The year 2013 will mark the 20th anniversary of the “security contracts” in Belgium. Implemented in the wake of the riots that shook a number of municipalities of the Brussels area in 1991, these preventive schemes called Strategic Plans for Safety and Prevention are now implemented by 73 cities with more than 10,000 inhabitants. Funded by the federal government (Ministry of the Interior), they give specific means to cities and towns to work in various areas including the fight against drug abuse as well as theft prevention, the feeling of safety, incivilities and neighbourhood life.
Positive results registered in neighbourhoods through these action plans have led to the creation of the Belgian Forum for Prevention and Urban Security (FBPSU). The FBPSU was established in October 1995 on the initiative of five major Belgian cities, and now includes the majority of Belgian cities that have a Strategic Plan for safety and crime prevention. Charleroi is also a founding member.
At the start of this important year, the city of Charleroi is honoured to become the Chair of the Belgian Forum for 2013 until June 2014. Charleroi was unanimously elected by the Board of Directors of the Belgian Forum for Prevention and Urban Security.
“We are proud to be named Chair of the Belgian Forum this year,” said Paul Magnette, Mayor of the city. “This 20th anniversary is an opportunity to highlight actions conducted in neighbourhoods, which have increased safety, as well as the feeling of safety and social cohesion. This Presidency will strengthen the links between Walloon, Flemish and Brussels-area cities so that we can all learn from positive local experiences. I also hope to contribute to strengthen and maintain the Strategic Plans. They are slated to be renegociated this year, and hopefully will be upheld for the next four years.”
Many events such as conferences and study days will be organised during the Charleroi Presidency.