Crime and Security Cooperation Programme for CARICOM countries

DPI, Guyana, Monday, January 30, 2018

Several institutions across the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) are set to undertake the implementation of the 10th EDF CARIFORUM Crime and Security Cooperation Programme, Director of Human Development at the CARICOM Secretariat Myrna Bernard said.

“The programme adopts a comprehensive, multi-faceted approach to crime and security. In doing so, it focuses on drug demand and supply reduction, crime prevention and social development, capacity-building of law enforcement and security agencies, and enhanced cooperation with third states,” she said.

Myrna Bernard, Director of Human Development at the CARICOM Secretariat.

During her presentation at the recently launched programme in Barbados, Bernard said, in a joint move to address the problems, CARIFORUM and the European Union (EU) concluded a Financing Agreement for the 10th EDF CARIFORUM Crime and Security Cooperation Programme in November 2014. “It is intended to address institutional responses to major crime and security challenges, which pose increasingly serious threats to our development.”

According to Bernard, the overall programme is being implemented through several major institutions including the Regional Security System (RSS), the Implementing Agency for Crime and Security (IMPACS), the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF), the National Drugs Control Directorate of the Dominican Republic and the Caribbean Community Secretariat (CCS).

The RSS 10th EDF Programme of activities seeks to contribute to capacity-building and institutional response to illicit drug trafficking, by strengthening capacities of law enforcement/border security officials to address illicit trafficking and enhance existing rehabilitation initiatives in correctional facilities for drug offenders.

“Under the CARIFORUM/EU initiative, the RSS focusses on drug supply reduction, through a plethora of capacity-building activities among border security personnel,” she explained.

According to Bernard, beneficiary states will receive Advance Cargo Information in electronic format through a centralised portal, through Advanced Cargo Information Systems (ACIS). Law Enforcement Officers were also provided with data on passengers and crew members prior to arrival and departure from the CARICOM Member States, through Advanced Passenger Information Systems and monitored if considered high-security threats to the region.

At the opening ceremony of the programme last week, CARICOM Secretary General Ambassador Irwin LaRocque zeroed in on the grave impact of crime and security, saying that the issue is a regional one which requires a regional solution.

He said Crime and Security is an issue that is having an impact on all Member States.

“It is a regional problem that demands a regional solution. It requires the full co-operation of all our Member States,” he told the attendees of regional leaders and officials from the European Union (EU).

Back in July of last year, several Member States signed the CARICOM Arrest Warrant Treaty which simplifies the procedure of returning fugitives to the country where charges have been laid.  The Ambassador said CARICOM is close to reaching agreement on the return and sharing of recovered criminal assets that is moved around the region.

 

By: Alexis Rodney

 

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