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Urban Safety Municipalities and the Protection of Public Spaces

Edited on

06 February 2023
Read time: 3 minutes

Conclusions of the Conference workshops, Urban Safety Municipalities and the protection of public spaces

1. Town Planning and Urban Space Management
2. Proximity Policing in the Internal Security Strategy
3. Municipal Police in the Context of Urban Security
4. Prevention of Juvenile Delinquency
5. Relevance of New Technologies in Public Security
6. Night-time entertainment in urban space
7. Participation in Private Security in Urban Security
8. Cities of the 21st century | Migration and Multiculturalism

1. Town Planning and Urban Space Management

The intervention in the territory must start from an integrated vision, not only at environmental and urbanistic level, but also at security level;
The characteristics of land use and occupation contribute significantly to (in)security;
It is necessary to look at the effort required from municipalities in their task of implementing national policies that are projected in urbanism and land planning issues;
Need for standardisation of concepts and terminology, taking into consideration that diverse interpretations lead to non-harmonised solutions;
Care for public space should not be differentiated according to the social level of its inhabitants.

2. Proximity Policing in the Internal Security Strategy

In the application of the proximity policing model, there is a need for openness and adaptation to the vulnerabilities and specific social context of each territory, population and social conditions;
The need to speed up the articulation between entities with responsibility for social intervention in a given territory;
Elimination of constraints that prevent the sharing of social characterisation data, due to the absence of a legal framework or lack of sensitivity to the need for integrated action;
The need to increase trust between entities with shared responsibility in the management of social problems in the same territory;
Identified as a new major challenge of proximity policing the social isolation of citizens - which no longer affects only the elderly - as an increasingly frequent characteristic in rural and urban areas.

3. Municipal Police in the Context of Urban Security

The knowledge that the Municipal Police acquires in the scope of its functions allows solving urban management problems, thus contributing to the quality of the public space;
Need for greater institutional collaboration between the Municipal Police and the Security Forces;
Reflection about the statute and training of the Municipal Police to promote the improvement of urban security;
Credibility - Need to reinforce the image and notoriety within the community.

4. Prevention of Juvenile Delinquency

It is important to create in young people a sense of belonging that identifies them with the place where they live;
Urban intervention in public spaces through urban art made by young people can enhance the feeling of integration;
Spaces should be created to increase activities that encourage the involvement of young people in projects of and for the community;
Promote the empowerment of young people for an active participation in the collective decision-making of the community where they live;
Fostering a culture of positive parenthood;
To invest in youth entrepreneurship, providing them with tools that allow them to develop their life project.

5. Relevance of New Technologies in Public Security

The use of video surveillance systems is a deterrent to crime:
- Contributes to the population's sense of security;
- Does not replace police action
- It is essential in the management of operational resources;

Need for joint reflection (Central State, Local Authorities, Academia) on the opportunities of new technologies:
- How to put new technologies at the service of security;
- Absence of integrated systems of information analysis (smart cities) in a perspective of security reinforcement;

Absence of a sharing culture:
- Public institutions do not share officially collected information;
- Lack of information interoperability;
- Inability of the State to tailor its response to the citizen;

Example: exchange of information between municipal social action and health centres. In case of relocation, municipalities have difficulties in communicating to health centres the new address of citizens, with consequences for situations of mandatory vaccination, assistance for chronic diseases and support to the elderly.

6. Night-time entertainment in urban space

Need to create mechanisms that co-blame night entertainment establishments by the impact they generate on the quality of life of citizens (cleaning, safety, damage to urban furniture);
Need to find a balance when nightlife zones are in residential areas;
An adequate occupation of public space with nightlife activities can contribute positively to safety in the areas where they are located;
The experience presented by the municipality of Porto regarding Movida was considered positive.

7. Participation in Private Security in Urban Security

Municipalities increasingly use private security services, not only by legal imposition, but also because they want to ensure a safe environment in the different actions of cultural dynamic;
Private security training should be provided with greater quality and specificity regarding the levels of risk associated with the function;
Develop a communication channel that allows the rapid transmission of relevant information to the Security Forces and Services.

8. Cities of the 21st century - Migration and Multiculturalism

Housing, language learning and adequate working conditions were considered key factors for the integration of the migrant population;
Pay special attention to migrant women, given the increased difficulty of their integration into the community;
Provide proximity support in the regularization of foreign citizens through programmes such as "SEF on the Move" (SEF= Portuguese Foreigners and Borders Service);
Deconstruct the existing prejudices associated with migrant citizens;
Greater pro-activity of central and local state services in the integration of migrant citizens into the local community.