Neighbourhood Watch groups have been urged to "step up to the plate" and to see themselves as more than crime prevention tools but as community groups.

Attorney General and Minister of Home Affairs, Adriel Brathwaite, issued this challenge, while delivering brief remarks at the National Task Force on Crime Prevention’s public lecture on The Role of Communities in the Governance of Crime, last night at the Grand Barbados Hotel.

He called on each neighbourhood group to discuss with each other the various programmes instituted and then take the best practices and implement them into their respective constituencies.

"Look at building your respective community.?? Take your group(s) and look at transforming them into true community groups and not just focus on crime prevention… until we bring our communities closer and recognise that we all have a role to play; then we cannot afford to be complacent," Mr. Brathwaite said.

Explaining that in order to build a Barbados that was safe and secure, the Attorney General emphasised that it required people?? to assist law enforcement officers, as well as other social partners to tackle this problem in both their individual and collective capacities.

"I am of the view that an understanding of the crime prevention agenda first requires an understanding of the crime problem.?? Secondly, that prevention of crime should be viewed as more than the aggregation of crime prevention programmes and thirdly, that the development of crime prevention policies must be based on sound, scientific principles that reflect a broad conception of the many ways that crime is prevented," he stressed.

Meanwhile, Chief of Security at the University of the West Indies, Oral Reid, in giving the feature address, said that police officers could not solve crimes unless they had active participation from members of the public.?? He lamented that the days when persons were their neighbours’ keeper was in the past and Mr. Reid urged the various neighbourhood Watch programmes to become advocates for change.????

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