Towards the use of statistical information on police management in Latin America and the Caribbean

On November 1, 15 and 29, 2023, a series of regional webinars were held for Latin America and the Caribbean focused on the use of statistical information to improve police operations and management. These events were co-organized by the UNODC-INEGI Center of Excellence, and the Research and Trend Analysis Area of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime headquarters.

The purpose of the initial session was to discuss national experiences in the collection of police information, along with the presentation of the document “Guidelines for the Production of Statistical Data by the Police” in Spanish. Lieutenant Colonel Juan Carlos Sierra Pineda, Chief of Administration of the Criminal Information and Criminal Analysis Unit of the National Police of Colombia, addressed the administration of information on crime in his country. Subsequently, Juan Carlos Velásquez, Commissioner of the Police of Honduras, gave an in-depth presentation on the Technical Unit for Inter-Institutional Coordination of said country. Martijn Kind, from the Research and Trend Analysis Area at UNODC Headquarters, closed the day by presenting the “Guidelines for the production of statistical data by the police“.

The next session focused on the design, development and use of comprehensive police case management systems. Diego Sanjurjo and Fabricio Fagundez, from the Department of Police Prevention Strategies of Uruguay, detailed the Public Security Management System, while Police Major Luis Vinueza Calderon, from Ecuador, explained the “Police Management System (DAVID)”. Mr. Anibal Sanchez Aguilar, Advisor to the Peruvian Ministry of the Interior, discussed their police case management system at the closing of this second session.

The last session was aimed at analyzing the experiences of entities that compile and use statistical information from police administrative records for decision-making and the development of public policy. Lieutenant Colonel Diego Villamarín, from the Security and Justice Section of the Organization of American States, explained the REDPPOL and the importance of validating and systematizing information processes. Erica Smith, Head of the Law Enforcement Incident-Based Statistics Unit at the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics, explained the National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS) and its impact on understanding crimes, and enabling the police to effectively address them. Subsequently, Guillermo Castillo Koschnick, from the National Institute of Statistics and Geography (INEGI), who is the Deputy Director General of National Policies and Censuses for the Government, presented information from the National Public Security Censuses and practical cases of utilizing the gathered information.

These experiences demonstrate that the region has significantly advanced to boost the efficiency and management of police operations. The webinars allowed discussions on crucial areas to maximize statistical information in law enforcement. Moreover, they provided an opportunity to share knowledge, best practices, and technologies applied in this field, aiming to enhance management, decision-making, and the development of more effective public safety policies.