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The government of Dominica has approved a policy on crime prevention and control in the country. The decision was taken at a Cabinet meeting last month. According to a government press release, the aim of the policy is to take appropriate measures to preserve the reputation of Dominica as being a safe place to reside in, by striving for even lower crime rates and a heightened sense of safety among its residents and visitors alike.

According to a government press release, the aim of the policy is to take appropriate measures to preserve the reputation of Dominica as being a safe place to reside in, by striving for even lower crime rates and a heightened sense of safety among its residents and visitors alike.The new policy has identified twelve objectives. Some of these include:

  • To develop a constructive, holistic and multi-sectoral approach to crime prevention and control;
  • To establish a national mechanism to facilitate the police effectively addressing national security, crime prevention and control;
  • To plan and execute a well designed public education campaign on crime and violence prevention and control;
  • To modernize and improve the criminal and juvenile justice system ensuring speedy, efficient and assessable justice for all;
  • To seek and secure reliable financial and other resources to make the realization and maintenance of the new policy become a practical reality.

The policy on crime prevention and control came out of a national symposium on crime in Dominica, which was held in 2003. The symposium was spearheaded by the then Special Assistant to the Prime Minister and now Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office, Rayburn Blackmoore.

Cabinet’s approval of a policy on crime prevention and control will lead to the setting up of new organization and the revamping of existing ones. These include the establishment of a National Security Council; the establishment of National Intelligence Committee; the establishment of a National Commission on Crime and Security; the provision of resources for the Commonwealth of Dominica Police Force and the modernization and improvement of the Criminal Juvenile Justice System and Reform of the Penal System.

The National Security Council will comprise the Prime Minister as Chairman, the Minister for Finance, the Minister for National Security, the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Trade and Labour, the Minister for Housing, Lands, Telecommunications, Energy and Ports, the Attorney General and the Secretary to the Cabinet.

The role of the National Intelligence Committee is to advise the National Security Council on National Security matters and will comprise of the Commissioner of Police as Chairman, the Sea Port Manager, the Director of the Financial Intelligence Unit, the Comptroller of Customs, Comptroller of Inland Revenue, the Solicitor General, the Airport Manager, the Financial Secretary, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Labour and the Superintendent of Prisons.

The National Commission on Crime and Security will have a broad mandate. These include: engaging consultancies to conduct research, evaluation and analysis in order to inform strategies against crime and violence and ensure collaboration between the various agents of socialization, including the Church, homes, schools, the Diaspora, the media, community groups and The State.

The National Commission on Crime will be made up of representatives of the Prime Minister’s Office, the Police Force, the Fire and Ambulance Services, the Prison Services, the Media, a Sociologist/Criminologist, Private Sector, the Department of Local Government, the Dominica Bar Association, the Dominica Association of Evangelical Churches, the NGO community, among several other groups and organisations.

The decision by the government of Dominica to approve a policy on crime prevention and control is said to be in keeping with a deeply held conviction of the Government that the maintenance of law and order in a democratic society depends on close collaboration and cooperation among all groups in the thrust to create a stable and prosperous Dominica.

Posted by : Caribbean Net News

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