Security & Strategic Review - June 2023

REGION: The role of illegal weapons in Caribbean crime

A detailed study on the role of firearms in Caribbean crime was published in April. Weapons Compass – The Caribbean Firearms Study is a joint report by the Small Arms Survey and the Caribbean Community (Caricom)’s Implementation Agency for Crime and Security (Impacs), and the first of its kind. The remit of the project was to carry out “a comprehensive evidence-based study of illicit arms trafficking to and within the Caribbean, and the socio-economic costs of firearm-related violence in the region”. The report draws on data collected from 13 of the 15 Caricom member states and from a total of 22 Caribbean states in all. A headline finding is that the rate of violent deaths in Caricom member states is “almost three times the global average”, and firearms are used in more than half of all homicides. It is also highlighted that firearms are not manufactured in any Caribbean member states, so all the offending weapons are imported, mostly illegally.

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