Safe and inclusive public spaces: European cities share their experience

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European Forum for Urban Security


and inclusive public spaces: European cities share their experience

Published by the European Forum for Urban Security (Efus), this docu ment is the result of the PACTESUR (Protect Allied Cities against TEr rorism in Securing Urban aReas) project, which ran from January 2019 to December 2022. It was written by Marta Pellón Brussosa (Programme Manager), Tatiana Morales (Programme Manager) and Nathalie Bourgeois (Copy Editor), and produced under the supervision of Elizabeth Johnston (Executive Director) and Carla Napolano (Deputy Executive Director), with contributions from the project partners, the 11 associated cities and the Expert Advisory Committee.

Use and reproduction are royalty free if the purpose is non-commercial and the source is acknowledged.

Translation: Nathalie Bourgeois

Proofreading: David Wile Layout: Marie Aumont

Printing: ONLINEPRINTERS GmBH, Fürth, Germany

Printed in November 2022 ISBN: 978-2-913181-90-2 EAN: 9782913181908 Legal deposit: November 2022

European Forum for Urban Security 10, rue des Montiboeufs 75020 Paris - France Tel: + 33 (0)1 40 64 49 00 -

This publication was funded by the European Union’s Internal Security Fund — Police. The content of this publication represents the views of the author only and is his/her sole responsibility. The European Commission does not accept any responsibility for use that may be made of the information it contains.

uropean Forum for Urban Security

Safe and inclusive public spaces: European cities share their experience


The PACTESUR project was completed successfully thanks to the mo bilisation and commitment of the partner cities, associated cities and experts who contributed to its various components and to the prepara tion of this publication. We would like to thank them for their commit ment throughout the project and for generously sharing their knowledge, experience and expertise. They have thus contributed to achieving our common goals.

We would also like to thank all those who contributed to the many face-to-face and online events, meetings, police academy and general discussions organised as part of the project.

Finally, we would like to thank the European Commission, and in particular the Directorate-General Migration and Home Affairs for its financial support through its Internal Security Fund (ISF) — Police Programme, without which this project and publication would not have been possible.

The PACTESUR project was carried out with the participation of the project partners, the 11 associated cities and the Expert Advisory Committee. We would like to thank the following for their commitment and enthusiasm:

Project coordinators

Florence Cipolla, Jean-François Ona and Sebastian Viano (Nice, France).

Project partners

Benedicte Biron and Bernard Frederick (Liège, Belgium), Elena Ciarlo and Edoardo Mattiello (ANCI Piemonte, Italy), Gianfranco Todesco, Elena Ghibaudo and Federico Dellanoce (Turin, Italy).

Associated cities

Paul Seddon (Leeds, United Kingdom), Claudia Beck (Munich, Germany), Francisco Javier Espinosa and José Ramon Carrasco (Madrid, Spain), Martyn Holt (London, United Kingdom), José Antonio Monfort Pons and Fernando Gaona de Sande (Xàbia, Spain), Raimonds Nitišs and Staņislavs Šeiko (Riga, Latvia), Ana Veronica Neves (Lisbon, Portugal), David Robertson (Edinburgh, Scotland), Dominic Seth (Essen, Germany), Leszek Walczak (Gdańsk, Poland), Thanos Tatsis (✝︎) (Athens, Greece).

Expert Advisory Committee

Isabella Abrate, Mariusz Czepczynski, Susanne Diemer, Karine Emsellem, Lina Kolesnikova, Michaël Nicolaï, Gian Guido Nobili, Petia Tzvetanova, Eric Valerio, Christian Vallar, Yves van de Vloet, Nicolas Vanderbiest, as well as a representative from the Centre for the Protec tion of National Infrastructure (CPNI), who has requested anonymity for security reasons.

Other Contributors

A special thanks to Laetitia Wolff, design impact consultant and in structor, who led the partnership-based course between the Sustaina ble Design School of Nice (now called Besign School) and the PACTESUR project. We would like to thank the students who partici pated in the In/pact and Project Citiz projects, Grant Linscott, academic director, and Maurille Larivière, director.

Student designers: Mathieu Andries, Holly L. Bartley, Jules Baudrand, Ibrahim Benouna, Owen Cartau, Maxime Chef, Julian Coiffard, Juliette Dunand, Romain Desrez, Enzo Jamois, Marine Jean, Lola Mangot, Tarushee Mehra, Sacha Nouviale, Pauline Poirot, Clément Pheulpin, Arjun Rao, Fanny Ricciardi, Noémie Rocheteau, Manon Roulan, Matthew Slack, Stefani Takac, Tristan Terrusse, Nicolas Thomas, Agatha Verlay, Baptise Viot, Emma Weber, Eva Zortich.

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Table of contents

Foreword ........................................................................p. 8

Part 1 - Public spaces at the heart of the city ................ 11

The complex challenge of protecting public spaces .......................... 13

The protection of public spaces, a priority for the European Union .. 13

Preventing and protecting public spaces against terrorism 14

The key role of local and regional authorities ................................... 14

The PACTESUR project: a global and integrated approach to public space protection ................................................................ 16

Part 2 - A multidisciplinary, cross-sector approach to the protection of public spaces .............. 21

Community involvement .................................................................. 26

Security by Design: how to render public spaces both safe and open to all ................................................................................. 31

Urban planning and design: inclusive and safer public spaces ......... 36

The importance of art ....................................................................... 43

Part 3 - The use of technologies for protecting public spaces: efficient but not sufficient .................. 47

Part 4 - Planning in advance.................................................. 61 1. Correctly assessing the situation and needs on the ground .......... 62 2. Building the capacities of local and regional stakeholders to minimise the impact of a crisis .................................................... 66 3. Exchanging practices, knowledge and ideas with peers 75 4. Engaging local businesses............................................................ 78

Part 5 - Communicating efficiently with citizens in case of a crisis .................................... 81

Roles and responsibilities in crisis communication .......................... 82

Taking into account what can or does go wrong ...... 87

Conclusion ..................................................................... 91

Recommendations ........................................................................... 92 Annexes.......................................................................... 95

Annex 1: Twenty-five techniques of situational prevention .............. 95

Annex 2: Standardisation in crime prevention can be effective and fun .................................................................... 96

Annex 3: Preventing vehicle attacks: the experience of the UK’s Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure .... 104

Annex 4: The example of the ALARM project 108

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The management and protection of urban public spaces remains one of the top priorities of local and regional authorities, and a key mandate from the electorate, given their central role in the attractiveness of cities and in fostering the social inclusion of all groups of the popula tion, as well as cities’ offer of culture, leisure and trade opportunities. Unsurprisingly, this has long been a key area of work for the European Forum for Urban Security (Efus), as a network dedicated to urban security gathering some 250 cities of all sizes from 16 European countries.

The waves of terrorist attacks against European cities since the mid2010s have sent shockwaves in European local authorities, which found themselves confronted with the complex challenge of securing their urban public spaces without turning them into “bunkers”. What can cities do to render their public spaces more safe, inclusive and open to all? How to collaborate more efficiently with national authori ties, in particular on counter-terrorism, but also local police forces and all the other relevant local stakeholders? How to take into account new technological developments? How to better involve citizens and civil society?

One of Efus’ members, the City of Nice (France), was the target in 2016 of a particularly deadly terrorist attack on its famous public space the Promenade des Anglais on Bastille Day, a particularly symbolic day for the French. In the following years, the city took a series of initiatives to better prevent such attacks and protect its public spaces, some of which were supported by the European Commission and Efus. In 2019, Nice took the lead of a wide-ranging, EU-funded project titled PACTESUR (Protect Allied Cities against TErrorism in Securing Urban aReas), which aimed to empower cities and local security actors, mainly in the face of terrorist threats, but also against other risks inherent to public spaces. Efus was one of the project’s partners, along with the City of Liège (Belgium), the City of Turin (Italy), and the National Asso ciation of Italian Municipalities (ANCI) Piemonte (Italy).

Over the course of four years, the project organised a wide range of ac tivities, including, but not exclusively, the deployment of pilot security equipment in the project’s partner cities, police academies for various European local police forces, and European Weeks of Security aimed to give a voice to European local stakeholders, police representatives, experts and civil society in the conversation about the security of public spaces.

This publication, presented during the PACTESUR project’s final conference (Brussels, 23-24 November 2022), presents the main insights Efus has drawn from this large project. To be clear, this publication is not meant to be a comprehensive description of all the work carried out by the project, but rather takeaways that we hope can be useful for European local and regional authorities.

We’ve looked at the main challenges faced by local authorities in pro tecting their public spaces; how this issue is approached by EU institu tions; why it matters to involve a wide range of stakeholders but also, directly, citizens; what technology can bring and the main pitfalls to avoid; how to correctly assess public spaces’ vulnerabilities and prepare for all eventualities; and how to communicate in case of a crisis.

We have strived to include as many practical cases as possible, drawn from the PACTESUR project, but also from other EU-funded projects that tackled the issue of the protection of public spaces and in which Efus took part.

We hope this publication will be of interest to you, and that you will join us in keeping this conversation alive by sharing your views and experience through our website and our regular on- and offline confer ences, workshops and other types of meetings and platforms. There is no single or simple answer, but it is clear that directly exchanging between cities on such an important issue can only benefit us all, local authorities and citizens alike.

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Foreword >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Part 1

Public spaces at the heart of the city

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Public spaces have changed throughout history. The traditional role of the central square as a gathering place for trade, political and religious expression has evolved into a multitude of other uses and new interac tions. The ways in which citizens access, engage and relate to public spaces have changed, and urban public spaces have become vital areas of urban life: places for communication, gatherings, political demon strations, artistic and cultural performances and all sorts of entertain ment. They represent places where people come together, interact and encounter differences .

The political discourse about public spaces has changed over time as politicians now generally consider them as “public goods” and recog nise the leading role played by local authorities in managing them. Local and regional governments are committed to investing in public spaces as a means to strengthen social cohesion, improve the quality of life, and enhance the image and attractivity of cities. Indeed, numerous studies have shown that well maintained, healthy and safe public spaces improve security and people’s feelings of insecurity.

What is a public space?

As defined by UN-Habitat, “public spaces are all places publicly owned or of public use, accessible and enjoyable by all for free and without a profit motive”.2 They are a key element of individual and social well-being, the places of a community’s collective life, ex pressions of the common natural and cultural richness in all its diversity and a foundation of cities’, and hence citizens’ identity, as expressed by the European Landscape Convention.3

Public spaces can be defined as any open place that is accessible to all without direct cost, such as streets, roads, public squares, parks, shopping centres and beaches, as well as closed places accessible to citizens, such as government and official buildings.

1- Barker, A. (2017). Mediated Conviviality and the Urban Social Order: Reframing the Regulation of Urban Public Space, British Journal of Criminology, 57(4), 848-866.

2- UN-Habitat (2015). Global Public Space Toolkit: From Global Principles to Local Policies and Practice.

3- The first international treaty devoted exclusively to all dimensions of the landscape, the Council of Europe Landscape Convention promotes the protection, management and planning of the landscapes and organises international co-operation on landscape issues.

1.1. The complex challenge of protecting public spaces

Because they are highly frequented and by nature open, public spaces can be the target of a number of threats, such as terrorism, the presence of large crowds and panic movements, or other types of malicious ex tremist attacks. Ensuring that they remain safe, inclusive and open to all is a complex challenge.

Being the level of governance closest to citizens, local and regional au thorities are best placed to understand their concerns in relation to safe and open public spaces and implement appropriate measures to reduce feelings of insecurity. Public spaces require a security policy that is based on cooperation between the different organisations, the private sector and institutions concerned (local authorities, police, emergency services, urban planners and user representatives), in other words, genuine co-production of security that guarantees that public spaces remain both safe and accessible to all.4

of public spaces should be based on a holistic and horizontal approach, connecting EU and relevant national and local strategies, as well as public-

Council of the European Union (2021). Council Conclusions on the Protection of Public Spaces of 7 July 2021

4- Efus (2017). Manifesto: Security, Democracy and Cities – Co-producing Urban Security Policies.

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1.2 The protection of public spaces, a priority for the EU
“The protection
private partnerships”

Preventing and protecting public spaces against terrorism

As stated in the new EU Security Union Strategy, adopted in June 2020, responsibility for combating crime and safeguarding security primarily lies with Member States. This publication is not intended to be an ex haustive account of the international and national efforts in the field of counter-terrorism. Rather, we will present and discuss the main insights and learnings we have garnered in this domain through PACTESUR and other EU-funded projects that we have led or in which we have been a partner, such as PRoTECT, Secu4All and IcARUS 5

Although European cities have been experiencing acts of terrorism for decades, it can be argued that the modern-day face of terrorism emerged in the wake of the 9/11 attack in New York in 2001.6 Together with the attacks in Madrid (2004, 193 killed) and London (2005, 56 killed), these events have marked a “before and after”. While in the past, terrorist attacks in Europe used to be mainly perpetrated by sepa ratist and political extremist movements acting independently from one another, the phenomenon is now more transnational in nature, which highlights the importance of a shared European response.

