Jamaica’s first Violence Audit slated for Denham Town & Norwood

June 21, 2022
Residents of Norwood at Reducing Guns Launch

Norwood in Montego Bay St James is one of two communities slated to participate in a Violence Audit - a first for Jamaica.


Jamaica is to pilot the nation’s first Violence Audit in Denham Town and Norwood under the Reducing Small Arms and Light Weapons Joint Programme, implemented by the Ministry of National Security in partnership with United Nations Jamaica.

The Audit is part of the community component of the Joint Programme (SALIENT Jamaica), while the national component targets all dimensions of the illegal trade in guns – to include interventions in legislation, policy, strategy, training, investigations, law enforcement and data collection. 

Launched on Friday (17 June) in Norwood, SALIENT Jamaica represents a 76.7 million JMD investment from the SALIENT Fund established by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the United Nations Organization for Disarmament Affairs (UNODA). Under the leadership of the Ministry of National Security, SALIENT will be implemented locally by the Ministry, in partnership with a United Nations Jamaica Team – namely UNDP, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs (UNODA), and United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). 

UNDP Resident Representative Denise E Antonio in explaining the importance of the Violence Audits said the exercise is intended to unveil the causes, drivers, and impact of violence to guide strategic interventions for the future. 

She called on the target communities to cooperate with survey teams and to fully participate. “Your communities bring meaningful insight and deep understanding of the violence being experienced,” she said. Residents of Norwood and Denham Town, our team will be out to conduct the audit and we need your full participation to ensure that accurate and relevant information is shared,” she said. 

The Resident Representative further expressed gratitude to Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of National Security, the Hon. Dr Horace Chang for his role in advocating for the Violence Audit for Jamaica. 

Minister Chang, in underscoring the need for the community violence audit, said: “The level of violence (being perpetuated) requires the kind of study to be undertaken.  Violence has been normalized. We need to examine how young men play together, work together and then overnight, start killing each other. There is a need to identify root causes so when security forces move out of the ZOSO, the peace can be maintained,” he stated.  

Under the community level behaviour modification component, young people in Denham Town and Norwood, will also receive training in conflict resolution while teachers and guidance counsellors will receive training to strengthen their capacity to support youth in schools.  

SALIENT Jamaica is a Joint Programme of the United Nations system in Jamaica and is aligned to Jamaica’s National Development Goal Two (2)- “The Jamaican society is secure, cohesive and just” and several Sustainable Development Goals including 16, (Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions); 4 (Quality Education) and 5 (Gender Equality).