengers are in Bermuda waters.
In the meantime, Gambling on cruise-ships on Bermuda ports is not allowed. An attempt to allow it in 2009 was defeated by the Bermuda Parliament. But some gambling has already long been allowed. Government levies a tax on all betting. There are numerous other forms of gambling which do not use gaming machines. Locals and visitors can gamble openly on bingo, raffles, in licensed premises on horse races, British soccer pools, American and United Kingdom horse racing and greyhound racing, American football, Crown and Anchor (see below) at cricket games and elsewhere, floating poker games. During the NFL season, it is estimated that from Bermuda alone more than $350,000 is bet on teams. Types of licenses under Bermuda's Betting License Act 1975 include
Consult: Betting Licensing Authority and Bermuda's Betting (Regulations & Tax) Act.
Crown and Anchor is a Bermudian gamble heavily stacked in favor of the operator, with no government-imposed restriction on the house take. Fees for Crown & Anchor tables increased after April 1, 2011. Only a Bermudian may apply for a Crown and Anchor Permit, now costing £1,500+.
See under Supermarkets in Employers. Please budget in advance for Bermuda prices. Most visitors have no prior idea food shopping is so expensive. What a couple can buy in the USA for a week will be less expensive than buying food in Bermuda for two days. Only locally owned stores are allowed. So they do not have bulk purchasing power or other economies of scale. Also, they have very high import duty rates imposed by the Bermuda Government which average 30 per cent at wholesale costs. Only a few stores can offer prices comparable to those in the USA. The good news is that the larger, full service premises with an extensive range of meats, seafood, vegetables and products are now open from 8 am to 10 pm daily except Sundays and from 1 pm to 5 pm on Sundays and are not as expensive as convenience stores.
Under no circumstances are individuals allowed to import or own guns, not even BB or pellet guns or slingshots. Penalties for doing so are severe.
See under Clubs, fitness centres and health clubs in Employers.
See Postal Service and Post Offices.
Non-smoking visitors cannot assume that hotels and other places to stay are for non-smokers only. Some may have non-smoking sections. Always check directly with the property concerned. Effective April 1, 2006, smoking in public places was banned in Bermuda. Legislation enacted in late 2005 makes it an offence to light up in bars, restaurants hospitals, hotels, offices and schools across the Island. It also sees cigarette vending machines banned along with tobacco advertising at sporting events and it is illegal to sell cigarettes to under 18s. There is a $1,000 fine for those who break the law.
Bermuda's telephone system is part of the North American Numbering Plan -- calls between Bermuda, the USA, Canada and most of the Caribbean (900 miles to the south) requires the caller dialing "1", then the 3-digit area code, then the 7-digit number.
It is often assumed - wrongly - that because Bermuda portrays a British image and is not yet politically independent of Britain, that British National Health laws apply and visitors don't need insurance. British National Health don't apply (in fact they don't even apply when traveling in UK if you are not a resident of UK), there is no reciprocal health insurance arrangement with Britain or any other country - and nationals of all countries including the USA, UK, Canada, are advised to cover themselves for adequate travel insurance, or be prepared to accept any liability financially. Bermuda is more expensive than even the USA for health related costs which are not insured.
Tiny Bermuda - with only 20.75 (twenty point seven five) square miles and with the third highest population in the world per square mile - has some of the highest costs of accommodation in the world and the huge cost of living expenses to go with them. Bermuda organizations trying to help visitors in distress cannot be expected to continue to bear any costs for cruise ship or other visitors who do not take sensible contingency precautions.
For your own piece of mind, ensure your plans to Bermuda include taking spare money, travel insurance and health insurance to cope with possible unexpected accommodation in an emergency medical situation for any reason or a death. It seems many visitors do not do this, yet have no hesitation in renting motor scooters or mopeds in Bermuda, which can be very dangerous to those not familiar with them; drive them on the wrong side of the road compared to Europe, USA and Canada; and end up having accidents, with their vacation ruined. Thus, they become clients of the Overseas Family Help Committee of the Hospital Auxiliary organization in Bermuda - which will not cover any of their hospital or medical or related expenses.
Every week, visitors suffer such emergencies when in Bermuda but do not make contingency plans. Some claim they have no money and no health and travel insurance for unexpected problems. They are not being exempted from any health or hospital costs incurred in Bermuda, in the same way that visitors to the USA or Canada are not being exempted if they fail to insure themselves adequately.
Visitors from the UK and European countries who take out travel insurance should note that Bermuda is not in the UK or Europe but in the (most expensive) "worldwide" category of countries. Visitors from the USA, Canada and elsewhere who do so should remember that Bermuda is not part of the UK but a "foreign country."
Pre-existing health conditions will apply to all insurances.
Required for all non-nationals including those born in Bermuda without a Bermudian parent.
See http://www.gov.bm/portal/server.pt?open=512&objID=275&&PageID=231431&mode=2&in_hi_userid=2&cached=true. In 2008, this increased from $15 to $35 per person.
Last Updated: May
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