As part of the PRoTECT project, Efus and the city of Brasov (RO) are organising a seminar on “Identifying vulnerabilities and mitigating the risk of terrorist threats on public spaces: Cooperation between all stakeholders”, on 17 July in Brasov. A presentation will be made of the tool developed by the European Commission to evaluate the vulnerability of public spaces and its accompanying handbook.
> Vulnerable public spaces
Over the years, strategies to protect public spaces against terrorism have evolved and been strengthened, mainly focussing on protecting critical infrastructure. However, terrorist attacks are also evolving and public spaces have turned into an attractive target: these areas, also known as “soft targets”, are crowded public places easily accessible both to the public and terrorists.
Local authorities, who are responsible for the safety and security of their citizens, must be aware of the vulnerabilities of their public spaces in order to be able to adopt appropriate measures to prevent and mitigate terrorist attacks and their consequences.
> A tool to evaluate the vulnerabilities of public spaces
In the framework of the European PRoTECT project, Efus and the Dutch organisation for applied research TNO have developed a manual to help local authorities use the “Soft Target Site Assessment” tool developed by the European Union’s Directorate General Home Affairs, which consists of a series of recommendations to assess on site the vulnerabilities of urban public spaces.
PRoTECT is also helping the project’s five partner cities (Brasov, RO; Eindhoven, NL; Larissa, GR; Málaga, ES; Vilnius, LT) to conduct a local vulnerability assessment so they can adopt tailor-made technological solutions and best practices to enhance the protection of their local public spaces.
The 17 July seminar will be an occasion to present the “Soft Target Site Assessment” and the accompanying manual for local authorities, as well as the results from five pilot assessments in the five partner cities. It will also be an opportunity to exchange on the need to strengthen cooperation among all stakeholders involved in order to respond to new threats against public spaces.
The seminar will gather representatives from local authorities and law enforcement agencies, as well as experts, security practitioners and other stakeholders involved at the national and European level.
> PRoTECT: strengthening local authorities’ capacities to secure public spaces
The PRoTECT project seeks to strengthen local authorities’ capacities to secure their public spaces, in particular before, during and after a terrorist threat.
It uses tools, technology, training and field demonstrations that will improve situational awareness and improve direct responses that strengthen the security of public spaces.