EUCPN Conference for Best Practice in Community Policing in Europe
On December 5th and 6th, 2018, a conference organized by the European Crime Prevention Network (EUCPN), on “Best Practice in Community Policing in Europe”, was held at the "Austria Center" in Vienna. During the conference, which took place in the context of the activities of the Austrian semester of Presidency of EU Council, 20 projects were submitted by the representatives of the countries participating to the network, related to the application of the community policing in their communities. The ECPA (European Crime Prevention Award) of 10,000 euros went to Finland who presented an interesting project: “The Forssa Approach: Mediation in polarization and inter-group conflicts”. The project, based on an in-depth study of inter-ethnic conflicts in the Finnish city of Forssa in 2016, aimed to reduce violent crime and conflict between local youth and foreign residents of a reception centre. The project also focused on the inhabitants of the city who suffered the tension arising from the incidents of violence. The aim of the project was to re-establish the general sense of security and deactivate the polarized situation that had arisen in the city, with the aim of preventing further acts of violence.
"The Forssa approach" was based on a neutral and transparent communication and on the multidisciplinary collaboration allowing exchange of information and coordination of activities. Mediation and dialogue within the community have been the method used by professional cultural mediators and police to know the reasons and needs of the parties in conflict. The project made the city quieter and defused the conflict between asylum seekers and the resident population. Since then the violence has ceased.
Although not a direct member of EUCPN (network composed of representatives of the Ministries of the interior of the member countries of the European Union), representatives of EUNWA were also invited, and its president, Karl Brunnbauer, had the opportunity to present the European Neighbourhood Watch network and its many activities. The presentation was appreciated by the participants who asked many questions.
On the same day the representatives of the neighbourhood watch of the Dutch city of Breda submitted a report of their activities which, according to the Dutch authorities, it turned out to be one of the most advanced neighbourhood watch experiences in Netherlands.
The conference ended with a gala dinner on Danube river, offered by the Austrian Ministry of Interior, on the ship "MS Admiral Tegethoff".