More evidence-based approach needed in tackling crime – IDB
A study by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) has called for Caribbean countries, including Jamaica to take a more evidence-based approach to tackling crime.
The study, “Restoring Paradise in the Caribbean: Combating Violence with Numbers”, was released on Tuesday.
It draws on a recently released report indicating that public spending on citizen security in the Caribbean was above the average for Latin America and the Caribbean.
Jamaica is the country with the highest percentage of crime-related police expenditure at 2.04 per cent of GDP.
The report notes that public spending on security in Jamaica is as high as spending on health, but less than half of what is spent on education.
Speaking at the launch of the study, General Manager for the Caribbean Group at the IDB, Therese Turner-Jones, questioned why the region was spending so much on crime but not seeing results.
However, the study notes that the region is still in need of better legal definitions of crime with more targeted categories, especially with respect to domestic violence, sexual harassment, and child abuse.
It has pointed out as worrisome the fact that intervention programmes very rarely contain evaluation and monitoring components.
Research Coordinator, Heather Sutton, says there is need for strategies that are evidence based and tested.
She also notes that the study has found that more targeted interventions are needed to ensure value for money.