PADF and Suriname Government Launch Crime Prevention Program

Paramaribo, Suriname (July 28, 2015) – The Pan American Development Foundation (PADF) and the Government of Suriname are jointly launching a multi-year initiative that seeks to enhance anti-violence and crime prevention efforts in Suriname, and the Caribbean at large.

The Resistance and Prevention Program (RAPP), which is funded by the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) through the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative (CBSI), will work with police, government ministries and civil society organizations on social crime prevention for at-risk youth. 

A major component of the program will be to develop community-driven strategies for addressing crime, while working regionally to apply lessons learned and ensure sustainability.  In addition, the program seeks to identify lasting solutions to citizen security through preventive measures that avoid problems before they happen.  It is focused on:

  • Enhancing the capacity of young people, police and justice sector officials to work together on crime prevention
  • Building mutual trust between these groups to identify and anticipate the common causes of crime before it happens

To this end, a RAPP Program Facilitator Accreditation Workshop will be held on July 27 – August 5, 2015 at the Korps Polite Police Training Academy.  In an effort to engage interagency collaboration, attendees will include 20 officers from the KPS, as well as representatives from the Ministry of Justice and Police, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Sports and Youth, the Public Prosecutor’s Office and civil society groups such as Communication, Culture and Development (COCON).  The course seeks to enhance participants’ skills, knowledge and abilities to collaborate with and instill confidence among youth who are at risk for aggressive and/or criminal behavior. 

This eight-day accreditation workshop is intended to prepare leaders to mentor, educate and encourage others working with young people to take concrete actions that improve the future of the next generation. The workshop will provide an opportunity for participants to exchange experiences and discuss the framework of social crime prevention, the root causes of youth crime and violence, gangs, organized crime, and domestic violence. They will also develop communication and action plans to address these issues.  Ultimately, it will prepare participants to lead courses in crime prevention on a variety of topics covered in the instructor’s manual; and serve as agents of change in the promotion of concrete crime prevention techniques through the use of action plans in targeted “hot spots” where crime is more prevalent. 

Throughout the week, the workshop will engage participants in hands-on active learning, where they will have opportunities to practice what they study through group work, presentations, role play and a mock teaching session. 

“The RAPP approach focuses on preventing crime before it happens,” says Nicole Whalen, PADF Program Manager. “A crime prevention focus means we must address the root causes of crime and use a broad range of tools, such as interagency collaboration, community development, youth engagement, and capacity building, to empower police and communities to work together on crime prevention and resistance.”

In addition, program participants will develop concerted action plans to be implemented within major areas facing crime challenges across Suriname. 

“The success of RAPP is built around the community action plans that allow citizens and government agencies an opportunity to serve as key stakeholders in the development of solutions to ongoing crime problems,” said Whalen.