There is an urgent need for datacollection on crime and security to be collected so that policymakers can make informeddecisions as they tackle the scourge of crime throughout the region.
It was a triple call this morning as senior government officials and technical experts from 10 Eastern and southern Caribbean countries began a three-day CariSecure Workshop focusing on Prioritizing Citizen Security Data Management and Evidence-based policy making across the Eastern and Southern Caribbean.
UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative, Stephen O'Malley, saidwhile citizens of the Caribbean deserve to live free from crime and violence, decision makers and leaders in society are crippled from making advancement because there are no reliable and valid security data available and accessible.
"We cannot accurately determine the state of citizen security in the region without data, without evidence. Nor can we evaluate the efficacy of our efforts to reduce violence, crime and feelings of insecurity without the relevant data. We need to know what works," he said.
O'Malley said the scarcity of citizen security data makes it difficult to determine which interventions are effective in reducing and preventing criminal activity.
Meanwhile, USA's Ambassador to Barbados, the Eastern Caribbean and the OECS, Linda Taglialatela, says there are gaps and deficiencies in collecting data across countries.
She said in some cases data is still stored in paper-based systems with risk for data loss.This, she said, presents a block when dealing with the security issues throughout the region and she is calling on all countries to take note.
Participants at theCariSecure Workshop.
Attorney General of Barbados, Adriel Braithwaite, expressed similar sentiments, as he saidhis country, like the rest of the Caribbean, is in need for accurate standardised crime data to enable them to take a scientific approach to decision-making.
"Reliable data provides an invaluable resource for the development and implementation of evidence based policies and programs which, in turn, have the potential to reduce crime and violence among the youth population," he said.
The August 15- 17workshop is being held at Radisson Aquatica Resort.
Through the CariSecure Regional Workshop participants will collaborate with regional partners to establish a protocol on data collection, analysis and sharing and across agencies and a roadmap for the successful implementation of innovative tools to strengthen citizen security data management.