Friday, 11 November 2016 09:51

Castel Ritaldi (Italy) 2nd ANNUAL conference 2015

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Our Neighbourhood Watch Community was invited by Controllo del Vicinato and the community of Castel Ritaldi to hold its second conference here. On the 23/24 of October 2015, 50 participants represented more than 20 organizations from 13 countries, although it was a big logistic challenge to come together far away from different airports and locally widespread hotels and pensions. Finally, Italian hospitality was the key to bring us together in excellent atmosphere.

The meeting’s agenda was mainly to strengthen the community and to share new findings in different areas of our continent as well as to bring progress in our organisation. We could also get information about security ideas and solutions from professional speakers from universities, mayors/communities, security firms and police-organisations.

Agenda Items, Presentations

Grand Opening
Controllo del Vicinato Chairman Francesco Caccetta, Castel Ritaldi Mayor Andrea Reali


1. Welcome and introduction
Karl Brunnbauer (EUNWA) and Gianfrancesco Caccia (Controllo del Vicinato)

Gianfrancesco informed about success-stories in different parts of Italy and thanked Andrea Reali (Mayor of Castel Ritaldi) for his local support and Mirella Seccafieno for organizing the event’s logistics.

2. Presentation Lucca Community Policing Protocol

Her Excellency Giovanna Cagliostro, Prefect of Lucca

Mrs Caglistro reported on the recent agreement on cooperation between the Province of Lucca and the neighbourhood watch organizations. This is the first agreement of its kind in Italy. One of the key success factors was the cooperation with the Municipality of Montecarlo in the province of Lucca and also with the ministry of internal affairs. The mentioned tool addressed not only the perception of security but also the actual (!)security itself. It was understood that a kind of mental iron curtain of distrust between private groups and authorities had to be cut apart. The implemented tool covered the very important communication with Law Enforcement Agencies and private groups/residents. Thus trust increased together with the direct knowledge about security and the way antisocial behaviour is recognized.

3. Neighbourhood Watch - Place and Future in European Society 

Günter Halvax, EUNWA, Vienna

Günter went into depth of the term Neighbourhood Watch and to its roots. He stated that the EU has so far ignored Neighbourhood Watch activities, and that Germany follows a different system almost incompatible with the idea of neighbourhood-watch in the sense of our organization. He also listed international organizations focussing on crime prevention. EUNWA is of growing importance providing a platform of cooperation and exchange of ideas and experiences within the European neighbourhood watch community.

4. Neighbourhood Watch in Today's Highly Segmented Cities (Urban Safety) 

Giandomenico Amendola, Professor of Urban Sociology, Rome

Prof. Amendola went back in history and presented the Angel of Siena, and defined security as absence of fear. The tradition of Frontier Village was exported to the USA and got reimported as the idea of the City’s Mayor being the head of police in personal union. Prof. Amendola closed with the statement that only people can protect people, and therefore crowded streets are essential. Alarms of unknown people/neighbours are ignored. The natural behaviour at fear is sticking together (see sheep and dog in the role of the wolf). We are facing differently coloured people, different languages, mentalities, standards of living,... and should regain the cities. Building the Tower of Babel was not a problem of languages, but God made it a problem. Cities not able to cope with differences will disappear with time.

Literature: Jane Jacobs: Bad and good Life.

5. Leading the way for a more effective Neighbourhood Watch across England and Wales

Script: James Maddan, Chairman, Neighbourhood and Home Watch Network, England and Wales

Presentation: Kate Algate, Operating Director, NHW, England and Wales

The most advanced organizations of NHW seem to be in the UK. We could see impressive statistics and a stringent NHWN 5 year strategic plan for 

  • preventing crime,
  • building stronger & safer communities, and for an
  • effective use of resources

Operational Models were shown. Social renters face 3x more risk being burgled à “WIDE” devices for effective prevention offer 49x more protection. One of the future items was a national framework, thus addressing the need of communication and not only having communication methods. The challenge may be to sort out marketing stuff from really important items.

6. Cooperation with Neighbourhood Watch to raise awareness of lock standards 

Clive Lloyd, Avocet Hardware (Sponsor)

Clive presented an intelligent door-chain and a cylinder unlockable from outside after lock snapping. The intelligent door-chain reacts on brute force and marks the criminal with a unique fluorescent spray while generating an ear-battering alarm tone. The police is consequently able to watch out for fluorescent bodies and the CSI is furthermore able to link a person’s sprayed surface explicitly to its place of crime via DNA- similar probe of the completely harmless spray-remnants.

