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Crime and Its Solutions in Barbados

NCJ Number
Journal of Criminal Justice Volume: 30 Issue: 5 Dated: September/October 2002 Pages: 409-416
David A. Yeboah
Date Published
8 pages
This article examines the prevalence of crime in Barbados and discusses strategies to reduce crime.
There is an emerging trend in serious criminal activity in Barbados, as well as in many other Caribbean countries. As a result, there is a need to identify, develop, and implement strategies to stop the high incidence and prevalence of criminal activity. Between 1990 and 1999, burglary was the largest single crime, followed by other theft, drugs, violence, and criminal damage. Theft of a motor vehicle recorded the lowest proportion in 1990, while criminal deception recorded the lowest proportion in 1999. The largest percent change in proportions was recorded for theft of motor vehicles; the recorded cases increased by 750 percent from 1990 to 1999. Other large increases were recorded for drugs (95 percent), violence (52 percent), criminal damage (36 percent), and robbery (35 percent). Other theft and burglary recorded negative percent changes or decreasing number of recorded cases from 1990 to 1999. The situation was exacerbated by the increasing incidence of serious crimes involving the use of firearms. Firearm-related crimes increased by more than 50 percent during 1999 and 2000. During both these years, the single largest firearm-related crime was robbery and robbery with assault. Crime reduction strategies were most likely to succeed if they involved stopping the commencement of crime. Proper education of victims and potential victims about how to avoid crime is essential to create awareness among the general populace about crime avoidance. Crime prevention programs including safety education should be well targeted and directed at prevailing crimes. There is a need for television advertisement addressing robbery, burglary, and offenses involving the use of firearms. The rising youth criminal activity requires stringent measures directed specifically at the youth. Youth are urged to enroll in the Barbados Youth Service, which teaches them various skills and discipline, and are encouraged to stay in school longer. Strong family and social supports are essential ingredients for preventing the occurrence of crime. Strategies that incorporate rehabilitation with retribution and prevention are supported. 2 tables, 34 references