Understanding the needs and expectation of the project’s six partner cities: a research conducted by the University of Leeds
One of the most ambitious undertakings of the IcARUS project is to conduct a state of the art review of research and innovation in the field of urban security over the last 30 years in Europe. The University of Leeds (UK) is in charge of this activity. Professor Adam Crawford and Dr Christine A. Weirich have written a detailed report on their progress so far. Here are the main points.
Identifying the partner cities’ main characteristics
An essential step in the preparation of the state of the art consists in identifying the characteristics, needs and expectations of the project’s core partner cities, Lisbon, Nice, Riga, Rotterdam, Stuttgart and Turin. Together with local stakeholders, they will co-produce innovative urban security tools tailored to their specific contexts in the course of the project.
The research team set up by Adam Crawford, Professor of Criminology and Criminal Justice at the University of Leeds and a long-time partner and expert for Efus, has thus conducted one-to-one meetings with representatives of the six cities, reviewed the documentation they sent, and compiled the results of a self-reporting questionnaire.
Main similarities among all six cities
All six cities are committed to working on urban security issues through local multi-stakeholder partnerships. All are keen to learn and share innovative practices and research and innovation in the field of urban security coming from other European cities as well as through the IcARUS project. They are also willing to implement the insights they will have gained through the project in their own local policies and activities.
Another common trait is that they are interested in conducting research to inform their new programmes or initiatives. Lastly, all six cities have specific needs that correspond to IcARUS’ four focus areas – juvenile delinquency, radicalisation, public spaces, trafficking and organised crime – and are interested in developing new strategies and practices in at least one of these.
The first obvious difference is that the partner cities are located in six European countries, each with their own laws on crime prevention and urban security, and each with their specific governance model articulating the relationship and areas of competence between the national, regional and local levels. Another important difference between the six countries is the approach to urban security, with some more focused on policing, others on social and community issues, and still others on crime prevention. A third aspect is the organisation of law enforcement agencies and the competences and resources of national police forces vs. local ones.
Looking at local differences, an obvious distinction is the position and role of each city within their country and Europe. Indeed, two are capital cities (Lisbon and Riga) and one is a major European port (Rotterdam), which entails specific security challenges.
Lastly, two other interesting areas of difference is on the one hand the nature and scope of the local prevention partnerships (e.g., with other public institutions or civil society organisations), and on the other the amount and quality of crime and security data available at the city level.
The next phase of the University of Leeds’ research and preparation work for the state of the art will involve data collection and the analysis of all the information collected since the end of last year.
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