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The present volume represents the first published book on gangs in the Caribbean. The study of criminal gangs is both timely and of the utmost importance to policy and security in the region. In many countries across the Caribbean, criminal gangs are increasing in number and prominence, and official crime data indicate that they are responsible for an increasing proportion of violent crimes. The Caribbean region experienced a dramatic increase in murder rates from 14.3 murders per 100,000 inhabitants in 2000 to 28.1 murders per 100,000 inhabitants in 2010. In some of the countries with comparatively high murder rates, such as Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago, the proportion of gang-related murders has reached alarming levels. In the case of Trinidad and Tobago, for example, for the period 2001 to 2012, 29.5 per cent of all murders which occurred were classified as gang-related, with fully 38 per cent being so classified in 2012. The Caribbean represents a diverse region with very different cultures and security issues. Foreign experiences and research on gangs may not generalize to the region, nor may foreign policy be entirely relevant. The present volume represents an attempt to come to terms with the phenomenon of gangs in the Caribbean, and presents a wealth of empirical data, as well as an analysis of the varying issues from a number of disciplinary perspectives. Much of what is currently known about gangs in the Caribbean is brought together in this volume, with the primary aims of understanding the varying issues and examining relevant strategies for dealing with the proliferation of criminal gangs.
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Dr Randy Seepersad is a Criminologist and Lecturer at the University of the West Indies. Dr Seepersad received his MPhil in Social and Developmental Psychology from the University of Cambridge and his PhD in Criminology from the University of Toronto. He was National Author for Trinidad and Tobago for the 2012 United Nations Development Programme's Caribbean Human Development Report, and co-author of the 2006 and 2012 Jamaica National Crime Victimization Surveys as well as the 2011 Capacity Assessment of Forensic Laboratories in CARICOM Member States. Dr Seepersad's research interests include economic deprivation and crime, youth violence and delinquency, and criminal gangs. Ann Marie Bissessar is Professor of Public Management. She attained her PhD in Government with a specialization in Public Administration from the University of the West Indies and is the author of more than 60 journal articles and working papers and is the author/editor of over 15 books. Her research interests include money laundering and anti-corruption.
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