Some fifty five (55)participants from the island’s Local Authorities (LAs) and portfolio agencies of the Ministry of Local Government and Community Development are currently engaged in a 5day workshop on conducting Safety Audits. The workshop, sponsored under the Enhancing Civil Society Participation in Local Governance for Community Safetyinitiative, is designed to provide the participants with knowledge and know-how to effectively undertake needs analysis in their respective parishes.
The workshop is being by the University of Technology, the major capacity building partner in the project. At the end of the training the participants who are from the (6) pilot parishes will be better able to address the creation of safer environments by looking at crime and violence as well as, other intervening environmental issues that create insecurity, e.g. over-bushed verges, poor lighting, electricity theft, squatting etc.
The ability to undertake proper safety audits will enhance the capacity of the LAs and their partners to develop sustainable long-term strategies to prevent and mitigate the effects of crime and violence. This is the main focus of the Community Safety project which is sponsored by the United Nation’s Development Programme (UNDP). Additionally, the project requires a focus on improved partnerships between civil society, local authorities, and central state agencies, which this training exercise supports.
The UNPD’s community safety project began in April 2011, and is being piloted in St. Catherine, Clarendon, Manchester, Westmoreland, Trelawny and St. Mary.