Start of the Efus-led Secu4All European project on the protection of public spaces

Paris, France, December 2020 – Efus launched in December the Secu4All European project, which seeks to strengthen the capabilities of local and regional authorities in ensuring the security of public spaces and the protection of soft targets (i.e. sport venues, shopping malls, schools, transport system…) against potential risks. 

Led by Efus, the two-year long project will provide training to local and regional authorities in four areas: 

  • increasing their knowledge on methods and tools to assess the vulnerability of local public spaces;
  • improving communication with relevant stakeholders in case of crisis (before, during and after);
  • share knowledge on innovative technologies to reinforce the protection of public spaces and exchange expertise on the ethical use of such technologies and the collected data;
  • reduce citizens’ feeling of insecurity by means of ‘Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design’ (CPTED);

A complex challenge for local and regional authorities

Public spaces are places of exchange, culture, commerce, leisure and political expression, all qualities that are inherent to cities. However, because they are open and for some emblematic of a city, a region or a country, public spaces can become hotbeds of delinquency and incivilities and worse, prime targets for terror attacks, as has happened throughout Europe over the past decade. 

For local and regional authorities, managing the local public spaces is arguably one of their most visible actions in the eyes of local citizens: it is where their vision of society is best embodied and enacted. Ensuring that such spaces are inclusive and open, but also peaceful and safe is a complex challenge for local and regional authorities, which are first in line when a crisis occurs. 

Cooperating with all local stakeholders

Experience has shown that it is essential that local and regional authorities cooperate with a broad range of local stakeholders from both the public and private sector in this endeavour: urban planning, first respondents, transport and mobility services, event organisers, local businesses, and also, crucially, relevant national and European authorities.  

In order to do so they need adequate knowledge and tools. Designed by Efus, Secu4All intends to do just that: it will develop training content providing local authorities with theoretical and practical knowledge so that they can improve their local prevention actions or programmes to safeguard their public spaces against risks. 

An issue on which Efus has been working for years

Secu4All is the latest of a series of projects that Efus has been leading or taking part in in this field, such as PRoTECT (Public Resilience using TEchnology to Counter Terrorism) (2018-2021), PACTESUR (Protecting Allied Cities against TErrorism by Securing Urban aReas) (2019-2021), Cutting Crime Impact (Reducing the impact of criminality in local communities) (2018-2021) and IcARUS (Innovative AppRoach to Urban Security, which started in September), to name the most recent. Furthermore, Efus is co-coordinator together with the cities of Nice (France) and Madrid (Spain) of the Partnership on the security of public spaces of the Urban Agenda for the European Union.  

With a broad European reach and a cross-cutting approach, the Secu4All project gathers a consortium of local and regional authorities, research universities, think tanks, as well as a network of private security actors.* 

* DITSS (Netherlands) Dsp-groep Bv-DSP (Netherlands), KEMEA (Greece), the CRIMINA centre of the Miguel Hernandez University in Elche (Spain), the European Organisation for Security-EOS (Belgium), Bruxelles – Prévention & Sécurité (Belgium), DEFUS (Germany), FFSU (France), FISU (Italy), The Hague (Netherlands), Riga Municipal Police (Latvia), Xábia (Spain). 

> You can follow regular updates on the topic of Public Spaces on Efus Network here

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