As a consequence, the role of local and regional authorities in safe guarding their residents and public spaces from such attacks has become more prominent, along with the traditional role of national governments and police. Indeed, we at Efus have noted over the past two decades the increasing mobilisation of our member local and regional authorities to directly act to safeguard urban public spaces. Efus members are particularly keen to explore the role and responsibil ities of local and regional authorities when faced with terrorist threats.7

spaces, affirming that they, “alongside national governments and inter national organisations and agencies, have a clear responsibility to protect their citizens against terrorist attacks and threats to a democratic way of life.”8 In the wake of the terrorist attacks in France and Belgium in January 2015,9 the EU (re)emphasised the need to enhance public space protection and community resilience. It developed several initia tives, guidelines and tools to support the sharing of knowledge to better understand and anticipate threats in public spaces. These initia tives are based on a holistic and horizontal approach, connecting EU and relevant national and local strategies, as well as public-private partnerships.10

In 2017, the European Commission adopted an action plan to support EU Member States in the protection of public spaces through funding, the exchange of promising practices and lessons learnt, enhancing co operation and facilitating networks. Thanks in part to Efus’ lobbying work to convey to European institutions the need to tackle urban security questions through a multi-stakeholder, local approach involv ing all relevant parties, a Partnership on the Security in Public Spaces of the Urban Agenda for the EU was established in 2019. Led jointly by Efus and the cities of Madrid (Spain) and Nice (France) and gathering 10 European cities, the Partnership sought to “provide concrete European responses to real needs identified at the local level, encourage the exchange and dissemination of good and innovative practices and allow better targeting of interventions as far as legislation or funding instru ments are concerned.” It produced a six-point action plan on issues such as evaluating artificial intelligence or developing security by design guidance (to name a couple), which is now being implemented.11

The key role of local and regional authorities

Since the early 2000s, the European Union has increasingly acknowl edged the key role of local and regional authorities in protecting public

5- Respectively, Public Resilience using Technology to Counter Terrorism (PRoTECT), Training local authorities to provide citizens with a safe urban environment by reducing the risks in public spaces (Secu4All), and Innovative Approaches to Security (IcARUS).

6- European Union Institute for Security Studies (EUISS) (2017). Trends in terrorism.

7- Efus, Cities Against Terrorism (2007). Secucities: Training local representatives in facing terrorism

The Commission also developed different guidance materials and compiled available guidance. As a result of an extensive consultation process, good practices were identified to improve the protection of public places against terrorist attacks.12

8- Council of Europe. The Congress of Local and Regional Authorities. Resolution 159 (2003) on tackling terrorism the role and responsibilities of local authorities.

9- Attack against Charlie Hebdo magazine followed by an attack on a kosher supermarket in Paris, as well as an attack on police in Belgium.

10- Namely, the 2017 EU action plan to improve the protection of public spaces; European Commission staff working document on good practices to support the protection of public spaces 2019; the EU Security Union Strategy 2020-25; the EU counter-terrorism agenda.

11-Urban Agenda (2020). EU Partnership on Security in Public Spaces (2020), Action Plan.

12- Communication from the Commission of 20 March 2019 on good practices to support the protection of public spaces.

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1.3 The PACTESUR project: a global and integrated approach to public space protection

Initiated in the wake of the 2015 terror attacks in Europe, and in par ticular the 14 July 2016 attack against the Promenade des Anglais in Nice, the PACTESUR project follows a series of initiatives by the City of Nice, with the support of the European Commission and Efus, in the field of the prevention of and protection against terrorist threats affect ing public spaces. As a member of Efus, this municipality promoted the Declaration of Nice on the role of cities in preventing violent extremism and terrorism, which was co-written by the Euromed network of European and Mediterranean cities and Efus and adopted by both networks alongside 60 mayors from 18 countries.13

While there has recently been a slight decrease in terrorist attacks in the European Union (EU), the latest wave of attacks in France (Conflans Ste Honorine and Nice, October 2020), Germany (Dresden, October 2020) and Austria (Vienna, November 2020) show that the terrorist threat remains high in Europe.14 Public spaces continue to be targeted and criminals have adapted to heightened security measures by modi fying their modus operandi and using means that are more difficult to detect because they are part of everyday life, such as using a common vehicle (van or lorry) to ram into a place, or knives rather than guns. The evolution of this threat, which has become more diffuse and there fore more difficult to anticipate, remains a major challenge for EU Member States.

The PACTESUR project (January 2019–December 2022) aimed to empower cities and local actors in the field of public space security, mainly in the face of terrorist threats, but also against other risks inherent to public spaces. Through a bottom-up approach, PACTESUR gathered local decision makers, security forces, urban security experts, urban planners, front-line practitioners, designers and other profes sionals in order to shape new European local policies to secure public spaces against different types of threats.

Based on four pillars

13- It was published at the end of the Conference of Mayors of the Euro-Mediterranean region organised in September 2017 by the City of Nice and Euromed with the support of Efus, the University of Toulouse Jean Jaurès and the University of Nice Sophia Antipolis.

14- In 2021 there were 15 failed, foiled or completed terrorist attacks in the European Union, compared with 57 in the previous year. For more information: Europol (2022), European Union Terrorism Situation and Trend Report, Publications Office of the European Union, Luxembourg.


An in-depth reflection on standards, legal frames and local governance.


The development of specialised training for local security practitioners.


Raising awareness among citizens and politicians of their role in prevention and as security actors.


Identifying the most suitable local investments for securing open public spaces by sharing field experience.

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A multi-stakeholder and interdisciplinary approach to public spaces


Led by the City of Nice, the PACTESUR consortium included the City of Liège (Belgium), the City of Turin (Italy), the National Association of Italian Municipali ties (ANCI) Piemonte (Italy), the European Forum for Urban Security (Efus) and Métropole Nice Côte d’Azur.


A group of 14 specialists from various disciplines, including architects, cultural geographers, security and cross-border cooperation experts.


To exchange knowledge and promising practices relevant to security in urban public spaces.

Europe’s two latest crises – the Covid pandemic and the war in Ukraine – have (re)shifted citizens’ concerns. European citizens identify the economic situation as their top concern at EU level, followed by the environment and climate change and immigration. Health is still the main issue at the national level, slightly ahead of the economic situa tion of the country.


A partnership-based course between the Sustainable Design School of Nice (now called Besign School) and the PACTESUR project focused its research on the need to apply human-centred design approaches to security.

Understanding threats and perceptions

Security, notably terrorism, was one of the main matters of concern for European citizens as per the December 2017 Eurobarometer of the European Commission. The October 2020 Eurobarometer shows, however, that it is now less of a concern, ranking in ninth place, with only 7% of respondents mentioning it as a top priority compared to 44% three years earlier.15

As stated in the new EU strategy for the Security Union, adopted in June 2020, the Covid-19 crisis “reshaped our notion of safety and security threats” and “highlighted the need to guarantee security both in the physical and digital environments.”16 The pandemic also changed the way we think about and use public spaces. During the pandemic, cities and their users favoured open-air events, pavements were widened to ensure social distancing, and temporary terraces were set up, some times too close to the road. These changes, some of which have remained, have created new situations that cities need to tackle in order to ensure they do not create new vulnerabilities in public spaces.

In order to understand the security challenges in public spaces, any other type of incident that has an impact on these spaces and that is likely to mobilise various security actors must be taken into account. The PACTESUR project has naturally evolved to not only include ter rorist attacks, crowd management and panic movements, but also climatic risks, such as fires or floods. Indeed, events such as wide spread floods in northern Europe in 2021 and wildfires that swept through huge swathes of Europe in the summer of 2022 (including, for the first time ever, London) show how exposed European cities are now to the consequences of climate change. How do they prepare for such disasters and increase the resilience of the public?

Another factor at play now (at the time of writing) is the energy crisis resulting from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which has led a number of European cities to dim down public lighting, which in turn can have an effect on urban security at night, and on citizens’ feelings of security, in particular women and girls.

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15- Eurobarometer 2020 of the European Commission – European citizenship. 16- Communication from the Commission of 24 July 2020 on the EU Security Union Strategy.

Consistent with the EU’s priorities

In line with the strategic priorities of the European Union, particularly the Directorate-General for Migration and Home Affairs (DG HOME), on the protection and management of public spaces, Efus contributed to designing prevention schemes through the PRoTECT project, and to training local authorities through the Secu4All project. Efus also voiced the concerns of local and regional authorities on this issue through the Partnership on the Security in Public Spaces of the Urban Agenda for the EU, and through the URBAN intergroup at the European Parlia ment, of which it is an official partner.

Efus’ positioning

Ensuring that urban public spaces remain safe, inclusive and open to all is a complex challenge for local authorities. For 35 years, Efus has been working to support local and regional authorities in the planning, design and management of public spaces.

In its Security, Democracy and Cities Manifesto, Efus notes that “numerous studies and experiments have shown that the design and management of public spaces have an impact on security and feelings of insecurity”. It recommends considering the various ways public spaces are used based on objective and subjective data; involving the public, including women and minorities, in co-producing security policies; and maintaining a healthy balance between security and the respect of fundamental rights.

Efus’ experience as well as the insights garnered through PACTESUR all point out that for public spaces to remain vibrant and desirable, citizens need to be and feel safe, and to be able to express themselves regardless of racial or ethnic origin, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity or socioec onomic status.

A multidisciplinary, cross-sector approach to the protection of public spaces

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Part 2
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“First, adopt an open, transdisciplinary, cross-sector approach to the understanding of the problem, not topdown, not just tech, not expert only. Think of a public space as a canvas that is never completely white or neutral. Start with understanding the context and take into account all of it: physical site specs, recent history, background stories, trauma, cultural identity and iconic markers that make it a memorable space.”

(EAC), a group of 14 specialists from various disciplines including ar chitects, cultural geographers, security and cross-border cooperation experts. It also included a partnership-based course between the Sus tainable Design School of Nice (now called Besign School) and the PACTESUR project, which focused its research on the need to apply human-centred design approaches to security.

For 35 years, Efus has been advocating the co-production of security policies involving a wide range of local stakeholders from the public and private sector as well as citizen participation.

Public spaces require that cities and local governments work in partner ship with different stakeholders and organisations, which should include urban planners, first responders, mobility services, local businesses, academia and civil society. Indeed, the security of public spaces is not only the prerogative of the police, nor just a matter of using more technol ogy or exclusively reserved to specialists. Rather, it is the responsibility of a variety of actors representing different disciplines and backgrounds.

The need for a multi-stakeholder and interdisciplinary approach to urban public spaces is highlighted by the very nature of the PACTESUR project, which involved not only partner cities and regions, but also a working group of associated cities18 and an Expert Advisory Committee

17- Laetitia Wolff is a design impact consultant and instructor. She led the partnership-based course between the Sustainable Design School of Nice (now called Besign School) and the PACTESUR project, introducing an experimental action-research and a creative, human-centred design approach to security. See also Chapter 2, Security by Design: how to render public spaces both safe and open to all

18- The PACTESUR project included a working group of 11 associated cities (Athens, Edinburgh, Essen, Gdańsk, Leeds, Lisbon, London, Madrid, Munich, Riga and Xàbia) that had specific issues and knowledge on the protection of public spaces.

Apart from discussing conventional or protective measures such as policing, technology, bollards or barriers, the PACTESUR project explored what could be termed as soft measures aimed at encouraging citizens to appropriate such spaces through art, the design itself of these spaces, or the involvement of local businesses and civil society organisations. The aim is to ensure that these spaces are inhabited, lively and attractive, which makes them reassuring, as opposed to deserted public spaces that citizens avoid because they seem aban doned, or on the contrary overly secured spaces where barriers and technology can seem daunting and deter attendance. This is an area where local authorities have plenty of margin to intervene by mobilis ing and coordinating a wide array of local actors from the public and private sector.

Ensuring a minimum threshold of security that enables other civic values

“Rather than asking how ‘to build (ever) more secure and safer public spaces’, we should perhaps be exploring ways to ensure a minimum threshold of security that enables other civic values, social pursuits and public goods to flourish; where regulation is parsimonious and non-intrusive in ways that, wherever possible, foster self-regulation by citizens.”

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Laetitia Wolff, Design Impact Consultant and Instructor, Associate Partner of PACTESUR17

Designing and managing safe public spaces is one of the four areas of work of the four-year, Efus-led IcARUS project, which seeks to build on 30 years of urban security policies and practices to help local security actors better anticipate and respond to security challenges.

The University of Leeds conducted a research study that assessed the trends, tensions and fault-lines that have characterised shifts over time in the design and regulation of safe public spaces across Europe and beyond19. It points out four tendencies:

1. Tendency to alter the built and physical environment so as to “design out” criminogenic opportunities; often infused with logics of “preven tive exclusion”, and overt surveillance as deterrence.

2. The intervention logics have drawn attention away from the situated and contextualised features of local places – with less attention to “what works”, “where” and “for whom”. And simultaneously with little regard to which groups of people benefit from particular interventions or design features in a particular place/situation at a specific time.

3. Technological solutions outweigh human solutions in regard to ad dressing security concerns. There has been little attention to the inter section between social and technological processes.

4. Over-securitisation of public spaces: in the quest for security, the im plementation of solutions may foster perceptions of insecurities by alerting citizens to risks, heightening sensibilities and scattering the world with visible reminders of threat.

