U.S. Em­bassy Talks Crime!

The Star (St. Lucia) - - LOCAL - By STAR Re­porter

The United States Em­bassy to the Eastern Caribbean States hosted a jour­nal­ism work­shop on re­port­ing crime on Thurs­day 29 June at the Royal St. Lu­cia Re­sort and Spa.

Steven Dud­ley, an Amer­i­can in­ves­tiga­tive jour­nal­ist and an­a­lyst, as well as the co-di­rec­tor of the web­site In­Sight, was the main pre­sen­ter. In­Sight mon­i­tors, analy­ses, and in­ves­ti­gates or­gan­ised crime in var­i­ous coun­tries.

Ac­cord­ing to In­Sight, the Caribbean is a huge tran­ship­ment port for drugs to the United States due to the ge­o­graph­i­cal lo­ca­tion and the abun­dance of is­lands. This has in­creased the rates of vi­o­lence and gang-re­lated crime as a re­sult of “weak gov­er­nance and en­demic cor­rup­tion”. The pre­sen­ta­tion at this week’s work­shop noted that the ex­change of cash in the ho­tel and tourism in­dus­try could be an in­cu­ba­tor for in­ter­na­tional crimes such as money laun­der­ing and drug traf­fick­ing.

In 2016, Saint Lu­cia recorded 31 homi­cides over the 366-day pe­riod. Sur­pris­ingly, as of June 27, 2017 the small is­land of just over 187,000 peo­ple recorded its 29th homi­cide. This work­shop could not have hap­pened at a more op­por­tune time as re­porters in Saint Lu­cia now have to con­sider the prob­a­bil­ity of the mur­der rate doubling if cur­rent trends per­sist.

With guid­ance, jour­nal­ists and re­porters con­cen­trated on a wide range of sta­tis­tics, in­clud­ing the num­ber of homi­cides re­lated to the own­er­ship of il­le­gal firearms and vic­tims who left fam­i­lies be­hind.

Mem­bers of the var­i­ous me­dia houses in at­ten­dance shared their views and ob­ser­va­tions per­tain­ing to the ris­ing crime sit­u­a­tion in the coun­try. Al­though most me­dia out­lets on is­land do not have spe­cial­ized crime re­porters, with the as­sis­tance pro­vided by the U.S. Em­bassy and Steven Dud­ley this week, the public can ex­pect a slightly more thor­ough or lay­ered ap­proach to re­portage of crimes.

The U.S. Em­bassy to the Eastern Caribbean is sta­tioned in Bar­ba­dos, and reg­u­larly hosts devel­op­men­tal ini­tia­tives to ben­e­fit the peo­ple of the is­lands.

The crime-re­port­ing work­shop was the sec­ond of work­shops sup­ported by the Amer­i­can Gov­ern­ment this week. On Sun­day, rep­re­sen­ta­tives were in­vited to par­tic­i­pate in a work­shop on cli­mate change that was held in col­lab­o­ra­tion with the Min­istry of Sus­tain­able Devel­op­ment to bet­ter ed­u­cate jour­nal­ists on is­sues af­fect­ing Saint Lu­cia re­lated to cli­mate change.

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