The Council of Europe organized, with the support of the Dominican Government and the CARICOM Crime and Security Implementation Agency (CARICOM IMPACS), a regional conference for the countries of the Caribbean Community, aimed at facilitating the development of specific policies and strategies against cybercrime.
The conference is targeted at officials involved in the development and reform of national policies, strategies and legislation on information technology in the countries of the Caribbean region. Twenty-two countries are attending the event through a wide array of representatives from National Police agencies, Ministries of Security, Prosecution authorities or other governmental institutions dealing with cybercrime.
Policies or strategies on cybercrime must include at least elements such as: (i) having robust domestic legislation; (ii) institutional capacities for effective investigation and prosecution; and (iii) public-private and international cooperation, among others.
The Council of Europe's approach is based on the Budapest Convention on Cybercrime that provides guidelines for any country to develop its criminal legislation on cybercrime and digital evidence, as well as offering the Parties to this treaty a framework for international cooperation.
The Dominican Republic is the first country from the Caribbean region to become a party to this treaty in 2013 and, since 2018, has had a National Cybersecurity Strategy that also contains a Complementary Strategy against Cybercrime. It is also a priority country of the GLACY+ joint project of the European Union and the Council of Europe since 2016 and thus a regional hub for sharing information and best practices with the other Caribbean countries on matters related to cybercrime and electronic evidence.
During the opening of the Regional Conference on Policies and Strategies on Cybercrime for the Caribbean Community, Ney Aldrin BAUTISTA ALMONTE, General Director of the National Police of the Dominican Republic, emphasized the impact of the country's efforts to improve its capacities on cybercrime and electronic evidence:
The Dominican Republic has been successful in pursuing these crimes, with a case resolution rate of over 80% of the cases investigated.
H.E. Ambassador Gianluca GRIPPA, Head of the Delegation of the European Union to the Dominican Republic further pointed out the importance of making use of regional and international cooperation on cybercrime:
Initiatives such as this regional conference are essential to identify regional trends and needs and share knowledge. But to be effective, it is crucial to return messages and lessons learned back to the countries and administrations and ensure their incorporation into the respective national systems.