'Data', the Crime-Fighting Superhero

December 20, 2023

In the heart of a small and vibrant Caribbean island, there's a boy named 'Amir' navigating the maze of adolescence. Life for Amir, like many Caribbean youth, is filled with dreams and ambitions - but the shadow of youth crime looms. Research shows that young people struggling with poverty and lack of economic opportunities are much more likely to turn to illegal activities. Research also reveals a startling truth: in the Caribbean, males aged 15-29 are predominantly both the perpetrators and victims of crimes.

As Amir stands at the intersection of choices, the citizen security project, CariSECURE 2.0, helps examine the complexities of his life by facilitating the collection and exchange of information among community groups, law enforcement, government, and educational systems. The data collected isn't just a set of cold statistics; it's the key factor in painting a realistic picture of Amir's world and responding to current or expected challenges. It holds the power to make a substantial, positive impact on his life.

Strategic insights

Consider Amir as someone who benefits directly from CariSECURE 2.0. Examining data, the government realizes that unemployment in the area has increased, his community sports programme has been on an extended pause, and there are increased reports of illegal activity in Amir’s neighbourhood. 

In response, a concerted effort emerges. Government and community groups, armed with data-driven insights, craft targeted programmes, creating job opportunities and providing skills training, revitalizing sports and mentorship programmes for Amir and his peers, launching anti-crime campaigns, and strengthening social services.

While Amir's story unfolds, there's someone quietly working in a statistics office, poring over the data collected from various sources. This savvy sidekick isn't just crunching numbers; they are helping to shape the destiny of young lives like Amir's. In the quiet confines of their office, they become the bridge between the harsh realities of youth, and the decision-makers in the corridors of power. The statistics officer and their wider team can see within raw data the narratives of resilience and hope. They amplify the voices of the voiceless, making data a superhero in its own right.

Data-driven decision-making

Data the Superhero ensures that interventions are tailored to address the root causes and nurture Amir's potential, as well as enhance the overall well-being of the community.

This meaningful connection between Amir's life and the diligent work of the statistics office worker is crucial in understanding the transformative power of Data. It's not just about bureaucratic processes; it's about real people with real lives. As CariSECURE 2.0 unfolds, Amir's story becomes emblematic of the project's goals — tangible, positive outcomes of evidence-based decision-making.

Research has underscored the need for data-driven decision-making in tackling youth crime. The gaps in data collection and analysis – highlighted in the CariSECURE 2.0 project hinder effective policymaking. These findings are a testament to the pressing need for informed, targeted interventions. 

In this case, those working within statistics offices or crime observatories become more than analysts; they become advocates for Amir and other young people like him. Their work is grounded in the realities of our region. It resonates not just within the walls of their offices but throughout entire communities, promising a brighter tomorrow for the youth of the Caribbean. And all with the help of Data – the crime-fighting superhero! 


The CariSECURE 2.0 project is implemented by United Nations Development (UNDP) with funding and technical support from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

Learn more at: www.undp.org/barbados/projects/carisecure-20