Basseterre, St. Kitts, February 14, 2020 (SKNIS): Luisa Sánchez-Iriarte Mendoza who was the lead facilitator at the recently held Crime Victimisation Workshop (CVS), expressed her total satisfaction with the level of participation and the outcome of the discussions.
Ms. Mendoza is a Researcher on Crime and Justice at the Center of Excellence in Statistical Information on Government, Crime, Victimisation and Justice. She facilitated the workshop as a representative of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). The UNODC is providing methodological assistance through the Center to countries that have decided to conduct the survey. CariSECURE also worked along with both institutions to help deliver the workshop.
The 2-week course, which ran from 27th January to 7th February 2020, at NEMA Headquarters, was aimed at filling existing gaps in the generation of high quality and comparable data on crime statistics, based on the need for generating information for the Sustainable Development Goals. It was also intended to generate more and better statistical information about crime and the criminal justice systems in St. Kitts and Nevis to support evidence-based policy-making. The objective was for each participation to be able to explain the basic methodology of victimisation survey including all its stages – from design to implementation.
“All the objectives were met for both weeks. [It was a] fulfilling experience for all the people participating. I think this was the most participative group I’ve ever had. I don’t remember any of them not commenting on something so I’m very, very glad that everybody was involved, putting attention on the concepts. They did really well on the exams and everyday recap,” Ms. Mendoza said. “I think they grasped, really well, the conceptual framework and methodological tools needed for the construction of the Crime Victimisation Survey so I’m really glad about the course and the adaptation of the questionnaire. I think it went really good too. Everybody was also very participative in identifying the needs of information for the country and I think the first draft of the questionnaire is going to be a very, very good version number one.”
St. Kitts and Nevis was the fourth territory to carry out the workshop, following Jamaica, St. Lucia and Barbados. There were close to 30 participants from several agencies in both St. Kitts and Nevis including The Royal St. Christopher and Nevis Police Force, the Department of Statistics, the Department of Social Development, the St. Kitts and Nevis Customs and Excise Department, the Ministry of Health, the St. Kitts and Nevis Defence Force and Coast Guard, the and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
According to the UNODC, administrative data on crime provide information on “reported crimes” which are offences reported to the authorities. There is a gap between the number of reported crimes and the “actual crime level”. The actual crime level includes offences which go undetected and unreported to the police and/or the judicial authorities. This gap is referred to as the “dark figure of crime”. The UNODC recommends conducting victimisation surveys as a means of measuring the dark figure and understanding crime in its entirety.