By the Caribbean Journal staff
A citizen security programme aimed at reducing crime and violence in Jamaica’s high-risk cities will receive a $11.2 million from the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development.
Jamaica, which has the highest homicide rate in the Caribbean, has identified citizen security as a major priority. It is currently carrying out efforts aimed at proving citizen security in five parishes with the highest incidence of serious crimes.
The UK grant will help Jamaica reach 50 communities under the initiative, which is being financed by an Inter-American Development Bank loan in the amount of $21 million dating back to 2009.
The Citizen Security and Justice Programme is currently being carried out in 39 communities in Jamaica.
Assessments by the Planning Institute of Jamaica point to sharp declines in homicides, shootings and violence-related injuries.
The new funding will help the programme engage local leaders on several fronts, including running community action committees and participating in the preparation of safety and development plans tailored to the needs of each neighbourhood.
Around 7,300 Jamaican youths could receive funding to attend vocational courses as part of the programme.