In practice: a multi-stakeholder, comprehensive strategy to protect public spaces in Gdańsk (Poland)

In practice: a multi-stakeholder, comprehensive strategy to protect public spaces in Gdańsk (Poland)

19- Efus, IcARUS (2021). The Changing Face of Urban Security Research: A Review of Accumulated Learning, University of Leeds.

Following the assassination of Mayor Pawel Adamowicz during a public event in 2019, the City of Gdańsk (Poland), one of PACTESUR’s 11 associated cities, developed a strategy aimed at increasing the capacity to respond to future security threats in public spaces.

Following the assassination of Mayor Pawel Adamowicz during a public event in 2019, the City of Gdańsk (Poland), one of PACTESUR’s 11 associated cities, developed a strategy aimed at increasing the capacity to respond to future security threats in public spaces.

The strategy included the rebuilding of the Municipal Crisis Manage ment Centre, the improvement of the communication and management system, the development of a CCTV network as well as other technical and architectural elements contributing to safer public spaces.

The strategy included the rebuilding of the Municipal Crisis Management Centre, the improvement of the communication and management system, the development of a CCTV network as well as other technical and architectural elements contrib uting to safer public spaces.

A number of municipal and national organisations were involved in the project, including the Department for Security and Crisis Management, the municipal police, the national police, the Internal Security Agency, the Municipal Security Agency, the fire brigade, Gdańsk Real Estate, the Gdańsk Road and Greenery Authority, private security companies, anti-terrorism specialists and volunteer groups. The PACTESUR project and the experience shared by the other partner cities were a great source of inspiration for its new strategy. This project will serve as the foundation for the whole safety manage ment system of the city for the coming years.

A number of municipal and national organisations were involved in the project, including the Department for Security and Crisis Management, the municipal police, the national police, the Internal Security Agency, the Municipal Security Agency, the fire brigade, Gdańsk Real Estate, the Gdańsk Road and Greenery Authority, private security companies, anti-ter rorism specialists and volunteer groups. The PACTESUR project and the experience shared by the other partner cities were a great source of inspiration for its new strategy.

This project will serve as the foundation for the whole safety management system of the city for the coming years.

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2.1 Community involvement

The PACTESUR project, and also other European projects we as Efus are (or have been) involved in, as well our permanent work with our member cities on the issue of the security of public spaces, all point out to a recurring theme: the need to involve and associate citizens in the development and management of safe public spaces. Indeed, experi ence shows that when citizens are involved in the life of their neigh bourhood, including security, they feel a sense of belonging and attach more value to their own city and neighbourhood, including local public spaces, and this in turn tends to reduce disorder and crime. The question is: how? What means, or schemes, work best to encourage citizen participation?

The general consensus among Efus member cities and partners is that the first step is to identify community needs, existing resources and avail able support (for example civil society organisations and volunteer networks). Most, if not all, local authorities already collaborate with civil society organisations on a range of local public issues. These can provide a good starting point for engaging local communities in order to evaluate feelings of (in)security in a given public space, or before implementing any new preventive measure or scheme, or during and in the aftermath of an incident. The analysis should also include how dif ferent groups of population use a given public space.

A second step consists of directly engaging with individual members or representative groups of the local community, such as local residents who are well respected by the local community, faith leaders, leaders of vol unteer associations, etc. Some of these actors have the ability to engage with and influence multiple spaces, including domestic, professional, social and cultural.20

Yet another practice quite commonly used in cities is to organise ex ploratory walks whereby members of the public representing different groups of population (women, or senior citizens for example) walk through specific public spaces, generally at night, and note down all the elements that contribute to feeling insecure, such as poor or lack of street lighting, or threatening graffiti. These reports give local authori ties and urban planning decision-makers precious direct information on how citizens experience any given public spaces.

20- See also In practice: the Strong Cities Network’s detailed toolkit.

In practice: Crime Prevention Councils

In practice: a multi-stakeholder, com prehensive strategy to protect public spaces in Gdańsk (Poland)

Another avenue to engage citizens is through the establish ment of Local Security or Crime Prevention Councils (LCPC), a governance structure that has been used, notably in France, since the mid-1980s as part of national public policies on crime prevention in order to bring together a large array of stakeholders involved in local urban security.

Following the assassination of Mayor Pawel Adamowicz during a public event in 2019, the City of Gdańsk (Poland), one of PACTESUR’s 11 associated cities, developed a strategy aimed at increasing the capacity to respond to future security threats in public spaces.

LCPCs aim to promote multisectoral and interdisciplinary col laboration and ensure that all voices are heard, not only those of security stakeholders but also those of citizens. As such, the LCCP in Piraeus (Greece) brings together various municipal departments, criminology experts, first-line practitioners and NGOs. It seeks to foster a climate of security and trust and to acquire a better picture of citizens’ daily lives in order to identify their needs and challenges.

The strategy included the rebuilding of the Municipal Crisis Manage ment Centre, the improvement of the communication and management system, the development of a CCTV network as well as other technical and architectural elements contributing to safer public spaces.

A number of municipal and national organisations were involved in the project, including the Department for Security and Crisis Management, the municipal police, the national police, the Internal Security Agency, the Municipal Security Agency, the fire brigade, Gdańsk Real Estate, the Gdańsk Road and Greenery Authority, private security companies, anti-terrorism specialists and volunteer groups. The PACTESUR project and the experience shared by the other partner cities were a great source of inspiration for its new strategy.

This objective is also shared by the City of Montreuil (France), where the Local Council for Security and Crime Prevention (CLSPD according to the French acronym) aims to encourage the participation of residents. However, this remains a chal lenge because it means identifying and operationalising effi cient communication channels with citizens as well as methods and tools to facilitate their involvement in the CLSPD’s work.

This project will serve as the foundation for the whole safety manage ment system of the city for the coming years.

More information on the BeSecure-FeelSecure project here.

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In practice: Involving citizens in Turin (Italy)

Cities can also conduct time-limited projects that involve citizens, for example to rejuvenate a particular neighbour hood. This was done in Turin (Italy) through the ToNite project (September 2019–August 2022), which sought to dispel feelings of insecurity among residents of two neigh bourhoods situated near the Dora River and more generally improve the quality of life, especially at night. The project relied heavily on citizen participation to design a range of local projects, initiatives and local services that improved quality of life. It also undertook an ethnographic and social research aimed to gain deeper understanding of behaviours, attitudes and values regarding how the neighbourhood is ex perienced and lived, with a particular focus on the areas of interest (including green areas and public spaces), and the differences in the perception of security and liveability during the day and at night. Exploratory walks organised by residents were part of the methodology used for the research.

> More information on the ToNite project here.

In practice: crime prevention grassroots movements

Citizen participation in the protection of public spaces can also be directly led by citizens themselves, and there are many examples in Europe of grassroots initiatives. A well-known example is the UK-based charity Neighbourhood Watch, which presents itself as “the largest crime prevention volun tary movement in England and Wales with upwards of 2.3 million members.” They offer local communities advice and guidance on a wide range of crimes, such as antisocial behav iour, burglary, street harassment, domestic abuse, and cyber crime, to name a few.

Another example can be found in Setúbal (Portugal), where the municipality has enrolled senior citizens to “patrol” the city, first one of the main streets and later in a public park located in a neighbourhood marred by acts of vandalism, such as graffiti or damage done to trees and urban furniture. The experience is doubly beneficial: on the one hand, it en courages seniors to go out, be active and feel they contribute to society, and on the other it prevents incivilities.

In Bologna (Italy), the Civic Assistant scheme is composed of volunteers who “patrol” around schools, public gardens and parks. Their task is to improve the citizens’ safety and offer an attentive, reassuring presence. They cooperate with the City Council and Law Enforcement, in close relation with the Mu nicipal Districts and the Municipal Police territorial units. This strategy is now reproduced in many other Italian cities, such as Brescia, Forli, Genova, Legnano and Parma, Forli, etc.

> More information on Neighbourhood Watch here

> More information on the Setúbal scheme here.

> More information on the Bologna scheme here.

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In practice: the role of citizens in emergency planning

Recent climate disasters, such as the summer 2021 floods in Belgium and the 2020 Storm Alex in the south of France, showed the importance of involving citizens as early as possible in the prevention and response to such crises. The ALARM project (2017-2021), in which Efus was a partner, devoted much of its work to the role of citizens in emergency planning. The project thus organised a seminar on the Communal Reserves for Civil Protection (Réserves Commu nales de Sécurité Civile) created by several French towns and cities, including Nice, which led PACTESUR21.

These are groups of volunteers who can support professional responders, such as nurses, radio technicians, electricians, plumbers and carpenters who can, for example, set up a shelter, help clear up debris, or cordon off damaged buildings. Volunteers played a big part in the relief effort during the floods in Belgium and actually saved lives. However, this type of intervention must be well organised. Volunteers should be trained and their role should be clearly defined as part of the emergency response. It should be noted that they are also potential future recruits for the emergency services.

As such, direct citizen initiatives should be complementary to policies and schemes implemented by the local/regional authority (mayor or other), rather than supersede them. This requires that the local author ity monitor such initiatives and ideally is in contact with their promoters.

Furthermore, some types of citizen schemes or initiatives call for proper training, notably those that touch on civil protection such as the above-mentioned Communal Reserves for Civil Protection. More broadly, citizens or local businesses who volunteer in activities of sur veillance, control, and assistance to the public in case of an accident, an attack or a disaster should be known to public authorities, and duly informed and trained.

2.2 Security by Design: how to render public spaces both safe and open to all

Some points of attention

This said, involving citizens in public space protection can be complex. Not all grassroots initiatives are necessarily legitimate and should be supported by the local authority (an obvious example is that of vigilan tes). It is important to always keep a healthy balance between the public authority that has received a mandate from the electorate and initiatives pushed by groups of citizens who do not necessarily repre sent the population as a whole.

21- See Annex 3 for a more detailed description of the ALARM project.

Numerous studies have shown that the planning, design and manage ment of public spaces have an impact on security and on people’s feelings of insecurity. This is commonly referred to as Security by Design (SbD), whereby security features are addressed from the very beginning of the conception and design of a public space, taking into account its inherent openness and integration in the urban landscape. This approach can help balance efforts to increase urban resilience whilst promoting the open and inclusive character of public spaces.22 A different iteration of this approach is Crime Prevention through Urban Design and Planning (CP-UDP), a concept applied in the Cutting Crime Impact (CCI) European project, in which Efus was a partner.23 CP-UDP seeks to positively impact the behaviour of users by embedding protec tive physical features and encouraging prosocial behaviour through good design and place management.

22- Urban Agenda (2020). EU Partnership on Security in Public Space.

23- Efus, CCI (2020). Factsheet on Crime Prevention through Urban Design.

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What is the Security by Design (SbD) approach?

As defined by the Partnership on the Security of Public Spaces of the Urban Agenda for the EU, Security by Design (SbD) is an “all-encom passing concept and a new culture that needs to be developed across European cities. It deals with the conception of city planning, urban archi tecture and furniture, flows, and infrastructures in accordance with security issues from the start. It concerns the protection of buildings, public spaces, critical infrastructures, detection methods and technologies.”

In other words, this approach builds on knowledge from physical pro tection, site and target hardening, access control, and surveillance techniques such as CCTV. It is based on the principles of urban resil ience, quality of life in cities, inclusiveness, feelings of (in)security, the co-production of security, and the use of new digital technologies or behavioural sciences.

SbD is also known as Defensible Space, Crime Prevention through Urban Design, Planning and Management, Secured by Design, Design Against Crime, and – worldwide the most widely used term (see ISO 22341:2021)

– Crime Prevention through Environmental Design (CPTED).

What is Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED)?

This approach aims to prevent crime, including terrorism, as well as anti-social behaviour and feelings of insecurity. CPTED implies two concepts, both physical and social, which must both be thoroughly tackled in order to implement effective solutions. The approach must always include all stakeholders and actors from all levels of society and from diverse professional backgrounds and expertise. CPTED focuses on a specific area/environment and involves evidence-based action. To function effectively, the approach must be both time and site specific, focusing for example on a particular building. It has proven effective when carefully and accurately targeted, as seen for example in the Netherlands and the UK.24

24- Efus, CCI (2020). Factsheet on Crime Prevention through Urban Design.

Background: the situational crime prevention approach

In the 1980s, Ronald V. Clarke developed the situational crime preven tion approach.25 It focuses on systematic and permanent management, design, or manipulation of the immediate environment, and is directed at specific types of crimes. Situational crime prevention focuses on the settings where crime occurs, rather than on the people committing specific criminal acts. Within the situational crime prevention approach, Cornish and Clarke (2003) proposed 25 strategies and tech niques to prevent and reduce crime.26

In practice: identifying the most suitable local investments for protecting public spaces

The SbD approach was central in all the work carried out by the PACTESUR project. One of the four pillars of the project was the identification of the most suitable local investment for securing open and tourist-friendly public spaces through the development of pilot security equipment/infrastructure in the project’s partner cities – Nice, Liège and Turin – that could be transferred to other European cities. Particular at tention was given to their integration into the urban land scape, natural and cultural heritage, aesthetics, design and urban mobility to avoid the so-called “bunkerisation” of cities. These security devices were considered as complemen tary tools that contribute to security in public spaces but by no means a solution per se.

25- Clarke, R. V. (1995) Situational Crime Prevention, Crime and Justice (Vol. 19), Building a Safer Society: Strategic Approaches to Crime Prevention, pp. 91-150.

