NASSAU, The Bahamas, Friday January 29, 2016 – The Government of The Bahamas will borrow US$20 million from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) for the implementation of a new Citizen Security and Justice Programme.
The programme is designed to assist with reducing crime and violence in The Bahamas and will include rigorous monitoring and evaluation that will help to assess the impact of the actions that will be undertaken on the communities.
It is expected to target at-risk youth and strengthen the institutional capabilities of the justice system. It will also provide a mechanism to institutionalize a framework for community security, integrating the promising and most successful components and strategies developed throughout the region.
Minister of National Security Dr. Bernard Nottage, said the programme will work towards reducing risk factors for crime and violence by funding and facilitating community-based social interventions that include parenting support, anti-violence initiatives, and after-school programmes – all with the goal of “diverting people away from crime and violence.”
“The programme is an approach to crime and violence prevention that will couple innovative, human-centred support to communities with more traditional crime prevention support to the Royal Bahamas Police. This approach to crime is aimed to make communities an integral part of crime prevention,” he said.
“The fight against crime is part of an integrated approach in the Government’s effort to accomplish the goal of a better life for the citizenry. Improving the quality of life also means improving conditions of safety and security of the people in their homes, in their communities and in their places of work.”
The National Security Minister said communities will serve as focal points for the resolution of conflicts; the articulation of community needs and as the “conduit of necessary resources to address the same.”
Training in violence prevention ranging from domestic violence prevention to certified counselling and mediation courses will be provided.
“We look forward to getting our communities to commit to working to achieve community attachment, social cohesion and safer, more productive communities, that are intent on contributing to national development and sustainability of The Bahamas,” Dr. Nottage said.
“We are only going to realise such transformation through partnering with, and empowering the communities themselves.”
Officials at the Ministry of National Security, in conjunction with facilitators from the Inter-American Development Bank, collaborated with stakeholders from both the private and public sectors for the exchange of information and views on crime and security issues in The Bahamas and suggested approaches to addressing those crime and security challenges, in developing the programme.