Work of Crime Observatory to be Improved

first_imgThe coverage, range and distribution of data collected by the Jamaica Crime Observatory is to be improved, following an injection of $43.9 million.The money is being provided by the Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF), through its Integrated Community Development Project (ICDP), funded by the World Bank.A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to solidify this arrangement was signed by representatives of the Ministry of National Security and JSIF during a ceremony at the St. Andrew offices of  JSIF, on Thursday (February 28).The JSIF’s Managing Director, Omar Sweeney, said he is pleased that since its inception in 2011, the facility has redounded to the benefit of the Ministry of National Security.He noted that under the agreement, the institutional capacity of the Jamaica Crime Observatory will be improved by expanding its coverage, and improving the software used to analyse the data collected.Mr. Sweeney also informed that capacity building activities will also be carried out for staff to analyse and disseminate a greater volume of information.The funds will also go towards conducting victimisation surveys.In the meantime, the National Security Ministry’s Chief Technical Director, Security Policy and Risk Management Affairs, Rohan Richards, welcomed the support.Mr. Richards said the additional support will help to fulfill the objective of the Observatory, which is to improve the quality of crime and violence statistics that directly influence the design and implementation of evidence based strategies and policies.“Now more than ever, there is a need to bolster our crime surveillance capacity to contribute towards improved management of our urban spaces as well as public safety,” he said.The Crime Observatory is an instrument through which the Ministry of National Security keeps up to date, reliable data to promote transparency, security and safety in the national interest.It also establishes valid and consistent crime and violence related statistics for each community as well as the corresponding geo-reference maps of the cases, and uses the data to inform policy and decision making towards the development of improved citizen security and prevention measures.The Observatory collects data on seven crime and violence categories (murder, shooting, sexual offence, robbery, fatal shootings, traffic fatalities and suicide) across 14 parishes. Data collected by the crime observatory is used by the Government, private sector, academia, civil society and other groups.Jamaica is one of three Caribbean countries to have an established crime observatory. The others are Belize and Guyana.last_img read more

More than happy to get a point against Qatar says Igor Stimac

first_imgDoha: He is “more than happy” with the solitary point that the Indian football team snatched by drawing against Asian champion Qatar but coach Igor Stimac says he has told the players to stay grounded as they can’t afford complacency during FIFA World Cup Qualifiers. The former Croatian international wants the Indian players to stay focussed and garner more points in their upcoming matches. India dished out a gritty performance to Qatar to a goalless draw in a FIFA World Cup Round 2 qualifying match here on Tuesday night. Also Read – Puducherry on top after 8-wkt win over Chandigarh”As a coach, I don’t have time to waste in thinking too much higher than it was a few days ago when we lost to Oman. Still today as a coach, of course, I am more than happy to get a point against the reigning champions of Asia,” Stimac said at the post-match press conference here. “We need to improve in certain areas, on the other hand, all congratulations not just to my players but also for Qatar. There was excitement in front of both goals, of course.” Also Read – Vijender’s next fight on Nov 22, opponent to be announced later”It was a great experience for us. All credits to my players, I am very proud of my players. But the message to the team is to keep yourself down as it is just a point,” he added. Despite playing without their talismanic captain and striker Sunil Chhetri, who was laid low by fever, the Indians denied Qatar, who won the Asian Cup title in January, despite the home side managing more than a dozen shots on target. “Qatar deserved more from this game. They created more chances today but we also had many chances,” Stimac said. Stimac also took a potshot at those who criticised his team’s fitness levels after India lost 1-2 to Oman in their campaign-opener, with both Oman goals coming in the final eight minutes. The coach asserted that fitness was never a problem for his side. “You see, I cannot reply to each comment after a game because not many people are well educated about football. We are a fit team and we proved it today. “We played against Qatar and we made space for ourselves even in the last minutes. We made sprints even in the 95th minute, showing a lot of concentration. So we showed good fitness,” Stimac said. India will play Bangladesh in their next World Cup qualifying match in Kolkata on October 15 and the coach expects a full house at the mecca of Indian football. “Our country has a population of over 1.3 billion people compared to that this was a very small crowd. “I want to see 80,000 people in Kolkata against Bangladesh. We deserve that and they need to come and support us,” Stimac signed off.last_img read more