26- Cornish, D.B., and Clarke, R.V. (2003) Opportunities, Precipitators and Criminal Decisions: A Reply to Wortley’s Critique of Situational Crime Prevention. See Annex 1 for a more detailed description of the 25 techniques of situational prevention.

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In Nice, a reinforced anti-intrusion device to protect the Promenade des Anglais was developed, notably to prevent attacks similar to the one perpetrated on 14 July 2016 by a ram lorry.

In Liège, a mobile vehicle barrier to protect the Place Saint Lambert and Le Carré was set up.

In Turin, a high-tech crowd control system was installed in Piazza Vittorio Veneto with the aim of avoiding panic move ments, in the wake of the June 2017 disaster during an outdoor projection of the Champions League football final.

In practice: guide for the integration of security systems in public spaces, Brussels-Capital Region

The Brussels-Capital Region, represented by, developed a guide for public space operators, managers and designers explaining the main principles of public space physical security, with a particular focus on terrorist and ex tremist threats and, more specifically, on ram vehicle attacks. It highlights the need to carry out two audits: one on security (threats and risks) and the other on the use value of a particular place. Cross-referencing these audits makes it possible to inte grate safety requirements as effectively as possible into the layout of a public space and the urban furniture. While these audits may be limited to a particular public space, it is never theless recommended to choose a larger scale – a district or municipality – to achieve a coherent overall vision, or even the implementation of perimeters that allow cases to be dealt with

in an organised way. Once the audits have been carried out, the design phase begins.

The guide reviews four types of public spaces and the recom mended design principles for each: streets, pedestrian areas, squares and parks.

> More information here

Security by Design: SecureCity –10 Rules of Thumb

The Partnership on the Security in Public Spaces of the Urban Agenda for the EU developed guidance material for local and regional authorities on architectural and spatial design (the Security by Design, SbD, process).27 Their 10 Rules of Thumb report (2021) aims to support cities and regions in their im plementation of the SbD approach by providing a checklist for its effective application.

> More information on the report here.

27- Urban Agenda (2019). Security by Design: SecureCity, 10 Rules of Thumb for Security by Design (Action 6).

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2.3 Urban planning and


inclusive and safer public spaces

“It is crucial to take into account the influence of urban development on citizens’ feelings of insecurity. If crime can be prevented primarily through social and educational programmes, an interesting approach is also to act on the physical environment itself. Architectural measures, even if they are not sufficient to curb the phenomenon of crime, can limit both the risk of harm and the fear of being a victim of crime.”

2. Diversity

When designing and developing an urban space, the concentration of varied activities (housing, employment and recreation) should be en couraged in order to attract different kinds of public at different times of day and night. It is also important to create rest areas, where resi dents can stop and chat.

Another important aspect is to encourage the mixing of generations: when older residents and younger families share a neighbourhood, older people feel safer.

3. Penetrability

Penetrability means there should be different access routes available, and the “journey” to get to a given public space should be as pleasant as possible:

By providing secondary functions along the route (reinforcing activity, attractiveness, but also social control).

By having a clear definition and structure of the area being travelled through by providing lighting.

Key principles for designing safe public spaces through environmental measures

It is important to bear the following principles in mind when renovat ing or creating a public space: footfall, diversity, penetrability, clarity and visibility, sufficient lighting and attractiveness.

1. Footfall

The number of users in a given public space appears to be the most important factor contributing to general feelings of security. Ensuring that different groups of users are present in a given public space at dif ferent moments of the day and the evening creates a back-and-forth movement that will reinforce social control.

As a whole, a less penetrable environment will result in less social control, which will have an impact on the safety and feelings of insecu rity among residents and users.

4. Clarity and visibility

The public space should be clearly signed and clear to its users: in a structured public space with clear signage, people feel safer and more secure.

Visibility refers to “seeing and being seen”. This means that a sufficient number of people must be present in a given space to see and hear everything, while there must be a certain degree of contiguity, i.e. resi dents can easily get to know their neighbours and the nearby environment.

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Eric Valerio, Architect at the Belgian Ministry of the Interior, and member of the PACTESUR Expert Advisory Committee

It is also important to include vegetation, but also to be mindful about its volume and growth to ensure it can be properly maintained and doesn’t obscure the space.

5. Sufficient lighting

A well-lit neighbourhood influences residents’ well-being, comfort and therefore feelings of security. In particular, it helps reduce crime. As a general rule, lighting should only be installed where necessary. The site should not be illuminated blindingly but evenly. People must be able to recognise each other at a minimum distance of four metres.

6. Attractiveness

Other urban design elements can influence feelings of security:

Aesthetics. Citizens appreciate different shapes, sizes and textures. However, universal values apply: for example, nature attracts (greenery, water, warmth, sunshine). On the other hand, wide areas tend to create a feeling of insecurity.

Maintenance and management largely determine the attractive ness of an area. However, the aim is not to create a perfectly main tained neighbourhood either.

Legibility and cleanliness: all the elements that could suggest that the space is deteriorated or abandoned directly affect feelings of (in) security.

Technical sustainability. The design of urban furniture (benches, rubbish bins, etc.) must be sufficiently solid to withstand intensive use and acts of vandalism.

Social sustainability. Social cohesion in a neighbourhood largely determines residents’ feelings of security. Involvement in the neigh bourhood should be encouraged. A sign of recognition, such as offering plants for the garden, is usually enough to encourage people to take care of green spaces or of the cleanliness of their neighbourhood.

> These guidelines are taken from Eric Valerio’s guide for the PACTESUR project. The full version is available here

In practice: the experience of Lisbon, in Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design

The city of Lisbon began to invest in Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) in 2011 with awareness activi ties such as workshops, training for community and other officers of the Lisbon’s municipal police, as well as municipal staff specialised in public space management.

This approach of including CPTED in the community police model seeks to provide local police officers with the following knowledge, tools and skills:

1. Team empowerment with strategies and tools aimed at ensuring that foot patrols actually contribute to improving residents’ feeling of security and well-being.

2. Development and training of technical, relational and insti tutional skills in the community, as well as team reflection about the difficulties and potential in the implementation of this policing model.

3. Enhancement of the quality of the work to be carried out in the territory, providing action lines based on preventive strategies and participatory methodologies for community involvement in security at the local level.

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The CPTED training has improved the identification of problems and their solution and contributed to promoting a more positive and healthier use of public spaces. The coordi nation with other municipal departments such as public space maintenance, urban planning, public lighting, munici pal housing and social services works much better and together more sustainable results are reached.

> More information here.

Case study: exploring human-centred design approaches to public space protection

The Sustainable Design School of Nice (SDS) was tasked with evaluat ing security equipment deployed in the project partner cities of Nice, Turin and Liège, as well as creating innovative security devices and strategies and imagining ways to engage citizens in the process. Since then, this partnership-based course has been exploring the role of design in the protection of public spaces and the need to apply hu man-centred design approaches to security.

The first part of the SDS In/Pact project devised interactive street in terventions, board games and citizen engagement strategies. They questioned the traditional top-down decision-making process in favour of a participatory approach to urban design, shifting perspectives by involving migrants in their user journey.

Occupy is a participatory game inspired by the famous game of pétanque that explores people’s idea of terrorism.

The Citiz Project invited students to focus on Turin’s Piazza Veneto and Liège’s Place Saint Lambert. With no travel possible due to Covid, they conducted their research online by interviewing a wide network of people – local residents, architects, criminologists, designers, police force representatives, psychologists, prevention educators, and urban labs directors.

Students arrived at a strategy of four complementary design solutions organised around simple action verbs: Be informed, Notify, Act and Commit yourself. The solutions presented include an app, a warning bracelet and a shield-like barrier system for public events. The students included in each of their proposed design solutions an evaluation of its impact so that municipal services and police forces would be equipped with an automatic feedback loop integrated in the new devices.

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2.4 The importance of art

“Security professionals, architects, local charities, urban planners and artists must work in a coordinated manner with cities to create secure and peaceful public spaces. Rethinking and reflecting on public spaces’ visual design is vital to increase local residents’ feeling of security.”

Concerning the management of crowd behaviour and movements, students tried to look for solutions that would prevent “tunnel vision” and the “arch phenomenon” that typically creates dangerous bottle necks during large crowd movements. They sought to devise security devices that would be instinctively recognisable, visible, and help fluidify the movement of people towards the exit. The use of sound and smell effects, water projections, visual codes and particularly light as a medium for messaging and directing crowds was at the heart of their early research.

The idea of protective furniture and how the design of street furniture could be used for hiding during a possible attack was also explored in the project.

The PACTESUR Expert Advisory Committee reflected on the role of art in improving public perceptions of the liveliness, safety, image and so ciability of a public space. Indeed, temporary art installations are forms of appropriation of public spaces by citizens.28 Street art is a way of promoting cities' identity and reinforcing social cohesion. It includes a wide range of media in public locations, such as graffiti art, mural painting, flyposting and collage, mosaics and stencilling. Street art opens new avenues for exchange and integration between neighbour hoods and promotes civic participation. Because it is immediate, ac cessible and free, it democratises culture by taking it to the streets.

According to Laetitia Wolff, who led the partnership-based course between the Sustainable Design School of Nice (SDS) and the PACTESUR project, “The notion of security stands at the intersection of multiple dimensions that are all equally meaningful – whether it’s about human needs, ethical values, democratic duties, urban life, environmental standards, or cultural values.”

> This is taken from Laetitia Wolff’s interview for the PACTESUR project. The full version is available here

28- Robazza, G. (2020) Build Art, Build Resilience. Co-creation of Public Art as a Tactic to Improve Community Resilience, The Journal of Public Space, 5(4), 283-300.

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Michael Nicolai, a Liège-based specialist in street art and a member of the PACTESUR Expert Advisory Committee

In practice: the experience of Street Art in Liège, Belgium

In the spring of 2002, the City of Liège commissioned the non-profit association Spray Can Arts to create a mural painting in a derelict area situated in a densely populated neighbourhood, where various dilapidated houses and sheds had been torn down to build a temporary parking lot. Over time, the space had become filled with litter, rubbish and graffiti.

Spray Can Arts created a monumental fresco of a cheerful scene representing a girl reading a book. A few weeks after the mural was completed, some of the charities operating in the neighbourhood reported that local residents and pas sers-by felt safer and that fly-tipping had significantly de creased. The residents had appropriated the artwork, which had become a rallying point for the neighbourhood. This mural was on display for seven years.

> You can read more here

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© Artists 2SHY (2017), Okuda (2014), Felipe Pantone (2015), Spray Can Arts

In practice: involving citizens in a renovation project, Dunkirk, France

The En rue (“in the street”) project was established through a partnership between the Art and Public Space department of the Dunkirk City Council and the Les Alizées specialised crime prevention charity. The project gathered local residents, social workers, architects, sociologists and local associations.

Part of an overall urban renovation project, its objective was to enable local residents to directly contribute to the develop ment of a public space according to their needs.

A series of meetings were organised with local residents to draw maps and identify the existing resources, the different uses of the public space, and what was missing. With this diagnostic in hand, local residents and other members of the collective developed features such as seating, picnic and play areas, a pétanque pitch and other urban furniture. Local businesses contributed by providing staff and machinery.

Several months after the renovation, the public space has been appropriated by local residents and there has been no damage to the newly installed furniture. > More information here.

Part 3

The use of technologies for protecting public spaces: efficient but not sufficient

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>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

The rise in surveillance technologies over the past 20 years has given local and regional authorities a whole new range of tools they can use to better protect their public spaces, notably by enabling 24/7 moni toring, controlling access, or “nudging” public space users’ behaviour. The question for local authorities now is not so much whether to use technology, but rather which technology to use, where, when and how. This is a vast field that can appear a bit daunting in particular for medium and small municipalities that do not have the resources to keep abreast of fast-evolving technological developments. The chal lenge is to use technologies in such a way that public spaces are safer, but also remain open and inclusive while respecting fundamental freedoms and the right to privacy.

Efus’ positioning

Efus helps local and regional authorities to innovate, not only by better using new technologies but also by bringing social innovation to their crime prevention and security policies. Efus’ approach is based on the key principle that such policies, whether they concern the digital or the physical space, must include the respect of human rights, privacy and fundamental freedoms. Even though technologies transform the way police, public authorities and civil society act and react to crime, they do not change the fundamental princi ples that prevention is an effective approach to crime and that social cohesion is key to safeguarding security.

Smart technologies

Smart technologies such as facial or sound recognition are increasingly used by local authorities and other security stakeholders, notably law enforcement, to better protect public spaces. They can also be used to identify the location of victims of floods and landslides or to find people reported as missing. Efficient, although far from infallible, smart tech

nologies should not be considered as a stand-alone solution, but rather be part of a coherent, holistic security approach. They should always be used within a framework that guarantees the respect of privacy and fundamental rights.

