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Crime Report for Review

In the face of increasing local crime levels, the Ministry of Community Affairs and Housing has been charged with the implementation of the 2006 Report on Pre-disposing Factors to Criminality in the Cayman Islands.

The report, otherwise known as the Criminality Study, was written and researched by Yolande C. Forde. To facilitate the implementation process, the Ministry is to host a two-day retreat on 11-12 March 2010.

Minister for Community Affairs and Housing the Hon. Mike Adam explained, "Government has continuously looked at various strategies for combating crime and we are aware that in addition to deploying more police interventions, it is critical that we enhance our prevention strategies".

He added, "Research has shown that adopting a holistic and preventative approach to the pre-disposing factors to criminality is key to shaping and empowering our youth, building their self-esteem and resilience. It is imperative, therefore, that the Cayman Islands adopt such an approach to equip youth with the necessary life skills so that they can reach their full potential".

The Criminality Study reveals that factors influencing criminal activity are deeply rooted in the life experiences of those who have been arrested, convicted and incarcerated and that destructive seeds are typically sown during early childhood.

According to the Study, when criminal risk factors are present in children's lives, early intervention and therapeutic programming must be in place to prevent a downward spiral into anti-social behaviour and delinquency which can ultimately lead to involvement in the criminal justice system.

Minister Adam noted, "We must now focus on reducing crime by reaching out to our children and youth, improving their opportunities and access to programmes, identifying the gaps in our services, and strengthening our families and communities. This is what the study recommends and this is what Government will implement."

He added, "Government has detailed the many programmes we wish to see improved and implemented in areas involving the family, youth, education, labour, agriculture, the economy and more".

The Minister explained that at the retreat key stakeholders from the public and private sectors will benefit from expert guidance and local, evidence-based information. Using the Study's recommendations, participants will be expected to identify innovative ways to use human capital and other resources within their own organisations to further expand the protective and supportive network for youth.

"As Minister for Community Affairs and Housing, I am therefore requesting that the public support those organisations who will be implementing the strategies devised at the retreat in our communities," he concluded.