CECOPS, London Metropolitan Police Service, January 2010

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The European Forum for Urban Security is a partner of the project “Community Engagement for Civic Order Policing and Security” (CECOPS). This 2 year project is lead by the Metropolitan Police Service in London. The other partners are an Italian research institute “ RiSSC”, a Lithuanian law institute “ Teises Institutos”, and the City of Bologna.

Taking its roots in another European project started in 2005, the idea arose to focus specifically on direct engagement of citizens, as volunteers, in policing activities. The project builds on the fact that there is an increasing demand from police institutions and governments for the engagement of citizens in policing activities. Instauration of the “Ronde” in Italy in 2009, London Metropolitan police recruiting voluntary police officers, “Voluntary citizens in the National Police” scheme in France…are some examples.

But how are European cities and local authorities supporting initiatives to engage citizens in patrolling, controlling and reassurance activities? Around schools, during the night time, in the public transport system… quite a number of experiences do exist. It is the case, for example, with the “ Angels of bus stops” initiative in Bologna, or “ Street pastors” system in London, that the CECOPS project has already looked into during the first meeting held in London on 10th and 11th of February 2010.

In months and years to come, the aims of the CECOPS project is to identify, evaluate and share good practices in this field and address the following specific questions:
• What is the scope of such engagement activity?
• How should such activity be defined?
• What is its possible relationship with situational crime prevention? 
• What evaluation is available for the projects that exist?
• To what extent are these engagement initiatives transferable?

Your local authority has interesting experience in this field? EFUS is looking for experiences to build – with the partners of the project – a good practice guide, and select initiatives to be showcased in the course of the project.

Keeping in mind the ethical issues that are strong in this field, your experiences will be scrutinised under the aspect of reassurance, social action and law enforcement… but we will also look at the question of transferability and sustainability of the projects.

Interested ? Please contact burtonpage[at]urbansecurity[dot]org