St. Kitts and Nevis (WINN): Urbanization, unemployment, and increased organized criminal efforts are a few of the reasons why youth involvement in crime has drastically increased in the Caribbean. 

That’s according to Steve Dudley, journalist and facilitator of the U.S Embassy’s workshop on covering crime in the media, held at the St. Kitts Marriot Resort Tuesday morning.

“The urban areas are these incredibly dense concentrations of now an increasing number of youths that are neither studying nor are they working and they are concentrated in smaller and smaller spaces, so you’ve got greater criminal activity, maybe even greater infrastructure, access to weapons and you’ve got a greater number of youths that are concentrated in smaller, denser populations you are creating a recipe whereby you are going to have more violence.”

Despite the increasing number of crimes being committed by young people, Mr. Dudley says that effective information-gathering on crimes committed can help law enforcement and other agencies in combating this phenomenon. 

“I think the first thing is better information, I think they need to think about ways of which they can gather and process information and that’s information about criminal activities, that’s information about court cases that are going through, that’s information about homicides, who are the victims, that’s information about what regionally, how this information fits into what’s going on regionally and then figure out within that scheme, they need to figure out in a more holistic way where they are going to apply their resources and hopefully it is this combination. You do need hardline approaches in some respects, there does need to be swift and clear consequences for people who are breaking the law, but at the same time you need to think long-term, you need to have the ability to create prevention strategies, socioeconomic programs, and other programs that are going to hopefully play a preventative role.” 

Steve Dudley is a co-founder of InSight News, a media organization that reports on organized crime in Latin America and the Caribbean.


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