Prime Minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines officially endorses CariSECURE Toolkit and announces National Task ForceApr 2, 2018
The government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines recently achieved a major milestone in its implementation of CariSECURE, a regional project that seeks to improve how governments develop and administer youth violence and crime reduction policies through the use of quality, comparable and reliable data.
On Monday, March 26, Dr. the Honourable Ralph E. Gonsalves, Prime Minister and Minister of National Security, officially endorsed CariSECURE’s Citizen Security Toolkit during a signing ceremony in Kingstown. The signing marked the first time a Prime Minister from the Caribbean officially endorsed the Toolkit, a set of tools designed to guide governments in the region on how to manage citizen security data for effective evidence-based youth crime and violence prevention policy-making and programming.
Dr. the Honourable Ralph Gonsalves, who delivered feature remarks during the event, also announced an 11-member CariSECURE National Task Force for St. Vincent and the Grenadines to support national-level development and implementation of the project.
The Task Force includes representatives from government units who deal with law enforcement information, including the Royal St. Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force, Her Majesty’s Prison, the Statistical Office, the Ministry of National Security and the Ministry of Legal Affairs.
“I fully endorse and support the CariSECURE project. I will do all within my power and influence to ensure the successful implementation and benefits of this project. Measures are in place to ensure that this project is maximized,” said Mr. Colin John, Commissioner of the Royal St. Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force, and Task Force Member.
“Citizen security is absolutely important to developing modern post-colonial economies like ours in the commonwealth Caribbean. The CariSECURE project is a welcome push towards achieving this goal,” said Mr. Kezron Walters, Legal Counsel for the Ministry of Legal Affairs, and Task Force Member.
Other event speakers included Ambassador Linda Taglialatela, United States Ambassador to Barbados, the Eastern Caribbean and the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS); Mr. Christopher Cushing, Mission Director, Eastern and Southern Caribbean for the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and Ms. Chisa Mikami, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Deputy Representative for Barbados and the OECS.
“The CariSECURE Project is keen to support St. Vincent and the Grenadines, if requested, in developing and adopting a Citizen Security Policy using a preventative approach to the challenges of citizen security, especially as it relates to youth,” said Ms. Mikami.
Following the signing, the CariSECURE National Task Force for St. Vincent and the Grenadines, as well as other delegates, met in closed sessions to review and tailor Toolkit documents, which includes a data sharing agreement, so that they can meet the crime and violence prevention needs of St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
The Task Force also discussed other project activities, including the eventual installation of Information Communication Technology (ICT) equipment. The ICT equipment will allow government ministries and law enforcement agencies to store and use data in a centralized system to make effective evidence-based decisions for crime and violence reduction.
“Through CariSECURE, St. Vincent and the Grenadines will be in a better position to develop evidence based policies and strategies thereby allowing for higher levels of targeted interventions,” said Mrs. Yvette Pompey, Senior Assistant Secretary for the Ministry of National Security, and Task Force Chair.
The Strengthening Evidenced Based Decision Making for Citizen Security in the Caribbean – (CariSECURE) Project is funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), made possible through the generous support of the American people. As project partner, the UNDP, Barbados and the OECS, provides technical assistance to support the successful implementation of the project.
CariSECURE aims to help the governments of 10 Caribbean countries and other stakeholders improve how they use data to develop and utilize effective youth crime and violence policies and programmes. CariSECURE will achieve this goal by strengthening the capacity of regional and national institutions to collect, analyze and use citizen security data to make evidence-based decisions that address root causes of criminal activity, particularly among youth. The National CariSECURE Task Force will thus drive the implementation of activities that are necessary to achieve this goal in project countries, including St. Vincent and the Grenadines.