Gian Guido Nobili

Head of the Department of Urban Security and Crime Prevention, Emilia Romagna Region, Director, Italian Forum for Urban Security (FISU) (Italy)

Gian Guido Nobili is Head of the Urban Security and Crime Prevention Unit of the Emilia-Romagna Region (Italy). He oversees research programmes, projects and data systems concerning crime, victimisation, juvenile delinquency, organised crime, urban security and crime prevention.

Since 2013, Gian Guido has been National Coordinator of the Italian Forum for Urban Security.

Since 2006, he has been a member of the European Society of Criminology (ESC) and a founding member of the European Governance of Public Safety Network.

He is author or co-author of books and more than 50 articles in Italian and international journals and has edited books on topics such as the evaluation of crime reduction programmes, policing, organised crime, urban security and research on new crime prevention strategies.


Do you have any specific hopes or predictions for the future of urban security? (What will urban security look like in 30 years? What will be the main opportunities and risks?)

I hope that urban security will become increasingly linked with other policy areas. Even though the final objectives of the different policy areas can vary greatly, all these domains have significant influence, for better or for worse, on the overall level of safety within the local community. Gender policy has an important role to play because only a profound change in culture and relations between the genders can reduce the routine and widespread violence that marks relations between men and women. Education policy is also important, particularly in the area of compulsory schooling where the processes of socialisation, integration and appreciation of shared rules, the fundamental building blocks to acquire a shared idea of legality, are all learned. Policies designed to qualify the local area to ensure optimum management of urban transformation processes, which can have a direct impact on levels of conflict in public spaces, also have an important part to play. Policy implemented to assist the reception given to and the integration of immigrant populations is vital for the contribution to social harmony between different cultures and lifestyles. Last but not least, social policies aimed at supporting and integrating those areas at the margins of the community are relevant as well.

We must focus our attention not only on street crime, incivilities and feelings of insecurity, but also on the prevention of organised crime. It operates at the urban level in such a way that the general public and local institutions are largely unaware of its activities. Yet, the destructive potential of organised crime is far more widespread than that of more common types of criminality.


Why do you think it is so important to involve citizens in urban security practice?

Urban security practices have to encourage local sociability and citizen involvement. Not only because they are essential to foster spontaneous surveillance, but also because considering and sustaining existing social ties contribute to preventing the exclusion of incoming groups, which can fuel conflicts.