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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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