More than 100 participants from the Balkan region attend Regional Forum on Urban Security

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Zagreb, Croatia, September 28, 2011 – The Zagreb Interprotex security fair, which took place in the Croatian capital from September 27 to 30, 2011, illustrates the vitality of the private security industry in Croatia. Held in Zagreb exhibition centre and advertised widely throughout the city, the fair gathered dozens of exhibitors presenting security technology products and expertise ranging from personal alarm systems to security clothing, cctv systems and police intervention techniques.
The Croatian Security Managers Association (UHMS, according to its Croatian acronym) held during this event a conference on urban security. This regional forum organised under the auspices of the Croatian Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Zagreb City Assembly, with the support of the European Forum for Urban Security and the Association of Cities in Croatia, brought together more than 100 participants from cities and the private security sector of Bosnia Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro and Serbia.

As a network of cities focusing on the exchange of knowledge and experience across Europe, the Efus was invited to present, at the beginning of the conference, its goals, activities and achievements in past and on-going projects. As Croatia prepares to join the European Union, in July 2013, many Croatian cities are keen to develop closer connexions and inter-city cooperation with their European counterparts.
Among the various themes addressed during this event, the cities of Solin (who is member of Efus), Cakovca and Karlovca presented their initiatives in the field of crime prevention. The Mayor of Solin, Blazenko Boban, and the Secretary of the Crime Prevention Council of Solin, Slobodan Marendic, presented the different tools available to Mayors in Croatia in order to prevent and fight crime, and gave an overview of the achievements of the Crime Prevention Council in the past few years. Other speakers presented initiatives around prevention of bicycle theft, public laws preventing minors to drink alcohol in the streets, security in public transport, and the need for regulation and standardised security norms for children’s playgrounds.
A round table on video-surveillance in Zagreb entitled “Big brother or a better security for citizens?” completed the programme. The plan to install 250 cameras in the city of Zagreb was discussed and the questions focused on the possibilities to effectively use this system for prevention, the legislation on privacy that should be reinforced at the national level, the cost-benefit ratio, the quality of images and the necessity to take into account the human factor when training operators. The speakers agreed that freedom should not be sacrificed to security. Alen Ostijic, Director of the UHMS, raised the question of how to inform the public, and stressed the importance of complying with the recommendations and principles of the Charter for a Democratic Use of Video-Surveillance developed by Efus.