Brno, Czech Republic, September 2015 – Efus attended the second meeting of the working group on senior citizens, created upon an initiative by the Generalitat (autonomous government) of Catalonia (Spain), which was held on 21-22 September in the city of Brno (Czech Republic), with representatives of the cities of Brasov (RO), Brno (CZ), Prague (CZ), Břeclav (CZ), Prostějov (CZ), The Hague (NL), Matosinhos (PT), and the Generalitat of Catalonia (ES).
After a general exchange among participants, the meeting was largely devoted to the situation of senior citizens in Brno and the programmes underway to increase their security and feeling of security. According to municipal data, the proportion of elderly people in Brno’s population is one of the highest in the country. In 2011, the municipality conducted a survey among the over 60 to assess their perception of their living conditions and their needs, in particular regarding safety and security.
The survey revealed that this category of the population is particularly prone to be victim of crime such as fraud, pickpocketing, burglaries, robberies, blackmail, bullying and abuse. The findings corroborated data from the national police (2010), which showed that nationally and on average, 18 elderly people are victim of crime every day in the Czech Republic.
However, another interesting data from the 2011 survey is that people over 60 can also be offenders. Indeed, over the past five years, the number of people in that age category sentenced for crime has doubled, a figure that is mainly attributed to the consequences of the economic crisis.
The city of Brno is particularly active in this area. It coordinates the Active Ageing Plan, which was created on the basis of the findings of the 2011 survey and seeks to help senior citizens lead a healthy lifestyle.
Another interesting local initiative is the Senior Academy (see the practice sheet), created in 2005 with the aim of helping elderly citizens to better protect themselves against crime and to actively participate in the life of their community. This programme, in which the municipal police participate, received an award from the Czech Ministry of the Interior.
The City Council and the municipal police have also set up the seniors safety line and the centre of emergency signal.