18 October 2002
Security and crime prevention in cities: setting-up a European observatory
Recommendation 1531 (2001)
Reply from the Committee of Ministers
adopted at the 811th meeting of the Ministers’ Deputies (10 October 2002)
1. The Committee of Ministers is aware of the negative impact on the principles of democracy, social cohesion and tolerance of the phenomenon of insecurity which the Parliamentary Assembly describes in its Recommendation 1531 (2001) – Security and crime prevention in cities: setting up a European observatory. It shares the Assembly’s concern for the well-being of the European population and therefore notes with interest the lines of approach given in this text.
2. It acknowledges the need to promote concerted action at all levels – local, national and European – and notes in particular the importance of greater involvement of and increased responsibilities given to municipal authorities in implementing security policies. In this regard, it wishes to express, along with the Assembly, its satisfaction at the many initiatives taken by the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of Europe (CLRAE) in the field of the crime prevention policies of local authorities in Europe.
3. The Committee of Ministers, via the relevant steering committees, is keeping a constant watch on developments in crime prevention policies. The discussions held in previous years have led to the following recommendations: R (83) 7 on participation of the public in crime policy, R (87) 19 on the organisation of crime policy, and R (96) 8 on crime policy in Europe in a time of change.
4. In response to the proposals put forward by the Assembly in paragraph 17 of its recommendation, the Committee of Ministers would like to inform the Assembly of the following:
Growing priority to urban security problems (sub-paragraph i):
4.1 The Committee of Experts on Partnership in Crime Prevention (PC-PA) is currently drafting, under the supervision of the European Committee on Crime Problems (CDPC), a draft recommendation containing guidelines on the best use of the partnership approach in crime prevention at all levels – local, national and European. Appended to the text will be a compendium of best practices in several member states.
4.2 The PC-PA Committee is examining which key agencies and partners are likely to deliver the most effective results in preventing crime and the fear of crime. In particular, it is studying the role local authorities and local communities should play in crime prevention, with a view to determining the most efficient forms of co-operation among the agencies concerned. In carrying out this task, the Committee takes account of the work undertaken by the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of Europe (CLRAE) in the area of the prevention of crime and urban insecurity, as well as that of other international organisations.
4.3 A project on urban insecurity and preventive measures in CIS countries has been implemented in Ukraine and Moldova and is currently underway in the Russian Federation:
4.3.1 Its aim is to assist these countries in developing modern crime prevention policies to fight urban insecurity in bigger cities. It identifies and analyses the specific problems and proposes suitable preventive policies to improve safety in everyday life.
4.3.2 It is carried out in co-operation with the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of Europe and draws on the experience of a number of outside bodies such as national crime prevention councils, as well as various relevant pilot projects.
4.3.3 International teams of experts have worked in Ukraine (L’viv) and in Moldova (Chişinau). They have established detailed assessment reports containing a number of useful recommendations. These reports could serve as a basis for the development and implementation of crime prevention policies and practices in other countries as well.
4.4 The Secretary General launched in 2001 a multidisciplinary and pluri-annual Integrated Project on “Responses to violence in everyday life in a democratic society”, which became operational in 2002:
4.4.1 Its purpose is to induce policy change at national, regional and local levels in co-operation with the whole of civil society. The aim is to contribute to developing viable and practical solutions to threats to individual security in everyday life (especially in urban areas). This is being done in particular through education and prevention programmes, and, where appropriate, legal instruments, based on Council of Europe principles.
4.4.2 A specific aspect of this project concerns the social integration of young people living in disadvantaged urban areas. It will be drawing up guidelines to combat the causes of violence and other forms of anti-social behaviour. In this connection, the Committee of Ministers would refer to the reply it gave to the Assembly’s Recommendation 1532 (2001) on a dynamic social policy for children and adolescents in towns and cities.
Co-ordination at European level (sub-paragraph iv):
5. The European Crime Prevention Network, which was set up by a decision1 of the Council of the European Union on 28 May 2001, adopted at its first meeting on 25 June 2001 its programme which sets priorities and objectives for the period July 2001 – December 2002. The need to build on the work done by the Council of Europe, namely the outcome of the work carried out by the PC-PA Committee, is specifically mentioned.
European Observatory on urban security (sub-paragraph ii):
6. In view of the above, the Committee of Ministers considers it premature, pending the outcome of the work of the PC-PA Committee, expected for 2003, to take a decision on the setting up of a European Observatory. The Committee of Ministers would by that time be in a better position to assess the experience acquired by the European Union Crime Prevention Network.”
1 OJ L 153, 8.6.2001