The main smart technologies (to date) being used in public space pro tection are:

Intelligent Cameras

• Body cameras (body worn video)

• CCTV (closedcircuit television)

• Drone cameras

Biometric Technologies

• Face recognition

• Fingerprint scanners

• Voice recognition

• Iris scanners

Digital Technologies

• Algorithms, big data

• Predictive policing

Technologies that rely on data generated by citizens

Another aspect of the use of technology for public space security is that of citizen participation. Growing numbers of local authorities through out Europe, as indeed national police forces, are using social media and mobile technologies (apps) that foster direct exchanges with citizens. They can be useful in case of a crisis for authorities to gather information on the ground and inform the public in real time about an evolving situation. They can also help spot an incident and track wrongdoers. But like all other security technologies, they must be used within a clear ethical framework that guarantees fundamental rights for all and the respect of the rule of law.

Predictive tools

Even more sensitive are predictive policing tools, which rely on algo rithms to predict where crime can happen and even who could commit an offence or a crime. These technologies, which are still quite new and bound to undergo many iterations in the years to come, are beyond the remit of municipal or other local authorities as they are intended for

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police. Nevertheless, local authorities should be aware of their advan tages and pitfalls because they are directly concerned by how policing is conducted on their territory and among their resident communities.

Following are some practices and insights Efus has garnered while working on this vast topic of security technologies, either through European projects (PACTESUR, Secu4All, PRoTECT and CCI) or through its ongoing, daily work, in particular its working group on Security & Innovation. The aim of this chapter is to go beyond easy narratives that are either exceedingly optimistic or pessimistic – a common pitfall when it comes to polarising topics such as predictive policing, facial recognition or subjective feelings of insecurity.

Predictive policing is the application of analytical techniques –particularly quantitative ones – to identify likely targets for police intervention and crime prevention or to solve past crimes by making statistical predictions. Predictive policing could be con sidered as a method to predict in which geographical areas there is an increased chance of criminal behaviour, but also which in dividuals and groups – through predictive profiling – are more likely to be involved in criminal activities. 29

Case study: the use of drones for public space protection in Europe

In recent years, the use of drones, or Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), by public services in urban areas has significantly increased. These systems can carry out effective monitoring and surveillance functions in public spaces. They can be used to prevent potential physical attacks on critical infrastructure (power, water and life systems), airports, open-air events and concerts. Some European cities have established drone units within their municipal police to develop, implement and improve their use in public spaces. However, research is still needed to identify the best way to obtain optimal results. The use of these technologies raises concerns about the right to privacy and data protection. Additional risks are related to potential cybersecurity breaches and malicious uses, such as when drones are used for trans porting drugs or worse, weapons and bombs, or for espionage.

(1) The Drones Unit of the City of Turin (Italy)

“Drones must be considered as one among a whole range of tools and measures used as part of an overall strategy. They must be integrated with actions and technologies that already exist on the ground.”

Prediction-led process (Perry et al., 2013)

The City of Turin coordinates the DronEUnit Network, a European Drone Unit network gathering various Law Enforcement Agencies (LEAs), private companies, universities, academia and research centres whose aim is to discuss how to best use drones to improve certain services offered by municipalities to the public. It uses drones to monitor large events and large crowds, notably to spot individuals in distress and inform emergency services.

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Gianfranco Todesco, Chief Commissioner, Local Police of Turin
Data Fusion Prediction
29- Efus, CCI (2020). Factsheet on Predictive Policing.
Data Collection Analysis Police Operations Criminal Response

Turin is the first city in Europe that has two drone testing areas (one indoor, the other outdoor):

1. DoraLab, an urban park with an optimal position that guarantees security conditions for the flight of drones.

2. Città dell’aerospazio (“aerospace city”), where pilots are trained to face difficult outdoor conditions such as heavy winds.

(2) The use of drones to monitor public spaces by Police Scotland, City of Edinburgh (United Kingdom)

“All police drone activity is overt and transparent. Deployment must be for a legitimate policing purpose, be safe, legal, proportionate and necessary.”

In Police Scotland, there are two distinct and separate capabilities:

1. The Police Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) Unit uses drones to keep people safe across Scotland. Drones are used as a quick and effective way to search large or sometimes inaccessible areas that would otherwise take a search team on the ground signifi cant time and resources. The RPAS Unit is of the opinion that drones are not best suited to urban areas due to building dynamics and proximity to people. Public space CCTV and ground resources are found to be the most effective in an urban search. However, drones were used to monitor airborne threats during the COP26 Climate Summit in Glasgow (November 2021)

2. The Aviation Safety and Security Unit (ASSU) employs a range of techniques to protect the public and partners from potential aerial threats. Such mitigations include airspace restrictions, geofencing and trained responders to support and protect legal drone users and to help local police with growing illegal use of drones. Such methods are deployed at sites and for events, operations and incidents.

All Police Scotland drone operations are conducted in line with a Data Protection Impact Assessment (Privacy Assessment), the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and an Equalities & Human Rights Impact Assessment. Police Scotland informs the public or communi ties of a particular area of proposed police drone activity using social media, face-to-face engagement and sometimes leafleting. Community engagement is crucial as it builds trust, reassurance and confidence. All police drone activity is overt and transparent. Deployment must be for a legitimate policing purpose, be safe, legal, proportionate and necessary.

> This analysis is part of the joint interview of the cities of Edinburgh and Turin for the PACTESUR project. The full version is here

(3) The use of drones by the Municipal Police of Madrid (Spain)

In Madrid, the Air Support Section provides service across municipal departments and areas (including urban planning, firefighters and emergency medical services) and uses drones as follows:

Monitoring & surveillance: event crowd and capacity monitoring; surveillance and supervision of public events and night-time leisure parks; support to Central Security Units in events or police interven tions; monitoring of traffic offences; surveillance of large areas to prevent/locate fly-tipping, and general night observation and surveillance.

Communication: public health warnings (notably during the Covid-19 crisis).

Accident reconstruction: use of UAS for the investigation of acci dents at work (major injuries or fatalities) in hard-to-reach places; collaboration with the Accident Investigation Unit, drawing up 3D plans of accidents and reconstruction of traffic accidents.

Disaster management: collaboration with fire brigades and City Council technicians in different types of disasters, such as building explosions (gas), roof collapses, building fires, etc.

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Inspector Graeme Rankin, Police Scotland, City of Edinburgh

Search & seizure: i.e. illegal marijuana plantations.

Search & rescue: search for missing persons in large areas.

> More information in the Madrid practice sheet here.

Case study: video surveillance technology and facial recognition

For the purposes of monitoring public spaces, video surveillance tech nology and facial recognition can facilitate the identification of suspi cious behaviour in urban areas. Facial recognition is arguably one of the most polemic and yet ubiquitous applications of AI-based computer vision algorithms. It is biometric technology – a process that allows us to recognise a person by a physical or behavioural characteristic. Other examples of this are fingerprint or iris recognition, voice recognition but also identification based on gait.30 Facial recognition has two func tions: the authentication and the identification of a person.

In the first case, the system compares the biometric template of a face to a single image of a particular person in order to verify whether or not it is the same person.

In the second case, the model is compared to a larger database of pictures in order to identify one person amongst many.

A third, highly controversial, function is concerned with categorisa tion – the differentiation of people into various categories, depending on individual characteristics. Such characteristics commonly include sex, age and ethnic origin.

In practice: facial recognition tests in London, London Metropolitan Police (UK)

Between 2016 and 2019, the London Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) conducted 10 Live Facial Recognition (LFR) tests in differ ent scenarios and with different watchlists of persons of interest throughout the city. The purpose of these trials was to “assess the value, viability and challenges (including technological, legal, ethical, and governance)” of the technology. The facial recognition software was integrated into cameras that would generate alerts, which officers could then assess and adjudicate.

The MPS used a watchlist of individuals of interest and their facial images as a database, which eventually included 2,401 subjects. Over the three years of testing, LFR was deployed for a total of 69 hours. With approximately 180,000 opportunities of recognition (faces that appeared in the videos), the police engaged with 27 individuals and arrested 9 in response to alerts by the facial recognition system.

The efficiency of the LFR system greatly depends on the number of individuals listed on the watchlist. The increase of the list’s size is believed to have contributed to a higher number of identifications and arrests during the second half of the trials. Compared to the “manhunt” tactic where offenders are located by deploying officers to multiple locations over long periods of time, LFR requires less re sources and can increase operational efficiency. Regarding the location of the cameras, the system was most efficient when there was a level of control over the flow of people passing through the area. The tests also showed that while the rate of false positive identi fications was statistically insignificant when it came to ethnicity, it was significant in terms of gender difference. Women had both lower false positive identification rates and lower true positive identification rates.

30- CNIL (2019). Reconnaissance faciale : pour un débat à la hauteur des enjeux.

> For a detailed description of the experimentation, see here.

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The Nice Urban Supervision Centre

In practice:

facial recognition

during Carnival, Nice (France)

In 2019, the City of Nice decided to evaluate the relevance and reliability of live facial recognition during its annual Carnival. The objectives were to contribute to the securitisation of public spaces and support scientific research, based on an Israeli software called AnyVision. Forty volunteers signed up for their picture to be added to a fictitious database. The software can take into account ageing, thus recognising a person up to 20 years after the photograph was taken.

In order to comply with GDPR and respect the right to privacy and fundamental rights, the simulation was only used in a specific zone around one of the entrances of the Carnival site. The fact that the experiment was being conducted was clearly communicated to Carnival-goers through leaflets and banners. In addition, people who accepted to go through the zone were given a coloured bracelet. The experiment involved three sce narios: controlled access at one of the entrance gates of the Carnival area through facial identification, the detection of a (fictitious) person of interest in the crowd, and spotting a person of interest when they pass through the gate. In total, 5,000 people accepted to take part in the experiment over a period of three days.

A report on the experiment conducted by the City Council high lighted the high level of social acceptance of such technologies, provided they were properly regulated. As for the efficiency of the technology, the municipal police emphasised in the report that they found it useful and would use it if available.31

The Nice Urban Supervision Centre (USC), is the operational command controlling all the cameras of the city’s video surveillance network. It operates 24/7 and has three objectives:

Enhancing public security by deterring and preventing attacks on the safety of people and property. Video footage is notably used in criminal investigations and for the identification of offenders.

The prevention of natural disasters and risks; search and rescue; protection against fires. For example, CCTV is used to monitor river banks and sea coasts, allowing for both contextual and specific views of those areas without putting officers at risk. The images are also used by rescue services to identify the origin and monitor the devel opment of natural phenomena and mobilise the most appropriate response means.

Monitoring traffic and urban circulation with technology such as predictive tools to anticipate traffic conditions, thermal cameras for detecting people and obstacles to circulation, or to limit uncivilised behaviour such as double parking, as well as real-time video protec tion of the tramway network.

Considerations when developing and deploying facial recogni tion technologies

Given the complexity of this technology and the ubiquity of its potential uses, it is crucial to consider how to ensure the protection of funda mental rights and freedoms while responding to security needs. How can anonymity be preserved in public spaces? What forms of surveil lance are acceptable without raising fears in society and negatively in fluencing people’s feelings of insecurity and unsafety? While technology offers a broad range of opportunities for the protection of public spaces, these solutions have to be developed in concordance with physical protection measures and must be designed to respect privacy regulations. Efus’ working group on Security & Innovation drafted a series of considerations for local and regional authorities:

31- Nice City Council (2019). Assessment of the facial recognition experiment (only in French).

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Working towards a clear legal and regulatory framework: considering the speed and complexity of new developments in facial recognition technology, the European Union is planning on re-as sessing existing legal frameworks, such as the GDPR, and consider ing new legal requirements. In its white paper on artificial intelligence, the Commission outlines aspects that these require ments are linked to: training data, keeping of records and data, infor mation to be provided, robustness and accuracy, and human oversight. Sharing local experiences, problems encountered and lessons learnt on a European level can help anchor such require ments in the real needs of European cities and regions.

Assessing the impact on fundamental rights: given that facial recognition technologies impact a whole range of fundamental rights, it is important to assess them both, to different extents, during the development and the deployment of algorithms.

Evaluating necessity and proportionality: prior to deploying facial recognition technology, a city or region must develop a clear understanding of the local urban security situation and evi dence-based knowledge. The information gathered during a safety audit can help frame considerations of necessity and proportionality in order to find the right balance between the benefits and the risks of using facial recognition. This includes evaluating which public spaces should be outfitted with the technology for what reasons and problems.

Monitoring facial recognition technology: when a law enforce ment agency uses facial recognition software, it is paramount that agents verify the results. They should evaluate whether a match is accurate and decide on an appropriate response. The accuracy and efficiency of the software itself should be monitored by independent supervisory bodies.

A proper understanding of the technology: local authorities often rely on externally developed technology. In that case it can be hard to understand how a facial recognition software works and to evaluate it. In order to ensure that fundamental rights, such as the right to non-discrimination and data protection, are integrated not only in the

deployment but also in the development of the technology, such con siderations must be part of the procurement process (FRA, 2019).

Adequate police training: depending on the quality of the software used, it is possible that law enforcement get a large number of hits. The interaction with people who were matched with a face on a watchlist needs to follow the same principles of respect as any other interaction. Again, awareness of the software’s potential fallibility and inaccuracy is important to understand that a match does not necessarily mean that a person was properly identified or authenticated. Training law enforce ment officers on how to handle such situations can be helpful to ensure calm and dignified interactions with the public.

