Crime Stoppers Dominica (CSD) held a community education session in Soufriere on Wednesday, May 21, 2019 hosted by the Soufriere/Scotts Head/Gallion Village Council dubbed “Crime and Me: What Can I do”. The session forms part of Crime Stoppers Dominica education awareness drive about the programme and how communities can play their part on reducing crime through anonymous reporting.
Attendees gained a better understanding on the consequences of crime, not only for the victim and his direct relatives but the community, the economy and the state. For the victim, crime elicits feelings of anger, depression, insecurity, illness, lack of sleep, financial loss, property damage, which ultimately, could trigger acts of revenge by the victim. Relocation, depreciation of real estate and property value, economic costs to local businesses are some of the consequences explored at the session as some of the impacts of crime on the community. On a broader spectrum, the economy could face loss of potential investment opportunities, declines in tourism and retail sales, while control mechanisms put in place to counteract crime can be costly on an economy.
Details of the process how the Canadian based call centre handles calls and guidelines for callers when making reports to help speed up the investigation process for law enforcement to include information about the suspect, victim, vehicle (if one is involved) and details on type of the offence formed part of the education session.
Some of the causes of crime – social factors, economical, psychological and physical factors – were also discussed.
In closing, the CSD team highlighted the consequences of adopting a “silent culture” where individuals do not “speak up” and report about criminal behaviours going on in the community.
When community members remain silent about crime, the criminal is free to commit more crime, damaging more communities and individuals. CSD remined the attendants that the responsibility was on everyone to report crime, and that CSD provides that avenue where the public can report crime without having their identity revealed through Crime Stoppers Dominica by calling toll free 1800 8477 or online at crimestoppersdominica.org.
CSD is an independent entity from Law Enforcement therefore:
- We do not investigate matters reported
- We cannot provide feedback about individual investigations
- We do not dispatch police patrols to crime scenes