Today, in Rome, the new “Associazione Nazionale del Controllo di Vicinato” - ANCDV (www.ancdv.it) has been established. Among the founders there are those whom about ten years ago brought the experience of the Neighborhood Watch in Italy, inspired by the homonymous British model. The founders of this new association are Roberta Bravi, Francesco Caccetta, Leonardo Campanale, Stefano Leprini, Rodolfo Principi, Paolo Ruotolo and Mirella Seccafieno.
The first three groups of Neighborhood Watch were created in Italy, in 2008, in three small cities: Rodano, Castel Ritaldi and Caronno Pertusella. In less than ten years the project exponentially took off, quickly spreading in over to 500 Italian towns, involving hundreds of thousands of families in more than 12 regions. All of this was possible thanks to the priceless contribution of hundreds of voluntaries, other than the support of the Police and Local Administrations.
The Neighborhood Watch surely represents one of the most relevant phenomena developed in Italy in these last years. The elements that contributed to the amazing success of the project are definitely the wish to participate to the life and safety of one’s own community and the healthy and renewed ‘solidaristic impulse’, more focused to people’s needs.
The enormous effort made in these years was majorly paid back with the positive feedbacks from the Prefects and Authorities. In fact, the Neighborhood Watch’s protocol, regardless of who promoted and diffused it, is locally generating extremely positive effects in terms of greater inclusion and social cohesion, and more importantly, the removal of vulnerability.
The last measures on safety, issued by the Italian Government, and the growing numbers of Prefects who have invited the towns to endorse The Memorandum of Understanding for the promotion of the Neighborhood Watch program, have opened possibilities to a bigger diffusion of the project. This diffusion though, risks to generate splendid but numerous disconnected ‘islands’ with no positive synergy. For this reason, a step forward was made, finally realizing ‘a common house’ for all these single local experiences. A sort of Neighborhood Watch 2.0, able to collect and value all these territorial peculiarities and skills, for a bigger sharing and network organization.
This new national network of “participated safety” is free, since there is no need to pay a membership fee to any centralized association. In fact, through the network, single citizens, Neighborhood Watch groups and local associations are going to be able to more easily and creatively interact to spread the project and establish more Neighborhood Watch groups in their areas. With supportive spirit they will pursue their safety mission, and the cure and protection of people and places, with a particular attention to the most vulnerable subjects (e.g. elderly, adolescents, etc).
In conclusion, the Neighborhood Watch is a project made by the people for the people, apolitical and non-partisan, where everyone can participate, free of cost.
Together we can.
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