PADF Hosts Regional Crime Prevention Conference in Trinidad

Participants from three countries share best practices in social crime prevention 

Port of Spain, Trinidad (March 14, 2016) – On March 14 and 15, the Pan American Development Foundation (PADF) will host a Caribbean Regional Conference on Crime Prevention in Trinidad and Tobago. The event will take place at the Hyatt Regency Trinidad in Port of Spain and will bring together participants from the Bahamas, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago. 

For more than two years, PADF has been implementing the Resistance and Prevention Program (RAPP), funded by the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL), in close collaboration with law enforcement agencies, government institutions and community groups in three countries. 

Since 2014, PADF has trained over 850 law enforcement officers and 7,500 at-risk youth and community members through its RAPP program. The program has also provided funds to implement small-scale crime prevention projects in neighborhoods with high crime rates.

RAPP is a unique regional effort that employs a social crime prevention approach to reduce crime and violence, particularly among at-risk youth, in the Caribbean.

The objective of this regional effort is:

  • To enhance the capacity of young people, police, justice sector and other government officials to work together on crime prevention
  • To build mutual trust between these two groups to identify and anticipate the common causes of crime before they develop

Representatives from Trinidad, the Bahamas and Suriname are expected to attend, including senior police, lawyers, magistrates, citizen security experts and staff from government ministries including education, national security and urban renewal. 

“This unique social crime prevention program has been very successful in these countries,” says Roberto Obando, RAPP program director at PADF. “Through this conference, our goal is to bring together law enforcement and government officials from various Caribbean countries to share their successes, best practices and lessons learned with their peers.”

The event will begin promptly at 9:00 a.m. on Monday March 14, 2016 with a welcome speech by Nicholas Galt, Executive Chairman of the TSL Group and PADF Board Member. Representatives from the U.S. Department of State Department’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) will also attend. Detective Mary Wheat from the Portland Police Department in Oregon will deliver a keynote lecture on strategies to increase public safety and reduce violence in the region.

The two-day workshop will include discussions on evidence-based practices, inter-agency collaboration and experiential learning as a tool to address the needs of at-risk youth. PADF works as a strong advocate for youth throughout the region. Our initiatives focus on employment generation, leadership training, combatting forced labor, crime and violence prevention and civic participation.