Precious objects gathered by fleeing Rohingya

first_imgMajor Rohingya refugee camp populations in Cox`s Bazar, Bangladesh. — Map: AFPThe Rohingya had no time to consider what to take as Myanmar forces drove the Muslim minority into Bangladesh in a crackdown a year ago likened by the UN to ethnic cleansing.Some fled with little more than the clothes on their backs and children on their hips. But what they did manage to bring tells an intimate story about the plight of a long persecuted and stateless people.- ‘This isn’t immaterial’ -Jalal Ahmed prised the faded tin number plate marked with Burmese characters off the front of his family’s home as they packed up their lives and left Rakhine state.”When we were leaving, we knew we would need something to prove we were Rohingya, and proof of our residency,” he told AFP in the doorway of the shanty where he lives with his family in a vast refugee camp in southern Bangladesh.The Ahmed family had lived in a proud two-storey wooden home in their village for countless generations, Jalal’s grandfather Abdul said.Jalal, a 52-year-old businessman, said the plate was not a memento but a connection to his past before the misery of refugee life.”This isn’t immaterial,” Jalal said. “We carried it with us because wherever we go, this will show that we belong to a place.”- Our identity -Mohammad Ayaz, 12, brought a faded old photograph of his family with him on the long journey from Myanmar.It shows 17 people — his grandparents, siblings and parents, aunts and uncles — posing for an official portrait holding signs marked with Burmese script.The Rohingya are reviled in Myanmar as illegal immigrants, branded “Bengalis” and denied citizenship and basic rights and freedoms.”We will need this photo when we go back to Myanmar, to identify who is who from our family,” he told AFP, folding up the creased photograph for safekeeping.”It’s a very important picture. We will need this.”- Feeding the needy -Asaru Begum knew the journey to Bangladesh would be long and arduous, especially for her children and grandchildren.So she brought cooking pots to gather water, stew rice and green chillies, and perform ablutions for prayer while hiding out in the hills.”I brought the pots and rice because I knew the children would get hungry after two days’ journey,” she told AFP, pointing to the pots she still treasures today.”I brought them so I could feed the babies. They cry a lot when they are hungry.”- ‘I miss school’ -Mohammad Khares, a diligent pupil with dreams of going to university, was in his final year of high school when violence erupted in his village.”I miss school very much. I was about to graduate, I was this close. That really hurts,” the crestfallen 20-year-old told AFP.There are no schools in the camps, so Khares has used his Bengali and English language skills to find piecemeal work with foreign aid groups helping the refugees.His school ID card is precious.Most Rohingya receive little or no schooling in Myanmar so his card — bearing his photograph, credentials and official seal — is a rare privilege and a passport to opportunity.”When I go back to Myanmar, I want to resume my studies. But they might ask, ‘what proof do you have of your education?’ This card will prove that I was a Class 10 (final year) student,” he said.- Family first -Violence descended so quickly on Mohammad Jubayer’s village that he had no time to choose what his family might need to survive in Bangladesh.”On our way here, we couldn’t bring anything,” he told AFP at the edge of a fetid tent colony overlooking a trash-strewn, muddy clearing.Other escapees shared what food they could as Jubayer, 30, and his wife took turns carrying their four infant children as their eldest daughter trailed behind.”We spent nine days walking through the hills. We had our children with us. So we just carried them — nothing else.”- A touch of home -Mohammad Umar left all this favourite playthings behind in Myanmar as his family joined the steady exodus of Rohingya leaving their burning homeland.But once in Bangladesh, the industrious 12-year-old put his mind to work.Scavenging a rechargeable battery, and carving a hull from a chunk of styrofoam, he fashioned a rudimentary boat replete with a pen tube for a rudder.”We used to make these and play with them in Myanmar,” Umar said as the boat chugged through brown puddles swollen by monsoon rain.last_img

Members of 3 Burned Churches say Fires Wont Stop Worship

first_imgBy The Associated PressOPELOUSAS, La. (AP) — Members of three historically African American churches that burned in recent weeks in Louisiana say fires won’t stop them from worshipping.KATC-TV reports members of Mount Pleasant Baptist Church and Morning Star Missionary Baptist Church gathered for a joint service Sunday in Opelousas (ah-puh-LOO’-sihs).The burnt ruins of the Greater Union Baptist Church, one of three that recently burned down in St. Landry Parish, are seen in Opelousas, La., Wednesday, April 10, 2019. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)With congregants all in white, Mount Pleasant’s pastor told them the church “is alive and well.”The Rev. Gerald Toussaint says “the devil don’t realize what he’s done” by giving him a bigger platform to preach.The first fire occurred March 26 at St. Mary Baptist Church in Port Barre, and the second happened April 2 at Greater Union Baptist Church in Opelousas. Thursday, Mount Pleasant caught fire.The churches were vacant, and no one was injured.Federal agents and the state Fire Marshal are investigating.last_img read more