Too much se­crecy

Jamaica Gleaner - - SPORTS - An­dre Poyser Staff Re­porter

IDB calls for greater shar­ing of crime data

THE CRIME and Vi­o­lence in Ja­maica Re­port, pub­lished by the In­ter-Amer­i­can De­vel­op­ment Bank (IDB), has rec­om­mended that mea­sures be taken to ad­dress what it calls a gap in crime data in the is­land.

While ac­knowl­edg­ing that the is­sue with Ja­maica is not a lack of data col­lec­tion, the re­port charged that the prob­lem is one of ac­cess, data shar­ing, and trans­parency.

“Some prob­lems arise from a lack of ca­pac­ity, in­ad­e­quately trained staff, and a lack of timely and uni­form col­lec­tion, but more often, the prob­lem is re­lated to a re­luc­tance to share in­for­ma­tion.

“For ex­am­ple, the Min­istry of Na­tional Se­cu­rity’s eval­u­a­tion of the Cit­i­zens Se­cu­rity and Jus­tice Pro­gramme was not made avail­able, de­spite the fact that the IDB is the ma­jor fund­ing part­ner,” the re­port said.

Ar­gu­ing that a lack of trans­parency in data col­lec­tion has grave con­se­quences for na­tional de­vel­op­ment, the IDB fur­ther rec­om­mended that a ca­pa­ble crime ob­ser­va­tory that is rel­a­tively au­ton­o­mous and has the trust and con­fi­dence of the gen­eral pub­lic be es­tab­lished.

“There is a need to nur­ture a cul­ture for gen­er­at­ing data col­lec­tion, or­gan­i­sa­tion, and stor­age. Un­der­tak­ing such ef­forts would re­dound to the im­prove­ment of the gen­eral frame­work, but even more im­por­tantly, those ef­forts would strengthen ca­pac­ity for de­vel­op­ing and de­liv­er­ing ev­i­dence­based projects with mea­sur­able out­comes,” the re­port said.

AR­EAS NEED­ING MORE SUP­PORT

Ac­cord­ing to the IDB study, more sup­port needs to be pro­vided for bet­ter and more reg­u­larised mea­sure­ments of sex­ual vi­o­lence against adults and mi­nors, do­mes­tic vi­o­lence, and sex­ual gen­der-based vi­o­lence.

The re­gional body also wants sup­port for sim­i­lar mea­sure­ments of crimes against other vul­ner­a­ble pop­u­la­tions, such as chil­dren and mi­nori­ties that per­ceive them­selves to be dis­pro­por­tion­ately at risk.

“Th­ese mea­sure­ments may be done as spe­cialised sur­veys. The find­ings from th­ese sur­veys ought to be ac­ces­si­ble to the gen­eral pub­lic so that they can be used by ad­vo­cacy groups and other con­cerned cit­i­zens as sources of ev­i­dence to sup­port a more equal dis­tri­bu­tion of the pro­tec­tive re­sources of the State,” the re­port added.

The re­port pointed to ad­vo­cacy groups be­cause of its ob­ser­va­tion that many non-state ac­tors, par­tic­u­larly com­mu­nity-based or­gan­i­sa­tions, have lim­ited ca­pac­ity to col­lect and eval­u­ate data.

WIL­LIAMS

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