Oldenburg (Germany): a city where all the citizens participate in crime prevention

Also in... (Français),(Deutsch)

“Watch out! Speak out! Do something!”. In the German city of Oldenburg, situated in Lower Saxony (160,000 inhabitants), all the citizens are invited to participate in crime prevention. Indeed, the motto of the city’s prevention council is: “Let’s all do prevention“.

Founded in 1997, Oldenburg’s Crime Prevention Council (Präventionsrat Oldenburg, “PRO”) includes today some 30 organisations coordinated by the city’s town hall: police, justice, university, associations, clubs etc. Indeed, local authorities consider that crime prevention is a key-element of the overall management of the city, not only to fight crime but also to create a feeling of security among the population. The missions of the Crime Prevention Council are quite broad, as it is in charge of identifying the causes of crime, developing local solutions, and defining and overseeing specific projects.

Oldenburg’s Crime Prevention Council is keen to foster citizens’ participation and is open to all sorts of initiatives: giving ideas, providing resources for a project, supporting the work of the Council, making its work known… Among its partners is the association of the “friends of Oldenburg’s Crime Prevention Council”, and it is supported by various private sponsors.

Members work in eight different areas, through various thematic working groups and by overseeing specific projects. Among the main themes of work are mediation in schools, moral courage, elderly people, child protection, graffiti, night mediation, addictions, the house of youth justice, and new media.

Since 2005, the city organises each year the “Oldenburg prevention days”, a public event aimed at showcasing local ideas and initiatives in the field of crime prevention.

The quality of Oldenburg’s prevention policy has earned it the prestigious German Cities’ Crime Prevention Award in 2008, with a prize of 50,000€.

The city has been a member of Efus since 2010, and is a founding member of the German Forum “DEFUS”.

Oldenburg’s oustanding record in prevention policy has also been recognised by the German Congress on Crime prevention, which has chosen it as host-city for its upcoming 16th annual meeting, scheduled on May 30 and 31, 2011. The event will gather more than 4,000 crime prevention experts from Germany and other European countries, as well as from other continents. This year, the theme of the conference is “The world of new medias, a challenge for crime prevention?”.

Among the many projects developed by Oldenburg is a programme on mediation in school that has been going on for almost ten years. This initiative, entitled “Fairness brings more”, consists in training teachers as school mediators, and students as peer mediators. One interesting aspect of this programme is that it is based on a public-private partnership with local companies. More information on this initiative in our “Practice of the month” section.

Click here to learn more about Oldenburg Crime prevention Council (PRO)