7. Risk Analysis to prevent domestic burglary
Professor Marco Dugato, Transcrime, University of Sacro Cuore, Milan

Prof. Dugato points out that an effective crime counteraction relies on cooperation (!) and the definition of a tailored strategy. Latter must be based on real scientific research and evaluation of data to distinguish between crime shift and real prevention. We could see a significant difference between the UK and other European countries in the development of domestic burglary 2008-2013. No data available from Austria and EECs. An interesting point was the risk variation in daytime and in space as well as the repetition probability. High risk areas need accurate planning and constant monitoring. In NW programs timely (!) communication and identified vulnerabilities allow predictions and are thus essential. Predictive maps increase the hit-rate of authority-forces, but the data has to come from independent researchers not forced to follow political lines.

8. Community Policing in Austria
Major General Gerhard Lang, Ministry of the Interior, Austria

Mjr. Gen. Lang showed the complex full covering organization of community police. One idea is to organize Police Support Volunteers similarly to School Crossing Guards and give them safety education. Definition of non-objectives is important to prevent misuse and failures. The share of work-time for police forces on the district level and the motivation by not getting new tasks on top of existing ones will be an important success-factor. A milestone plan and a plan for the trial operation was shown.

9. Development of Neighbourhood Watch Initiatives in Latvia
Lidija Legzdina, senior Crime Prevention Specialist of Latvian State Police, Riga

Cooperation is important here, too. Prevention has to be targeted at two faces, a social and a situational one. These guide the targets. Five pilot places are defined and volunteers are part of the strategy. Joint trainings will be held to set up trust and communication. First surveys are done/in progress. First events are fixed. We should keep in mind to take the first step instead of analysing the whole staircase.

10. CPTED – Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (Cities, Crime and Urban Design)

Prof. Marco Strano, Rome, Criminologist, Italian State Police

Prof. Strano is psychologist and presented the M.A.U.S. system (Multilevel Analysis for Urban Security) as predictive data-mining algorithms for crime mapping using vector graphics. Variables are What, Where and When. Both static and dynamic actions are taken via cameras, police patrol and trained citizens. There is 

cooperation with companies to implement the IT platform. EUNWA and Associazione Controllo del Vicinato are involved. The MAUS system is organized in Territorial Analytic Units (T.A.U.) of 100 km2 (10x10 square) specifically modified according to the topography. The algorithm is very advanced. It needs to be approved in daily use.

11. Introduction of Voisins Vigilantes France (Scope of Activities – Tools – New Website) 

Sébastien Arabasz, Thierry Chicha, France

VV was established after Thierry became a victim of burglary. The first step was building a website. Within 9 months the success was 5,000 Voisins Vigilants in France. From a doubtful press in 2012, V.V. today has 92% favourable opinion. Burglaries declined and there are press articles daily and a big virality on social networks. Key success factor seems to be that the initiative is encouraged by authorities. The website offers sophisticated use.

12. Introduction of Eco-Razeni Neighbourhood Watch in Moldavia 

Sergiu Gurău and Vladimir Cazacov, Moldavia

Decentralization was a part of the interior reform in Moldavia 2010. A cooperation with Eco-Răzeni was founded. Bird and animal thefts are separate delicts in Moldavia. A safety-day was held. Common objectives were defined. A short way of communication enabled a good start. There are contacts to Transnistria but this area still seems politically dangerous.

13. The Vital Role of Communities in the Fight against Serious and Organized Crime 

Kate Algate, Operating Director, NHW, England and Wales

Kate could define the cost of organised crime in her country. Objective consequently is the need of a more resilient society. Consequently, the approach is to work with the individual rather than with crime. Furthermore, eight people segments of serious organized crime were defined and explained. A self- assessment with 25,000 people and a response rate of 18% was made and explained to us.

14. Cooperation of Italian Police with Neighbourhood Groups 

Lorenzo Tamos, lawyer, Milan - represented by Giancarlo Cardone

The Directive 2014/24/EU was presented. Three key services for the EU members are defined: 1. General/Public Interest, 2. Not Economical, 3. Not “transboundary interest”

15. European Crime Prevention Network (EUCPN) presentation 

Ilze Berzina-Rukere, Latvian State Police, Chairwoman of EUCPN

Ilze presented the objective and structure of the EUCPN in the sense of research and voting on EU, national and local levels. Funding is done through a grant from the ISEC programme. No link was presented between EUCPN and EUNWA so far and our meeting is perhaps the first step.

