Wednesday, July 24, 2024

U.S.-Funded, UN-Coordinated Project Will Strengthen Crime Data Sharing in Belize


U.S. Embassy Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) Coordinator Mary Walz and United Nations Development Program (UNDP) Deputy Resident Representative in Belize Ian King handed over US$26,760 in Information Communication Technology (ICT) equipment to the Minister in the Ministry of Home Affairs & New Growth Industries Kareem Musa on October 22, 2021.

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) funded this project through its the “Evidence-Based Information Management for Citizen Security in Central America and the Dominican Republic” program; UNDP Belize procured the equipment. This collaborative effort, also known as the InfoSegura Project, is an integral part of broader U.S. efforts to support improvements in citizen security in the region.

The donation includes a high-powered Hewlett-Packard (HP) server, three HP workstations with high-quality monitors, and three rugged tablets. This equipment will strengthen the sharing of inter-agency crime data and other relevant information among key agencies in Belize.

The recipients of today’s donation are the Belize Police Department, the National Forensic Science, and the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions.  These are among the agencies that contribute data and information to the Belize Crime Observatory (BCO), which is the national repository of crime data and information.

Through this donation, the United States Government has responded to the urgent needs outlined in the BCO’s Strategic Action Plan (2020-2023), which advances collaborative efforts to develop Belize’s multi-agency Crime Intelligence Architecture, enhancing both national and regional security.

“We are proud to partner with regional agencies and stand with Belize to improve its comprehensive framework for information sharing. Being able to access crime data easily and quickly will help authorities to better detect, prevent, and prosecute criminal offenses. This multi-agency approach is critical to reducing crime and promoting national security, which in turns makes the region safer,” INL Coordinator Mary Walz highlighted.

“In our rapidly evolving world, Information and Communications Technology is king! We are very pleased that the Ministry of Home Affairs & New Growth Industries’ focus on strategic crime interventions through innovation and technology is receiving a much-needed boost through the USAID-funded InfoSegura project. This donation of ICT equipment will go a long way to realizing our vision for the development of a state-of the-art, Crime Intelligence Architecture for Belize,” noted Minister of Home Affairs Kareem Musa.

In April 2021, InfoSegura also donated US$15,205 worth of ICT equipment to the ministry, including a high-powered Dell server and three Dell workstations.

UNDP Deputy Resident Representative Ian King remarked, “UNDP applauds the continued commitment of the Ministry of Home Affairs to addressing citizen security with the support of the United States Agency for International Development. InfoSegura is already assisting in the provision of data and information as well as tools to enhance policies, strategies, and plans of the Government of Belize to improving safety and security in Belize, but we do have much more to do and UNDP is committed to partnering with the government and stakeholders to realise these goals.”

The InfoSegura project supports interventions and policies that aim to strengthen crime and justice data platforms both nationally and regionally, including working to support the formulation of evidenced-based policies and decisions.  The project is being implemented in Belize by the UNDP and implementing partner the Ministry of Home Affairs & New Growth Industries.

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