The 2021 European Union Artificial Intelligence (AI) Act

In April 2021, the European Commission published a proposal for a regulatory framework on the use of AI. This framework was conceived as an answer to insufficient existing legislation and sets out rules to enhance transparency and minimise risks to fundamental rights. The document focuses on high-risk AI systems, including, amongst others, the use of crime forecasting software and facial recognition in urban spaces. These high-risk uses can only be put into place if they fulfil a number of require ments, such as: the use of high-quality datasets, the establish ment of appropriate documentation to enhance traceability, sharing of adequate information with the user and the design and implementation of appropriate human oversight measures.

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Planning in advance

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Part 4

4.1. Correctly assessing the situation and needs on the ground

The work carried out through the PACTESUR project confirmed what Efus has been advocating for 35 years: assessing the “security land scape” of a city through a safety audit is indispensable prior to design ing urban security policies and measures. Indeed, it is also one the five elements of Efus’ Strategic Approach to Urban Security, including strategy creation, action, evaluation and the mobilisation of different stakeholders.

As regards public spaces in particular, such an audit should also include an evaluation of their vulnerabilities32. Furthermore, any new intervention must be carefully planned, involving all the relevant stake holders besides municipal services and police, including local commu nities and businesses as well as groups that are usually under-represented or rarely in contact with public institutions33.

What is a safety audit?

A safety audit is a systematic analysis undertaken to gain an un derstanding of the crime and victimisation problems in a city or a chosen area, identify assets and resources for preventive activity as well as the priorities that should be assigned to crime preven tion, and to shape a security strategy34

Threats can come in many different forms and can occur in many dif ferent types of public places and at different times. Assessing the risks for a specific location therefore should not occur once, but instead be a continuous assessment of the current situation and risk levels. Risk assessment involves three consecutive processes35:

Risk identification (identifying threats and threat scenarios).

Risk analysis (determining consequences, probabilities, risk levels and vulnerabilities).

Risk evaluation (determining priorities, risk treatment actions, risk acceptance).

The Manual for Vulnerability Assessment

In order to precisely identify and evaluate the vulnerabilities of a given public space to terrorist and other threats, local authorities can use the Manual for Vulnerability Assessment developed through the PRoTECT project,36 in which Efus was a partner and discussed it with the PACTESUR partners in several meetings.

The manual aims to help municipal staff responsible for safety and security in public spaces and their stakeholders to identify the vulnera bilities of a given public space to different types of terrorist attacks. It is based on the European Union’s Vulnerability Assessment Tool (EU VAT), which was developed by the Directorate-General for Migration and Home Affairs as part of the European Commission’s efforts to support Law Enforcement Agencies (LEAs) in the protection of public spaces.

32- Efus (2016), Methods and Tools for a Strategic Approach to Urban Security.

33- Safety audits are only complete when different and often-neglected perceptions of security held by different groups within a city are taken into account. Within Efus, the Women in Cities Initiative (WICI) will accompany local and regional authorities that wish to carry out gendered safety audits in their cities or other chosen areas, which includes choosing the right method, the area of focus, and guidance in implementing the chosen audit methodology. WICI also aims to conduct in-depth work in gender inclusivity in local security forces.

34- Efus (2007), Local Safety Audits: A Compendium of International Practice.

The EU VAT assists local authorities or other relevant stakeholders in performing a number of defined steps in order to conduct a vulnerabil ity assessment for a specific Public Space of Interest (PSoI) against a 35- Efus, PRoTECT (2020). Deliverable 2.1. EU VAT manual. 36- Led by the Dutch Institute for Technology, Safety and Security (DITSS), PRoTECT (November 2018–June 2021) sought to provide local authorities with tools, technology, training and field demonstrations to improve their capacity to assess the level of safety in a given place or situation, as well as the measures taken to strengthen their safety, prevent a terrorist attack and mitigate its consequences.

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specific terrorist threat. It lists the probable threats depending on the type of public space that is being considered and the type of activities taking place there, for example whether it’s a square, a train station, or a shopping centre, etc. The types of threats considered can be an armed attack, a ram-vehicle attack, or chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear (CBRN) threats, for example. The Assessment Tool then produces a risk matrix that allows to consequently formulate adapted risk treatment measures.

Three other concise and easy-to-read factsheets from the PRoTECT project on vulnerability assessments are available to local authorities and practitioners: Preparing a Vulnerability Assessment; How to Use/ Fill In the Record Template, and Conducting a Vulnerability Assessment.

vehicle attacks on public spaces across Europe in pre-pandemic years, the City Council decided in 2018 to secure public spaces and pedestrian areas across the city.

The main focus was to do so while maintaining, or even en hancing, their attractiveness and accessibility, thus putting emphasis on invisible barriers. Wherever possible, street furni ture like benches and planters were preferred to purely technical systems like bollards. All systems need to have a crash test rating.

In the preparatory phase, the Department of Security and Public Order, the local police and the fire brigade evaluated all relevant public spaces, prioritising them according to:

• Number of visitors/day.

There is also abundant information on the European Commission’s website, under the topic “Protection of Public Spaces”, such as an article on Terrorism Risk Assessment of Public Spaces for Practition ers, which gives a reader-friendly and detailed review of available knowledge and resources.

When the EU VAT addresses terrorist threats, public spaces are also vulnerable to other types of threats. Led by Efus, the Secu4All project has developed a specific training module on self-vulnerability assess ments of non-terrorist threats. Via practical exercises and examples, trainees can apply the risk identification process outlined in the EU VAT to other types of criminal threats or risks in a given public space (incivilities, sexual harassments, riots, etc).

In practice: protection against vehicle ramming in Munich, Germany

The capital of Bavaria (Germany), the City of Munich is home to about 1.5 million people and hosts many large events, in particular the world-famous Oktoberfest. Due to the rise in

• Number of events/year.

• Local, regional, national or worldwide popularity and symbolism.

• Accessibility by car/protection measures.

The evaluation encompassed an analysis of the relevant places, both tabletop and on site, in a multi-stakeholder approach (in cluding most municipal departments, local police, public trans port, etc.). Already existing (natural) barriers, rights of way, necessary access for police, first responders and/or municipal services, interdependencies with other places, current use, future development plans, etc., were evaluated and a Vehicle Dynamics Assessment (i.e. profiling the vulnerabilities of a given route or space to a vehicle attack) was commissioned.

> More information in the Munich Practice Sheet here.

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Another level of protection consists of ensuring that all relevant actors (municipal teams, local and national police, tourism departments, urban planners, local businesses, operators and managers of public spaces) have the capacity to minimise the impact of a crisis and keep citizens safe.

This is called “capacity-building”, which is defined as the process of developing and strengthening the skills, instincts, abilities, processes and resources that organisations and communities need to survive, adapt and thrive in the face of pressures such as security threats37.The purpose is to equip all stakeholders with the tools they need to better perform their functions in the event of a crisis, notably through targeted, regular training.

Creating a common culture and encouraging open communication

An important aspect of capacity-building to better protect public spaces is to create a common culture among all the relevant stakehold ers so that they work in harmony to prevent, respond and recover from incidents that occur in public spaces. Such common culture must be integrated into response management from the very first training, and should be developed through a continuous training process as part of a multidisciplinary approach favouring mutual learning between actors and the exchange of promising practices. For these reasons, local and regional authorities should not only encourage the creation of training programmes but also ensure they are aligned with other programmes that may exist at the national or European level.

37- United Nations Academic Impact (UNAI), Capacity-Building.

It is important to mobilise different stakeholders and resources and to encourage open communication, both horizontally and vertically, as well as the exchange of knowledge and best practices.

Designing tailored training programmes

Each city has its specific characteristics, challenges and risks. Training programmes should thus be tailored to local specificities, but also take into account citizens’ feelings of insecurity as well as the gender perspective.

Such programmes will help familiarise operators, managers and de signers of public spaces with principles governing physical security and locally specific, related administrative procedures.

Strategic, tactical, and operational objectives of a tailor-made training programme

For Preparedness

 Introducing security awareness to all relevant stakeholders.

Improving (local) governance of the relevant security providers.

Secure local communication channels, as is appropriate.

Carrying out and assisting in audits of existing situations (document threats and risks, vulnerability assessments…).

Developing a list of security competencies of public servants.

For Response

Ensuring that each stakeholder has a sufficient level of staffing and clear responsibilities in case of a crisis.

Contributing local expertise and assistance to resolving geographi cally-specific challenges.

Offering local communication channels to the assigned crisis man agement bodies, as is required.

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4.2. Building the capacities of local and regional stakeholders to minimise the impact of a crisis

For Recovery

Restoring and strengthening the rule of law.

Using local actors to cover the last mile of recovery assistance.

For Mitigation

Co-producing security through the involvement of all stakeholders.

For all Phases

Carrying out soft power projects (e.g. interaction with local commu nities, mobilising local actors towards locally applicable objectives).

In practice: the Gold, Silver, Bronze structure for command and control in case of crisis, United Kingdom

In response to serious riots in London in 1985, the Metropolitan Police created the Gold, Silver, Bronze system as an efficient and flexible command and control structure. Today, it is considered a reference for an efficient distribution of tasks and responsibili ties when dealing with a crisis. It provides a framework for deliv ering a strategic, tactical and operational response to an incident or operation.

The Gold level – the group in charge of strategy and coordination

This group is in charge of the strategic tier of command and control with multi-agency representation. This is the level where the policy, strategy and overall response frameworks are estab lished and managed.

This group determines and communicates a clear strategic aim and objectives and reviews them regularly.

It establishes a policy framework for the overall management of the event or situation.

It prioritises the demands of the Silver group and allocates personnel and resources to meet requirements.

It coordinates direct planning and operations beyond the immediate response to facilitate the recovery process.

The Silver level – tactical coordinating group

This is the tactical tier of command and control within a mul ti-agency representation at which the response to an emer gency is managed.

This group determines priorities for allocating available resources.

It plans and coordinates how and when tasks will be under taken and by whom.

It obtains additional resources if required.

It assesses significant risks and uses this to inform the tasking of Bronze commanders.

It ensures the health and safety of the public and personnel at the site(s).

The Bronze level – operational coordinating group

This is the tier of command and control at which the manage ment of “hands-on” work is undertaken at the incident site. The Bronze group(s) may be formed within a single or mul ti-agency representation.

This group concentrates its effort and resources on the specific tasks within its areas of responsibility.

It executes the tactical plan.

It coordinates the actions of staff on the ground.

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Approaches to building a tailored programme –key recommendations

1. Evidence-based training (EBT) is a training and assessment method based on operational data that is characterised by the development and assessment of overall capability across a range of core compe tencies, rather than by measuring performance in individual events.

2. Gamification of training. Gamification is the process of applying game mechanics in order to increase participants’ engagement and achieve better learning results.

3. Digital educational platforms. The reach of digital platforms’ products and services is limitless. They increase benefits for users such as:

• Allowing access at any time, at any place, in any way.

• Offering the possibility of returning to any previous module to re-visit the content.

• Making the material easier to digest by employing a variety of multi media technologies.

• Providing great flexibility of structure and content for any given instance of the training.

4. Full-scale exercises and drills. A full-scale exercise simulates a real event as closely as possible. It is a multi-agency, multi-jurisdictional, multidiscipline exercise designed to evaluate the operational capa bilities of emergency management systems in a highly stressful en vironment that simulates actual response conditions. A drill is a coordinated, supervised exercise activity, normally used to test a single specific operation or function. It can also be used to provide training with new equipment or to practice and maintain current skills.38

5. Exchange of promising practices and lessons learnt. A multidiscipli nary approach that favours mutual learning between actors and the exchange of promising practices.

Case study: simulating crisis situations for local police forces

biggest takeaway is that

are all facing very similar issues.

being together with other police units


associated city police officer, during the Liège Police Academy, May 2022

In order to improve the preparedness and response of law enforcement and first responders, it is recommended to organise practical exercises and joint training among local authorities, law enforcement, civil pro tection, medical emergency, private businesses, private security firms and other stakeholders.39

The PACTESUR project encouraged the development of specialised training programmes for local police officers. Three Local Police Acade mies were organised in the partner cities of Nice (2019), Turin (2021) and Liège (2022), whereas Xàbia organised simulation exercises of a wildfire in a peri-urban area.

Gathering local police officers from the hosting city and the project’s associated cities, these sessions held over several days included in-per son and virtual practical exercises, such as an armed commando oper ation in a school during a shootout, or crowd management operations, or how to use virtual reality in training programmes.40 The exercises in

38- US Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Emergency Management Institute (FEMA), Types and Training and Exercises.

39- Council of the European Union (2021). Council Conclusions on the Protection of Public Spaces of 7 July 2021.

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and learning new procedures and protocols from them, I feel I’m better prepared to fulfil my duties and improve the safety and security of my city.”

Turin and Xàbia also showed that drones can efficiently be used to prevent natural and technological risks, as well as to assist people affected by a crisis, whatever its type41.

