Mon | Aug 21, 2017

Security ministry welcomes IDB study

Published:Wednesday | May 24, 2017 | 5:00 AMArthur Hall
In this file photo, residents of Montego Bay created a human chain around the iconic water fountain in Sam Sharpe Square in solidarity with families who have lost their loved ones to crime.

The Ministry of National Security has accepted a recommendation from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) that Jamaica and other Caribbean states must quickly change their crime-fighting strategies if the runaway problem they now face is to be tamed.

The IDB study, released last week and dubbed Restoring Paradise in the Caribbean: Combating Violence with Numbers, concludes that regional states must redirect their anti-crime efforts in favour of more interventions that are evidence-based and targeted at high-risk individuals and geographic areas, with improved monitoring of police and justice systems.

IMPORTANT PARTNERSHIP

According to the security ministry, the IDB is an important partner for Jamaica and it will continue to work along with the entity to create a safer country.

"This very timely study indicates that our Secure Jamaica Plan, overall, and the Five Pillar National Crime Strategy (operational) are on the right track for creating a safer Jamaica," said the ministry in a release.

The ministry noted that this year the IDB is working on a special project with regard to security enhancement, to drive smarter technological options that will help Jamaica's crime-fighting initiatives.

"We, therefore, encourage all members of the Jamaican society to familiarise themselves with the Five Pillar National Crime Strategy by downloading [it] from our website or requesting an ecopy be emailed to you," added the ministry.

In the study, the IDB said although more rigorous research needs to be conducted on problem-oriented policing, the international evidence so far shows that it is the most promising of the police strategies.

It recommended focused policing efforts on hotspots, a focus on repeat offenders with focused deterrence strategies, and directed patrols for gun violence as proactive ways of preventing future crime.

The IDB added that quality crime data with GIS coordinates and effective crime analysis are requirements for hotspot policing.

"Finally, for these focused initiatives to be successful, they must also be part of a wider internal culture and structural shift that values professionalism, accountability, and transparency," said the IDB.

arthur.hall@gleanerjm.com