Nice: pioneering new urban security solutions
One of the partners of the IcARUS project, the French city of Nice has long been forward-thinking in its local urban security policies, an area which is a top priority for Mayor Christian Estrosi.
The ‘capital’ of the French Riviera, Nice is the fifth-largest city in France and the second-largest on the French Mediterranean coast with some 350,000 inhabitants. Beyond the city itself, the agglomeration of Métropole Nice Côte d'Azur gathers 49 towns, totalling about 550,000 inhabitants. Nice’s Mayor, Christian Estrosi, who is serving his third mandate, is also President of the Métropole Nice Côte d’Azur.
High-tech municipal police
Nice has the largest municipal police in France, since the hiring of 59 municipal police officers in 2018 and 2019. The municipal police staff now totals 455 police officers and 183 public road surveillance officers (agents de surveillance de la voie publique, ASVP).
The Mayor of Nice considers urban safety as a top priority of his mandate and has long argued for more powers to be given to municipal police forces. As such, the municipal police has recently been equipped with body-worn cameras. The Nice Municipal Police was also the first in France to have its own Twitter account, providing information on its activity, giving advice to citizens and answering their questions.
Call terminals in public spaces
Following the October terrorist attack in the Notre-Dame Basilica, in the heart of the city, the municipality decided to increase the number of emergency telephone terminals installed in various public spaces and connected to the municipal police. The first ones were installed last year. Indeed, the one on avenue Jean Médecin was activated by passers-by during the attack in the basilica, which allowed municipal police to quickly intervene. In the wake of the attack, the municipality also decided to install 170 bollards in front of schools, colleges and high schools.
Now, one of the municipality’s key projects is to create a joint police command centre that will be shared by the local and national police forces. Titled the Urban Hypervision and Command Centre (CHUC), this shared equipment will further enhance the level of urban security and its perception by citizens by promoting an innovative governance model for all security actors involved in planning, providing and evaluating safety at the local level.
Involvement in other European projects
As we’ve seen, urban security is a top priority for the municipality, which is why it welcomed to opportunity to join the IcARUS team and share and improve its knowledge, technologies and experience in this field. This project will complement the activities carried out under the PRACTICIES (“Partnership against Violent Radicalization in Cities”) European project on the prevention of radicalisation, in which both the City of Nice and the Métropole were partners until its conclusion in April 2020. Furthermore, Nice is coordinating the Partnership on the security in public spaces of the Urban Agenda for the EU together with Efus and the City of Madrid.
The city of Nice highly appreciates to work with all the partners of IcARUS, an interesting project that will lead to innovative and efficient solutions to improve urban security.
subscribe to be the first to receive icarus news!
Know what we've been up to and the latest on the European urban security frame.