The simulation exercises, which involved not only local authorities and first responders (fire brigade, local police, gendarmerie, ambulance, etc.) but also citizens, generated fruitful exchanges among peers who were able to see first-hand how other stakeholders do it. For instance, many European attendees were impressed by the Liège specialised fire brigade unit that is tasked with evacuating the wounded and transfer ring them to a hospital while an intervention is still going on. Indeed, many European cities lack this type of service. The Liège police, together with the Belgian federal police, also shared with European colleagues their doctrine of intervention in case of a problem in a public space, which is based on dialogue and conflict resolution. It chimes with Police Scotland’s rights-based approach, whereby they also consider their duty to protect the right to protest42

Such approaches, which are still relatively novel, are equally applied to festive gatherings and sports competitions. Police discuss with event organisers how to best ensure things go smoothly and maintain dialogue throughout the event to avoid the use of “hard” deterrents such as firefighting equipment or tear gas. An exercise was conducted in Liège in a scenario where football supporters were trying to occupy a public thoroughfare in spite of authorities’ appeal for calm.

Given the positive feedback from participants, two PACTESUR partners, ANCI Piemonte and Turin decided to expand the training to Piedmont region local police forces. Two sessions were held in 2022 as part of the PACTESUR programme, and six other sessions were planned (at the time of writing) for 2023, with the contribution of the region.

> More information on the ANCI Piemonte’s website here.

The success of the Turin Police Academy led to another round of exercises this time for Piemonte local police officers

The Turin Local Police Academy was attended by about 60 police officers and commanders of various European municipalities, as well as representatives of local police forces from the Piemonte region.

40- The exercises were part of the European Week of Security organised by the project in Nice in 2019 and Liège in 2022. The Turin Police Academy was organised in the framework of the third Local Governance workshop in 2021

41- See also Chapter 3, The use of technologies for protecting public spaces: efficient but not sufficient.

42- See also In practice: Police Scotland and the management of the United Nations climate summit (COP26), Glasgow, November 2021

In practice: a training programme on security in public spaces for a multistakeholder local partnership

The Secu4All project aims to empower local and regional au thorities with theoretical knowledge and practical tools to ensure the security of public spaces and the protection of soft targets (i.e. sports venues, shopping centres, schools…) against potential threats.

Theoretical and practical modules were developed to increase the knowledge and skills of local actors across four dimensions:

Methods and tools to identify, analyse, and assess vulnera bilities in local public spaces and soft targets.

Reducing crime and citizens’ feeling of insecurity by means of urban planning, design and management of public spaces.

Use of innovative technologies to enhance the protection of public spaces and their ethical implications.

Crisis communication with relevant stakeholders and citizens (before, during and after a crisis).

> The Secu4All platform will be available in June 2023.

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Cross-border cooperation and assistance

There is little cross-border cooperation among European countries re garding the management of risks and natural disasters, notably because the notion of communal or municipal territory is different in each Member State. However, cooperation and assistance between rural and urban jurisdictions, between cities, and between neighbour ing countries can be crucial when an incident happens in a border zone and requires the intervention of emergency responders from both sides of the border.

Border towns can benefit from pooling their resources in case of a major incident, natural disaster or terrorist attack affecting their public spaces. They can also lobby their national authorities to conclude co operation agreements with neighbouring countries regarding the mo bilisation of their financial and human resources in case of a crisis, as well as the sharing of information.

For example, in France and Belgium, mayors are required by law to publish security plans detailing how emergency responders would in tervene in case of a natural disaster, an industrial accident or a terrorist attack. These plans must specify the responsibilities of each level of governance, whether local, regional, national, and, in the case of border regions, transnational43. This is not the case in other European coun tries such as the United Kingdom or Denmark, where mayors have a largely honorific function (except in the UK in the case of some cities such as London and Manchester) and do not have the power to take decisions regarding security and civil protection. This makes it more difficult to establish intervention protocols governing the organisation of a common response from municipalities and police forces from dif ferent European countries.

4.3. Exchanging practices, knowledge and ideas with peers

The PACTESUR project has shown that cities are keen to exchange knowledge and practices with their peers at home and abroad, and to learn from their experience. This confirms what we at Efus see and hear every day when working with our member cities. Whatever their size or geographical location, many regularly express their desire for down-to-earth, direct exchanges with other, similar cities on pressing urban security issues such as the protection of public spaces.

PACTESUR organised exchanges through open, in-person debates such as the Local Governance Workshops and the European Weeks of Security organised in Nice (2019), Turin (2020) and Liège (2022), with the aim of giving a voice to European local stakeholders, police repre sentatives, experts and civil society in the ongoing conversation on security and public spaces. They also contributed to raising awareness among citizens and local politicians on their role in prevention and as security actors.

Some of these exchanges have already had concrete results: the City of Edinburgh, one of PACTESUR’s 11 associated cities, has set up a working group on “hostile vehicle mitigation” in order to better secure the yearly Edinburgh International Festival. David Robertson, Superin tendent for Specialist Operations at the Scottish Police Force, said the equipment chosen “was directly inspired by our visit to Liège.” Further more, representatives from the City of Turin visited Edinburgh during the International Festival in order to trial smart sensors for crowd management.44 “This is a first step towards becoming a smart city and a direct result of the visit from Turin and the workshops we attended,” he added. They were also presented to the City of Xàbia in June 2022.

43- See Annex 3 for a more detailed description on cross-border cooperation.

44- The smart sensors for crowd management are part of the Turin pilot security equipment financed by PACTESUR, which also included other high-tech tools such as wi-fi and Bluetooth sensors, drones, a CCTV system and social data analytics.

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The PACTESUR Publication Series

In order to enrich the conversation on public space protection and disseminate the PACTESUR project’s insights, Efus coor dinated the Publication Series, a collection of articles, inter views and guides written by the project’s partner cities and experts on topics ranging from the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic to protecting places of worship, raising citizens’ awareness, the impact of urban planning and design in feelings of (in)security, the use of drones, and the importance of art in public spaces.

> The articles of the Publication Series are available here.

For example, as part of these direct exchanges among cities, the Series conducted a joint interview of the cities of Edin burgh and Turin on the use of drones to monitor public spaces. “The ability to learn from others who are working hard to keep people safe means ideas are shared, working methodologies can improve and we can collectively ensure the public get the best quality and value of service from local policing and authorities. Working in isolation is counter intuitive,” said the Edinburgh interviewee, Inspector Graeme Rankin of Police Scotland.

Following the conversation through Efus

Efus has been working for more than 30 years on the issue of the protection of public spaces and its position is summarised in the Security, Democracy and Cities – Co-producing urban security policies manifesto, where it recommends consider ing the various ways public spaces are used based on objec tive and subjective data, involving the public in co-producing security policies, and maintaining a healthy balance between the use of security technologies and the respect of fundamen tal rights.

In the latest edition of Efus’ regular Security, Democracy and Cities conference (October 2020, Nice, France), two work shops were organised on that issue: How can cities design and manage safer, more inclusive public spaces? and Fore sight strategies to better protect public spaces and promote urban resilience

Efus’ ongoing web conference series

Throughout the year, Efus organises regular web conferences that are open to all, which focus on key urban security topics such as the protection of public spaces in its various aspects. They gather representatives from European municipalities, academics, practitioners, law enforcement agencies, etc., and are a useful source of information and contacts.

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4.3. Engaging local businesses

Another aspect that came out as crucial through PACTESUR is the need to involve local businesses in preventive measures to better protect public spaces. Indeed, they can play an important role in alerting authorities in case of an incident, and also in protecting or sheltering citizens. Local and regional authorities can raise awareness among local businesses and give them training and tools to help them stay alert to any suspicious event, or to directly help citizens in case of an attack (for example by offering shelter).

In the UK, the Home Office, the National Counter Terrorism Security Office, Pool Reinsurance Company Ltd, and Counter Terrorism Policing have jointly set up a digital platform titled Protect UK that provides businesses and members of the public with guidance, advice and online learning to tackle threats of terrorism. It encourages private businesses to strengthen their security systems and to embed security features throughout their or ganisation in order to better detect, prevent and counter terrorist threats. The fact that the platform was set up by the government illustrates a growing tendency, in the UK as in other European countries, to associate the whole of society, including private businesses, in preventing terrorism.

> More information on Protect UK here.

Another interesting initiative from the UK is the brochure published by the Association of Chief Police Officers, the National Counter Terror ism Security Office, and the business membership organisation London First to raise awareness among local businesses on the need to prepare themselves for a terrorist attack or other major incident. Titled Expect ing the unexpected, the publication mentions the fact that following the 2017 Manchester Arena bombing, 40% of the businesses affected by the attack went out of business and didn’t return.

> Download the publication here.

In practice: the London SHIELD App, Metropolitan Police Service’s Protective Security Operations Command, England

The London Metropolitan Police created a mobile app for local businesses, inspired by a practice from the New York Police Department (NYPD).

The London Met app was created in 2018, a year after the London Bridge attack where terrorists rammed into pas sers-by with a van on London Bridge and stabbed people in the streets in nearby Borough Market, in central London, causing eight dead and 48 injured. During the attack, many passers-by took refuge in cafés and restaurants.

According to the Met, the app seeks to “provide security pro fessionals with a single source that enables and empowers their business to strengthen their crisis management plans, physical security and personnel counter-terrorism awareness and knowl edge.” Since the launch of the app, more than 2,000 London businesses have registered.

> More information on the London Met app here

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In practice: Police Scotland and the management of the United Nations climate summit (COP26), Glasgow, November 2021

Through close cooperation and dialogue with local busi nesses, but also local communities and protest groups ac cording to an approach based on three main principles – engaging with the public and protesters, facilitating peaceful protests (even if unlawful), and using enforcement as a last resort –Operation Urram delivered a peaceful COP26 without any serious incident.

This is quite an achievement knowing that COP26 was, ac cording to Police Scotland, the most complex policing opera tion ever staged in Scotland and one of the largest policing operations ever organised in the UK as a whole, involving as many as 10,000 officers on some days. The 13-day confer ence attracted 40,000 delegates and some 100,000 protesters.

As Police Scotland emphasised, this success was in large part due to the intense consultations they carried out with the public and protesters before and during the event to explain the security challenges and the policing measures put in place. The fact that “facilitating peaceful protests” was one of their priorities ensured that protests were, well, peaceful rather than violent as had happened in previous United Nations COP conferences in other countries. > More information here.

Part 5

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Communicating efficiently with citizens in case of a crisis >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

When a crisis happens, whatever its type, local authorities have a major role to play in communicating with citizens in order to inform, reassure, prevent the escalation of the incident, keep the public safe, and ensure they do not interfere with the police and emergency responders. An im portant aspect of a local authority’s sound communication with the public in case of a crisis consists of coordinating the messaging with police and emergency responders so as to speak with one voice and not confuse the public. Furthermore, as we’ve seen in the previous chapter, communication in itself is part of the key preventive measures local au thorities can take to ensure the security of a public space.

To do so, it is necessary to take into account the main aspects of a public communication strategy before, during and after a crisis. A crisis can be defined as an event, a perception, a consequence, a threat or a situation whose trigger usually has three characteristics: it is unex pected, unforeseen and improbable. This trigger will impact the organ isation by creating ambiguity and uncertainty due to the fact that there is an acceleration of time and the emergence of new actors. Crisis management plans are important both at the horizontal (between local key stakeholders) and vertical levels (among local, regional or national actors). Clear, consistent and effective communication is essential to reassure citizens, not only to inform them of the decisions being taken to tackle the crisis, but also to reduce its social impact and, importantly, prevent the spread of fake news.

5.1. Roles and responsibilities in crisis communication

Knowing the different communication channels available, notably mainstream and social media, their respective characteristics and audience, and how they operate is key to delivering messages that actually reach their target and are clearly understood and followed. In this respect, it is important that local authorities have one single spokesperson that is able to communicate with all the relevant actors and with the public in a reassuring, credible, “audible” and timely manner.

Another important aspect that should not be neglected is communicat ing after the crisis to help the public recover from the incident, for example by sharing their feelings and contributing to some sort of ritu alisation that helps processing the event, which can be gathering with flowers and candles in the place where the event happened, signing an online book of condolence, making donations, etc. More generally, post-crisis communication seeks to gather the local communities together in a healing process, and crucially prevent a backlash in the form of increased polarisation, hate or ethnic tensions.

In practice: the Strong Cities Network’s detailed toolkit

One of the first steps for effective communication is to have a skilled, competent team where everyone has clear responsibilities, which include gathering information, defining the communication strategy, operationalising it, liaising with all the other actors involved in solving the crisis (police, emergency responders, other authorities…), and coor dinating the whole operation.

There is a wealth of information available out there on crisis communication in general, a major aspect of communica tions and PR, with useful guidelines for local authorities that can be applicable in all kinds of crises. Regarding more spe cifically communication in case of a crisis affecting an urban public space, such as a terrorist attack, a good resource is the comprehensive toolkit designed by the Institute for Strategic Dialogue and its parent Strong Cities Network (SCN), both long-standing partners of Efus.

Their 50-page toolkit is divided into four chapters: 1) com munity engagement, setting out how authorities can leverage

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existing networks to determine the impact of an attack and identify the most appropriate victim support mechanisms; 2) public communications and how local authorities can develop outreach plans that de-escalate any rising tensions and strengthen a city’s sense of identity, morale and cohesion; 3) ensuring local communities benefit from appropriate psycho social support; 4) summary of key considerations to guide city leaders in the immediate aftermath of an attack, when tensions are at their highest. Finally, two annexes feature worksheets and further tools that can be used to support this work and monitor social media platforms, which can be a powerful tool to inform all aspects of the city’s response.


