Guyana has adopted a new evidence-driven strategy to crime prevention through the establishment of a national taskforce to implement the CariSECURE project. This project has already been rolled out in several Caribbean countries.
Signing the instrument to establish the task force were Minister of Public Security Khemraj Ramjattan, Director of Public Prosecution Shalimar Ali-Hack, Acting Police Commissioner David Ramnarine, Solicitor General of the Attorney General (AG) Chambers Kim Kyte-John, and Director of Prisons Gladwyn Samuels.
The task force will be responsible for managing the implementation of the Caribbean Citizen Security Toolkit in Guyana.
Minister Ramjattan stated that the taskforce is important as it picks up on the work done previously by the integrated crime information system developed by the Ministry, but had encountered challenges with data collection.
“This taskforce is going to ensure the implementation of the project activities which include collecting data from all across the country; all the police stations, educational establishments where there might be violence or abuse of students all being collected into one central observatory so you can have the information,” Ramjattan stated.
He stressed the importance of having trained personnel to analyze the data, ensuring that Guyana has the capacity to do evidence base policy making.
The initiative is being funded through support from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), in collaboration with the United States Embassy Guyana and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
“We applaud the Minister and Government. The taskforce has a critical role to play in contributing to the reduction of crime and violence in Guyana and the region as a whole,” said U.S. Ambassador to Guyana, Perry Holloway.
He added, “The United States Government is proud to continue its long history of supporting the government of Guyana in the areas of citizen security and youth empowerment.”
Shabnam Mallick, Deputy UNDP Resident Representative to Guyana, stated that crime in Latin America and Caribbean is among the highest in the world, with the homicide rate several times of what qualifies as an epidemic.
“UNDP is very pleased to be a witness to the endorsement of the national task force by the Government of Guyana with the aim to not only have the toolkit fully adopted and operational, but also to promote a robust and efficient management system and a culture of evidence-based policy making and law enforcement,” Mallick stated.
The toolkit is designed to enable Guyana and nine other countries in the eastern and southern Caribbean to improve citizen security data management, analysis and monitoring to enable more effective crime prevention program and policies.
CariSECURE is one of three components of the broader USAID Youth Empowerment Services (YES) project which seeks to reduce youth involvement in violence and crime in the eastern and southern Caribbean.
The CariSECURE project was initially launched in Guyana last year November.
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