JSIF Provides More Than $38 Million to Strengthen Work of Crime Observatory

Story Highlights

  • The work of the Jamaica Crime Observatory –Integrated Crime and Violence Information System (JCO-ICVIS) is being strengthened through funding of $38,489, 000 from the Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF).
  • It will go towards improving the data collection, entry and validation processes of the primary entity – the Ministry of National Security, and the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) and the Ministry of Health, which provide data to the observatory.
  • This includes provision of enhanced systems and tools such as tablets, laptops, desktop computers, Trimble Juno (hand-held global positioning system unit), servers, uninterruptible power supply (UPS) and firewall software, and training and recruitment of critical personnel.

The work of the Jamaica Crime Observatory –Integrated Crime and Violence Information System (JCO-ICVIS) is being strengthened through funding of $38,489, 000 from the Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF).

It will go towards improving the data collection, entry and validation processes of the primary entity – the Ministry of National Security, and the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) and the Ministry of Health, which provide data to the observatory.

This includes provision of enhanced systems and tools such as tablets, laptops, desktop computers, Trimble Juno (hand-held global positioning system unit), servers, uninterruptible power supply (UPS) and firewall software, and training and recruitment of critical personnel.

A web-based platform operating out of the National Security Ministry’s Research and Evaluation Unit, the crime observatory provides data on crime and violence in order to direct, design and implement crime-prevention policy and strategy initiatives.

It brings together all stakeholders to facilitate collaboration and information exchange, thereby ensuring standardisation and accessibility to timely and reliable statistics to support the Government’s efforts at crime fighting.

The funding from JISIF will bolster the agency’s initial investment to operationalise the facility in 2011 under the Japan Social Development Fund (JSDF).
Coordinator of the JCO-ICVIS and Policy Programme Manager in the Ministry of National Security, Rochelle Clarke- Grey, welcomed the additional support from JSIF.

She said the agency has been integral to the sustainability of the observatory over the years, which currently provides data on crimes in JSIF project communities in the parishes of St. James, Clarendon, Kingston and St. Andrew, St. Catherine, Hanover, St. Ann, Westmoreland, St. Mary and Manchester.

These relate to murders, sexual offences, suicides, traffic fatalities, robberies and shootings.

Mrs. Grey Clarke said the agency had recommended that the Ministry put forward some of its needs, including technical assistance to strengthen analysis of the data that the crime observatory has been gathering since its inception in 2011.

Such analysis, she noted, includes “looking at data calculations on trends, to have the ability to have interactions with the data, as well as to disseminate it, not just for internal use by the Ministry but for the wider public as well as.”

She said that with the support, the Ministry has been able to hire a crime analyst as well as a communication specialist.

“The crime analyst will have the first go at looking at the data, creating trends, having the data spatially simulated and trying to create a road map of all our crime prevention initiatives located within JSIF communities as well as other surrounding communities,” she explained.

The crime observatory is the first and only structure in place nationally that allows for verification of victim data and helps to correct and enhance the validity of the information that is collected by the primary crime data sources.

The facility can be used to provide data on the victim of a crime (age and sex); total number of cross-validated incidents (homicides, suicides, etc) and when, where and how the incident took place (day, week, time of day, type of location, parish, police division and context).

The funding from JSIF will cover the collection of data with a spatial component, analyses of spatial data, which can be used to inform decision-making, and providing additional personnel to facilitate data collection and entry.

Additionally, consultants are to be engaged to strengthen the capacity of the three entities in data analysis, forecasting and reporting and to support stakeholder presentations.

It is intended that the engagement of the consultants will increase the use and visibility of data generated by the crime observatory in helping to shape policies that address crime prevention.

The initiative is a component of JSIF’s Integrated Community Development Project (ICDP), which is funded by the World Bank.

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