On 14 September, 31 officials from 9 Caribbean countries received Certificates from the Arizona State University after completing a Regional Crime Analysis Training Course which began last November and ended July 2020.
For several decades, researchers have emphasised the importance of using data-driven policing strategies to combat crime and violence. Police, statistical officers and other government officials who completed the programme are now fully equipped to generate crime intelligence and analytics that will strengthen their country’s response to combating youth crime and violence. Course content covered topics such as evidence-based policing; pattern recognition; intelligence and social network analysis, and geographic data and crime mapping.
The Crime Analysis Component is a key activity under the “Strengthening Evidence Based Decision Making for Citizen Security in the Caribbean” (CariSECURE) project which is a partnership between the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). The course is comprised of 5 modules that strengthens the capacity of participants to analyse data, increases their ability to overcome the challenges faced when collecting reliable data and enhances regional police forces’ competence in the development of citizen security policies and strategies based on evidence extracted from Crime Analysis Reports.
Participating countries included Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Grenada, Guyana, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago. The enhanced skills will complement the police reporting information management system (PRMIS) being piloted across 8 Eastern and Southern Caribbean Countries. The PRMIS system is transitioning police forces from paper-based crime reporting to a digitised recording system. It is anticipated that crime data generated from PRMIS and other sources will be used by persons trained in crime analysis to generate analytics that would drive evidence-based decision making.
Speaking at the Virtual Award Ceremony, USAID’s Regional Representative, Clinton White, noted that data is one of the most essential, enabling and empowering tools in identifying those most vulnerable youth, understanding the factors causing them to become involved in crime, and designing data driven, targeted programmes that will assist with reducing crime in the region. White said, “For these reasons, the CariSECURE project has been working closely with governments to help improve the way crime data is collected, analysed and used for decision making.”
UNDP Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean Resident Representative a.i., Ugo Blanco added “the Covid-19 crisis has emphasised the importance of digital systems and data. Under the leadership of 8 countries in the region and thanks to USAID support, CariSECURE has been working to improve data-driven and digital platforms for over 4 years now to promote citizen security and enhance the work of police forces in the region. Results speak by themselves and this training has been a critical activity to multiply the benefits of the project.”
During the ceremony, participants emphasised their immense gratitude and highlighted that they now feel fully equipped to effectively carry out crime analysis which will enable them to address problems of interest to their organisation and as a result reduce the incidence of crime in their respective countries. Several countries and agencies received Honourary Mention and Special Awards for case studies and course projects. Among those included:
- St Lucia: “Best Overall team”
- Guyana: “Strategic Analysis Report on Gangs”
- St Kitts and Nevis: “Tactical Analysis Report”
- Trinidad and Tobago: “Administrative Analysis Report”
- Barbados: “GIS Analysis”
- Antigua and Barbuda: Administrative Analysis Report
- Grenada: Strategic Analysis Report Homicide
- RSS: Tactical Analysis Report
- IMPACS: Link analysis
CariSECURE is a component of the Youth Empowerment Services (YES) Project and represents a partnership between the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), made possible by the support of the American People.