STATIN to conduct survey on criminal justice system in Jamaica

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CANA is reporting that the Statistical Institute of Jamaica (STATIN) says it will be conducting a survey to gather people’s perception of public safety and the criminal justice system on the island.

It said the Jamaica National Crime Victimization Survey (JNCVS) to be conducted between September and November this year, will  allow for a better understanding of people’s views of safety in their communities, their confidence in law-enforcement agencies, and the socio-demographic details of the victims.

The Unit Head of Special Projects at STATIN, Philone Mantock, said that the agency will be conducting the evaluation on behalf of the Ministry of National Security and will engage some 5,000 households across the island.

“The survey measures the incidence of crime from the perspective of the victim, because most of the data we have currently on crime is from police reports, and evidence has shown that a number of crimes are not reported to the police.

“This survey allows us to capture crime from the victim’s perspective, as well as their perception of their safety, and the reliability and effectiveness of certain authorities related to the criminal justice system,” Mantock said, adding that the households will be selected randomly.

“So, we will ask questions such as if you have experienced a crime in the past 12 months, when the crime happened, the type of crime it was and if there were any other victims,” Mantock said, noting that other questions will pertain to the participant’s perception on public and community safety.

“So we may ask how safe you feel in your neighbourhood, is your neighbourhood safe for children, have you installed any security measures in your household such as security grills, alarms, watchdog; are you a part of a neighbourhood watch?” she said.

The questionnaire will also cover the participants’ views on social intervention programmes and their effectiveness, and their perception of authorities related to the criminal justice system.

“Coming out of the actual data collection, we will do a report to be presented to the Ministry of National Security, which will show the crime prevalence in particular areas and the incidence of crime. They can use the data to see what kind of measures they may need to take in specific communities, which crimes we need to focus on, and get a true picture of crime statistics in Jamaica,” Mantock explained.

Meanwhile, STATIN is on Friday, ending a two-week pilot to test the survey process and 18 communities have been selected to participate in the pilot.

Mantock said that the interviews during the survey will be conducted in private “so when they select the respondent, we ask them to make an appointment…so if the householder is busy, they can return to do it one-on-one”.

The JNCVS is conducted every three years.

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