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CARICOM leaders urged to place crime on agenda of upcoming conference

Thursday, November 09, 2017

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (CMC) — Attorney General and Minister of Home Affairs Adriel Brathwaite has urged Caribbean Community (CARICOM) leaders to place crime, as well as disaster management, on their agenda for the next meeting of heads of government due at the end of February.

In an address on Wednesday at the opening of a two-day CariSECURE workshop hosted by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Brathwaite pointed to the situation in Barbados, noting that gun crimes resulted in 28 murders so far this year, surpassing the 23 recorded for all of last year.

He said crime and security and disaster management are the critical issues facing the region at this time.

“These two issues can, and will, determine how we go forward, or if we go forward as a region.” He said if crime, in particular, was not immediately controlled, it would have dire consequences. “Unless we put the resources in place to tackle the challenges that we all are having across the region then we are shooting ourselves in the foot,” the Attorney General said, adding that the region needed to do a better job at compiling, and making available, crime statistics.

“We need a holistic approach. We need to have champions across all the ministries, across all the sectors, so that we have . . . information that is readily available. We cannot create effective policy without the relevant data,” he stated.

CariSECURE is part of USAID's youth empowerment services project, with the support of the United Nations Development Programme.

According to USAID, its goal is to improve youth crime and violence policymaking and programming in the southern and eastern Caribbean through the use of quality, comparable and reliable national citizen security information.

The CariSECURE Project has initiated the development of a Caribbean Citizen Security Toolkit aimed at improving citizen security data management, analysis and monitoring in the region.