“Venice Charter”: the start of a European circuit of cooperation between associations, organizations and institutions for the prevention of crimes and the promotion of security and legality, all-round.

Sponsored by Venice City Council, Axon and Nextdoor companies, on September 2nd and 3rd 2019, we held in Venice our 5th Annual Meeting. The event, led by our President Karl Brunnbauer and moderated by EUNWA Legal Advisor Roberta Bravi and Vice-president Leonardo Campanale, was strongly wanted by the City Councillor Enrico Gavagnin – whom, in doing the honours, remarked how strongly City Mayor Luigi Brugnaro believes in Neighbourhood Watch prevention program.

Special guest of the meeting was Roberto Ciambetti, President of Veneto Regional Council, first signatory of a very recent regional law supporting Neighbourhood Watch program - a regulation written in collaboration with Enrico Gavagnin.

The meeting was attended by 68 representatives of 12 different countries. During the session, where participants deployed the themes planned in agenda, EUNWA’s partners signed a memorandum of understanding called, in honour of the hosting city, the “Venice Charter”.

"The signing of this Charter represents a starting point," said the drafter Enrico Gavagnin. “We would like to establish an EUNWA Secretariat” he continues, “providing a regulation and then make it fully operational within an indicative period of six months after its activation. From our part, we will immediately try to structure a network with the City of Venice, the Veneto Region, the Universities that are showing interest in our work, and the local associations of Neighbourhood Watch that have proven to be proactive and collaborative with the Public Institutions, to prepare, within a deadline to be settled, an adequate proposal, operationally feasible, financially sustainable and logistically identified”.

It is through the signing of this Charter that several entities, national and international, engaged on the fronts of rights protection, prevention and security (in its triple meaning of security, safety and care) create an international cooperation circuit. The aim is common: to raise awareness about legality, safety and prevention.

 “The Venice Charter constitutes a Memorandum of Understanding, an agreement aimed at developing a stronger and more intense collaboration for promoting not only the practice of Neighbourhood Watch but also a greater attention to the prevention of social and urban degradation, resulting in an increased of collective security. The Charter aim is to encourage citizens' participation in the security of their communities, at 360 degrees, in all the European Union’s States. The initiatives envisaged in the Charter can strengthen cooperation between our country and other European organisations that believe and invest in participatory security. In the 21st century, with the high level of globalization achieved, we believe that only through stronger international cooperation, closer to citizens, it will be possible to improve the perception of security in each of us. Together, a lot can be achieved. Participation is the lifeblood of prevention and cooperation is the ability to take care of one's own interests, through the care of others”.

At the meeting attended not only Neighbourhood Watch associations but also organisations and institutions that deal with crime prevention, solidarity and contrast to urban and social degradation,  as INWA – the Italian association that formulates and spreads neighbourhood watch theories; City Angels – an association of volunteers who in many major Italian cities are concerned with supporting weak, elderly, disabled, homeless people in their primary needs; Rangers of Italy and the Zoophile and Environmental Guard Corps, devoted to the protection of animal rights and environment; Libra Onlus – engaged in supporting crime’s victims; Labqus – preventing crime through urban planning of safer cities; International School of Ethics & Security specialized in vocational training on subjects related to safety and security.

We want to thank the City of Venice, its Mayor Luigi Brugnaro, the City Councillor Enrico Gavagnin and all his staff for the hospitality and the excellent organization of the event.

EUNWA Board

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