16. Introduction of new members present – White Book
(Activities of Neighbourhood Watch Schemes in European Member Countries) Karl Brunnbauer, proNACHBAR, Vienna

Karl presented EUNWA with its members and their categories and said that our common base strictly is national law to overcome distrust between police and population in some countries. Furthermore, he categorized in grassroots and national schemes, authorities and sundry network partners. Nevertheless, we still need targets and rules. A mentioned questionnaire triggered high interest. Once more he pointed out that financial contributions are necessary to do the important work of linking us together and things like a White Book, which is available for paying members.

17. Cooperation of AIPS (Associazione Installatori Professionali di Sicurezza) and ACDV 

Gianfrancesco Caccia / Marco Coronati (Sponsor)

Company presentation mainly for Italian business areas: 1. intrusion and hold-up alarm systems,
2. video surveillance, 3. electronic access control, 4. fire detection, 5. armoured doors/safes/locks/...

18. Developing Financing Tools / Community Cooperation in Lithuania 

Laura Mazinté, SKGA Vilnius

Laura started with a funny film about Lithuanian stereotypes and habits. The presentation was about funding/financing, the sources and their capacity/budget as well as about the result of a survey “What would you do, if...” and about needed support. Bilateral relations were founded with Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway, looking for further Nordic partners.

19. Safe Living in Slovak Apartment Buildings
Marcela Benušková, RYS, Bratislava, w/team Peter Grečko/Kristina Grečkova, project mngr./coord.

We got an excellent before/after view of the impressive work done by RYS. Main Problem was drug dealing in common areas of multi-storey houses in Bratislava. The three (technical, organisational, human) factors were worked out very clearly. The main targets were addressed and all parts of the RYS scheme were implemented in the hot spot areas such as Petrzalka, while in Old/New Town etc. technical measures were taken. The partners of RYS are residents, police force and municipality offices. The “just do it” mentality was very motivating for the partners to be part of a success story, where Police could explain their work and pictograms were developed to educate people. Meetings with the police are held on a regular schedule, thus granting a prospective and trustful cooperation. RYS even got drug-dealers to help cleaning the floors (!). Residentials care about a common bookshelf now instead of suffering from smelly waste bags. Even cooking oil recycling was organized by RYZ, while this was done by the municipality office in the 60km distant “twin- city” Vienna. RYS showed a perfect mixture of communication and action between the stakeholders.

20. INSPEC2T (Inspiring Citizens’ Participation for Enhance Community Policing Action) – EU Project 

Panayiotis Papanikolaou, KEMA Research, Athens/Elisavet Charalambous, ADITESS, Cyprus

Our Greek speaking friends used an EU funding against crime and terrorism under “Horizon 2020” to target the modern communication issue together with many other European members plus US and Brazil. Social media are a real necessity today. The inspec2t project is so advanced and clearly structured that the programming can be started immediately after a last fine-tuning and funding. Pilot projects (UK, NL) and trainings are part of the project to complete all necessary measures.

21. Community Policing – Survey of some European Countries / Best Practice 

Günter Halvax, EUNWA, Vienna

Günter went into depth of different best practices in Europe and presented a mixed view on how things can be done in a fruitful and trustworthy cooperation. Looking at the COPS/USA definition of community policing and other methods and procedures widens the view of how things can get done. Together with the ideas presented by Gerhard Lang (#8) this may lead to a fruitful cooperation specifically in Austria.

22. Summaries and Wrap-up, Outlook 

Gianfrancesco Caccia / Karl Brunnbauer

Both speakers expressed the hope and the firm willingness to fill all these brilliant ideas with life. Thanks were addressed to the members already having made their membership contributions for 2015-2016. It is conceivable to hand over the task of leading the EUNWA to another member like with the Olympic Games or like a relay-run. This and who will host the next conference are open for applicants.

We all left Castel Ritaldi with a lot of new ideas from friends in our community. Almost in every presentation it was trust, understanding and mainly communication which turned out to be the key issues in the next time. Let us work on them.

Castel Ritaldi website

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