1. Why was this Observatory established in Rimini?
Ivan Cecchini*: The Observatory on Organised Crime and for the Promotion of a Culture of Legality was established in the province of Rimini in 2013 with support from the Emilia Romagna Region. It gathers representatives of various provincial municipalities, as well as of associations engaged in fighting the Mafia, business associations, trade unions and other local actors.
The Rimini Riviera is a tourism hotspot. The City of Rimini itself has about 148,000 permanent residents but its population goes up to 700,000 in the summer. It’s an area that attracts organised crime, which is why it was deemed relevant to establish the Observatory.
2. What are the Observatory’s objectives?
The idea is to experiment new urban security policies and measures that protect legality, in particular through data garnered in the field, with the objective of strengthening the local legality culture and reducing the fear of crime as well as crime itself. Cities are ideal places to experiment alternative conflict resolution models, on condition that the fundamental role of research in understanding how to respond to crime and in sharing and disseminating knowledge is recognised. As such, the Observatory focuses on individuals who are most at risk of being victimised, and on the victims themselves. It’s a tool that strengthens the local dimension and helps local communities to better respond to crime.
3. What did the Observatory achieve so far?
Thanks to the Emilia Romagna region’s support, we set up a digital documentation centre. We offer advice to professionals such as accountants, lawyers and business administrators. We organise sessions on the culture of legality in local schools. We have published academic books jointly with the University of Milan and the University of Bologna. Furthermore, we regularly take part in cultural events against the Mafia that involve local security actors and civil society.
* Apart from his position at the Observatory, Ivan Cecchini is Administrative Director and General Secretary of the municipality of Bellaria Igea Marina (province of Rimini)