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Regional DPPs discuss measures to combat criminality

Saturday, November 09, 2019

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FLORIDA, USA (CMC) — Directors of Public Prosecutions (DPPs) from 17 Caribbean countries recently met to discuss some of the major challenges in prosecuting serious organised crime in the region, and also to explore ways of overcoming the changing manifestations of criminality.

Barbados, the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) member countries Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia and St Vincent and the Grenadines, along with Jamaica, Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago, The Bahamas, Belize and the British Overseas Territories were represented at the conference in Miami, Florida.

DPPs from 17 Caribbean countries attended the conference to discuss some of the major challenges they face in prosecuting serious organised crime.

Conference delegates heard presentations from leading international experts in various areas of criminal law, including gang violence, social media evidence and leadership and management amongst other topics.

The conference highlights included a presentation by Claudette Thompson, deputy director of public prosecutions, Jamaica, who addressed the obstacles to the successful prosecution of cases of gang violence, and the practical steps which can be taken to make a difference in the investigation and prosecution of gang violence.

John Riesenberg, associate director, Department of Justice in Washington, and Donna Babb Agard, QC, DPP of Barbados, discussed the key challenges in using social media and computer evidence, explored the changes which must be made to legislation and procedures so as to make a positive difference, as well as the opportunities for regional and international collaboration in the use of social media and computer evidence.

Criminal justice adviser to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean Sirah Abraham, whose post is funded by the United States of America and the United Kingdom, lauded the conference as yet another demonstration of the US and UK's commitment to improving the investigation and prosecution of the criminal cases, not only in light of the increasingly serious threats of gang violence, firearms and cyber practices faced by the region, but also the need to engender public confidence in the region's justice system.

St Kitts and Nevis' DPP, Valston Graham praised the timeliness and relevance of the conference.

“It was an excellent opportunity for the DPPs to come together and discuss important issues that affect the daily discharge of our duties,” he said. “We had two days of vibrant and focused discussions on a number of key issues.”


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