Government, community groups in Barbados join forces to tackle youth crime

The content originally appeared on: Caribbean News Service

A national workplan to improve citizen security is being developed for Barbados, focused on responding to youth involvement in crime.

In a significant joint effort, 30 participants representing government departments, nongovernmental agencies, and youth groups engaged in two days of robust discussions hosted by CariSECURE 2.0 from February 6 – 7. During the workshop, participants mapped out ways to use data more effectively to create the most suitable interventions for at-risk youth.

Data-driven decision making is a key component of CariSECURE 2.0, a citizen security project implemented by United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean in partnership with Barbados’ Office of the Attorney General, supported by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

Commenting on the timeliness of the project, Senior Statistician at Barbados’ Criminal Justice Research and Planning Unit, Tamesha Howell, said “The best part of this was the collaboration between the [government] departments and the various NGOs. It wasn’t the CariSECURE 2.0 team saying this is what we’re doing in the country, but they involved the main actors in the formation of the action plan I was also happy to see that the crime observatory is being recognized for its importance, especially for a country like Barbados in the fight to reducing youth crime.”

The Office of the Attorney General, as the focal point Ministry for CariSECURE 2.0, is integrally involved in the project and will also benefit from additional project support in developing initiatives to reduce trafficking in persons.

CariSECURE 2.0 Project Manager, Maia Hibben, noted that while UNDP is implementing the various activities under the project, country stakeholders will design the workplan to ensure its sustainability and success.

She said “Through the cooperation of these participants – both with CariSECURE 2.0 and with each other – we look forward to seeing more initiatives guided by evidence and data. This is especially important considering that accurate and timely information is critical for planning, implementing, and evaluating youth crime and violence programmes so they have an impact.”

In Barbados, CariSECURE 2.0 will equip agencies with software and equipment needed to better capture and analyse data; provide training for groups who work to prevent youth violence; and support collaboration among agencies in order to reduce the duplication of work.

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