In practice: the Run, Hide, Tell campaign

“We need the help and support of individuals, businesses and communities across the UK to remain alert and maintain the safety and security of those places where we live, work and socialise.”

Metropolitan Police guidance, London, United Kingdom

Effective crisis communication is an integral part of respond ing to any type of threat. The UK campaign Run, Hide, Tell provides a three-step guidance for citizens in the unlikely event of an attack.

1. Run to a place of safety.

2. Hide considering exit and escape routes.

3. Tell the police only once it is safe.

> You can check the Met Police’s information leaflet or watch the Stay Safe film.

It is interesting to note that when in London, the Met police recommends to Run, Hide and Tell; in other European cities, public authorities’ recommendations are different. For example, in Liège and Oslo, official guidance in case of an attack recommends the public Run and Hide but also, if cornered, just Fight.

Such discrepancies appeared during a simulation exercise in the Liège Police Academy organised by PACTESUR. They point to the importance of having consistent messages from all the stakeholders involved in protecting the public in case of a terrorist attack. As we’ve seen earlier, consistency and clarity in messaging are key and can be life-saving.

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> The SCN’s Responding to a Terror Attack toolkit is available here

In practice: the Police in your Pocket app, Luxembourg

The Luxembourg Police’s mobile app includes a function called Citizen Cop through which members of the public can report suspicious activities or behaviour in a timely, simple and unfiltered manner. Free of charge, it can be used in four languages: Luxembourgish, French, German and English. Registration is needed (name, e-mail and telephone number). The app also allows the police to inform users directly and quickly in the event of a crisis thanks to the push notifica tions, and also to solicit the support of the population, for example in case of a missing person or to track a suspected offender. The app also provides information on where to find the nearest police station, as well as traffic information and access to the e-Police Station.

> More information here.

In practice: the Secu4All project’s podcasts

Another useful resource is the series of four podcasts produced by the Secu4All European project (December 2020–November 2022), which sought to empower local and regional authorities with theoretical knowledge and practical tools to ensure the security of public spaces and the protec tion of soft targets (i.e. sports venues, shopping centres, schools…) against potential threats.

The podcasts cover four topics: assessing the vulnerability of a public space; urban planning, design and management for urban security; communication in crisis management; and technology for security in public spaces.

The episode on communication addresses questions such as: what should a crisis communication team look like? How should a crisis communication team prepare for a crisis? What are the key elements of communication during and after a crisis? How to make sure communication is consist ent, backed by verified facts, and coordinated?

The programme quotes the Strong Cities Network’s Re sponding to a Terror Attack toolkit, as well as the Driver+ (Driving Innovation in Crisis Management for European Re silience) European project on the operational needs of practi tioners in case of a crisis such as a climate disaster or a terrorist attack.

> The Secu4All podcast series is available on Efus’ website here.

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Taking into account what can or does go wrong

An important aspect of preparing for a crisis is to see what can go wrong, either through a simulation exercise or on the basis of an actual event. The case studies that were conducted as part of the PACTESUR project showed two examples of how a lack of coordination among the various security forces tasked with protecting public spaces can lead to a serious near-miss or worse, a catastrophic situation.

Madrid: when lack of cooperation between police forces leads to a near-miss

The first case was a contribution of the City of Madrid. It happened in 2018 when a passenger boarded a high-speed train at Barcelona’s main station, en route to Madrid, with an object resembling a fragmen tation grenade in their luggage.

The private security guards at Barcelona’s station did not detect the object and it was only when the train had left the station and was on its way that security services in Madrid were alerted. The case was handed to the National Police who ordered the closure and evacuation of the Madrid Atocha train station, where the train was due to arrive, and nearby Carlos V square. As the incident happened at around 8 a.m. during rush hour, and knowing that Atocha is one of Spain’s busiest stations for high-speed and commuter trains, as well as a major subway hub, the impact on the city’s morning traffic was significant.

Once National Police teams were able to board the train and check the passenger’s luggage, they identified that the suspicious object was actually a belt buckle in the form of a grenade. The alert was lifted and things went back to normal.

The incident highlighted a number of flaws: in Barcelona, a lack of due diligence by the private security officers checking luggage before boarding the train and a lack of communication between that private security company and the Regional Police of Catalonia; in Madrid, a lack of communication between the National Police force and the mu nicipal emergency and police services, especially the Madrid Municipal Police force.

The main takeaway from this case is that the incident was due to poor coordination between the different law enforcement agencies, which was due in part to Spain’s administrative organisation where responsi bilities are not always clearly defined between the state, regional and local levels of governance and corresponding levels of policing.

> The lesson learnt is that it is essential to identify and establish clear communication channels between all the relevant actors, in particular law enforcement, when planning for an emergency in a public space. The difficulty though is to identify which authority is re sponsible for coordinating these different actors, and as far as we know at the time of writing, neither the Barcelona/Catalonia authorities nor the Madrid or national, Spanish ones took any specific, structural measure to correct the failings identified through this case.

Turin: when a crowd panic escalates into tragedy

The incident happened in Turin in 2017 during the projection of the Champions League’s final on a big outdoor screen in the centre of the city. The area was sealed with security barriers and all the 40,000 at tendees had to undergo a security check.

Well into the evening, a group of youths used pepper spraying bottles to scare people around them and take advantage of the confusion to rob them of their possessions, such as purses, phones and jewellery. Somebody in the crowd then shouted there was a bomb attack, which unleashed a mass panic, with people scrambling to get out of the sealed off projection area. In the ensuing stampede, three people died and more than 1,500 were injured.

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Three critical points and lessons learnt

The ensuing review of the event highlighted three main critical points. The first is that the whole security strategy for the event was based on deterring a terrorist attack from the outside. It did not contemplate a possible incident happening among the attendees.

> The lesson learnt here is that it is also imperative to take into account threats that can come “from the inside”.

The second is that the Municipal and National Police in charge of mon itoring the event were for quite some time unable to correctly identify what was going on because of the general confusion in the square.

> The lesson learnt here is that crisis management plans must include measures enabling law enforcement and other relevant actors to correctly assess the situation.

The third is a lack of coordination between the Municipal Police, which was only tasked with monitoring the consumption of alcohol on site, and the National Police. The former had to wait for a long time for the latter’s instruction to evacuate the public.

> The lesson learnt here is that, as also shown in the Madrid case above, seamless cooperation between the different police forces is key.

Local and regional authorities are on the front line to identify and respond to issues that concern citizens the most. They have outstand ing capabilities for innovation and solidarity, and for designing inte grated, sustainable policies.

On the other hand, protecting public spaces is a constantly evolving challenge, which requires regularly revising and updating strategies, policies and measures. The evolving nature of terrorism and the emer gence of new security threats call upon cities and regions to step up their efforts and devise strategies that better equip them to respond to such threats affecting public spaces. Recent climate disasters have highlighted how climate change is set to increasingly affect our urban public spaces in the near future. How do cities prepare and adapt? The current energy crisis and the fact that cities across Europe are dimming (or turning off) public lighting at night calls for revisiting its role in public security. How do you keep a city safe at night and citizens safe from the fear of crime without, or with less, public lighting? With the work from home culture borne out of the Covid pandemic, should we now consider the virtual space as another dimension of our urban public spaces? How do we protect that space, and whom in it?

These are some of the questions that have recently emerged regarding the protection of urban public spaces and the role of local authorities in doing so. The European Forum for Urban Security (Efus) works perma nently on this key issue for local authorities, whether through other EU-funded projects, such as IcARUS and Secu4All, or through its regular activities, such as its Security, Democracy and Cities (SDC) conference, its dedicated working groups, and the numerous work shops, web conferences and other meetings it regularly organises onand offline. This issue will be a central topic in Efus’ upcoming IcARUS and SDC conferences, both scheduled for 2024.

Concluding four years of work on a wide range of issues related to the protection of public spaces against terrorist and other threats, the

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Conclusion >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

PACTESUR project proposed a series of recommendations for European local and regional authorities that are expressed in the Dec laration of Brussels, which we publish hereafter. It was adopted at the end of the project’s final conference in that city, on 23-24 November 2022. One of the Declaration’s central planks is that local and regional authorities, as the level of governance closest to citizens, have a key role to play in protecting public spaces and as such should be better listened to and supported by national governments and European in stitutions. Another key idea is that improving and/or strengthening the security of public spaces should always be done while preserving their inherent openness, thus the possibility for all groups of the population to access and use them. Based on these two basic principles, the Decla ration suggests several ways in which local and regional authorities can intervene to better protect their public spaces, which all rely on multi-stakeholder partnerships, i.e. the involvement of all relevant stakeholders, whether they are the local police, local businesses, the creative sector or, above all, citizens themselves.


The Declaration of Brussels

Adopted in Brussels on 23 November 2022

We, local elected officials and representatives of local and regional au thorities that are members of the PACTESUR project, on the basis of the Nice Declaration of 29 September 2017 calling for action to prevent violent extremism and ensure the security of European and Mediterra nean cities; of the Declaration adopted on 22 October 2021 in Nice by Efus members during the Security, Democracy and Cities international conference; of the work carried out over the past four years in the framework of the PACTESUR project, and on the basis of the consen sus established within this partnership,

We strongly believe that:

We play a central role in the development and implementation of cross-cutting security policies based on a global and integrated approach to the protection of public spaces.

We share a common reflection on the means to be implemented to better protect our urban public spaces in the face of evolving threats while ensuring that they remain open and accessible to all.

We have a lot to gain from furthering our exchanges on our local strat egies, our innovative tools and our best practices.

We are fully engaged in a process of continuous and productive collab oration with national and European institutions to implement appro priate policies and real actions with the support of a community of multidisciplinary international experts.

We are also invested in local security partnerships as local actors are often best placed to identify, prevent and manage issues on the ground.

We, local elected officials and representatives of the local and regional authorities that are members of the PACTESUR project, gathered at the closing event of the PACTESUR project, commit to:

Recognise the evolving nature of the threats and risks inherent to public spaces. Such consideration reinforces the need for frequent risk assessments.

Prioritise responses to threats based on risk and vulnerability assess ments in order to promote a preventive approach and design tailored and targeted solutions to deliver safer public spaces.

Adopt a comprehensive and integrated security approach, where the installation of equipment is considered an additional element as part of a general security policy for the protection of public spaces, which involves all the competent local services and not the only local security actors.

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Also consider temporary security solutions instead of investing only in permanent solutions. An integrated and comprehensive approach to security must combine short and long term solutions and be able to adapt to evolving situations.

Prioritise the development of a prevention culture as regards security in order to improve public perceptions and strengthen citizen partici pation in the decision-making process.

Encourage civil society initiatives by promoting solutions that are creative, add an artistic or cultural value, or are seamlessly integrated in the urban landscape, and by paying particular attention to solutions that have an impact on attractiveness, accessibility and openness.

Improve communication and awareness actions before, during and after the installation of physical security equipment in order to increase public acceptance.

Respond to legal, societal and ethical concerns when planning and managing public spaces, in particular by providing the necessary guar antees for the protection of fundamental rights.

Continue to work in close cooperation with European institutions and bring citizens closer to the European Union through exchanges and enhanced collaborations between local, regional and European levels of urban governance.



Annex 1: Twenty-five techniques of situational prevention

Increase the Effort

1. Target harden - Steering column locks and immobilisers - Anti-robbery screens Tamper-proof packaging

Increase the Risks

6. Extend guardianship

- Take routine precautions: go out in groups at night, leave signs of occupancy, carry phone - “Cocoon” neighborhood watch

Reduce the Rewards Reduce Provocations Remove Excuses

11. Conceal targets - Off-street parking - Gender-neu tral phone directories - Unmarked bullion trucks

16. Reduce frustrations and stress - Efficient queues and polite service - Expanded seating - Soothing music/muted lights

21. Set rules - Rental agreements - Harassment codes - Hotel registration

We, local elected officials and representatives of the local and regional authorities that are members of the PACTESUR project, invite the European institutions to:

Further develop the harmonisation of standards, especially in terms of equipment, and promote the exchange of good practices for the protec tion and development of public spaces.

Continue their support for the exchange of experience and cooperation between European cities on urban security.

Facilitate European cities’ and communities’ access to funding, advice and training to enable them to respond to topical security challenges.

2. Control access to facilities - Entry phones - Electronic card access - Baggage screening

7. Assist natural surveillance - Improved street lighting - Defensible space design - Support whistleblowers

12. Remove targets - Removable car radio - Women’s refuges - Pre-paid cards for pay phones

17. Avoid disputes - Separate enclosures for rival football fans - Reduce crowding in pubs - Fixed taxi fares

22. Post instructions - “No Parking” - “Private Property” - “Extinguish camp fires”

3. Screen exits

- Ticket needed for exit - Export documents - Electronic merchandise tags

8. Reduce anonymity - Taxi driver IDs - “How’s my driving?” decals - School uniforms

13. Identify property - Property marking - Vehicle licencing and parts marking - Cattle branding

18. Reduce emotional arousal - Controls on violent pornography - Enforce good behaviour on soccer field - Prohibit racial slurs

23. Alert conscience - Roadside speed display boards - Signatures for customs declarations - “Shoplifting is stealing”

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A definition of CPTED

4. Deflect offenders

- Street closures - Separate bathrooms for women - Disperse pubs

9. Utilise place managers - CCTV for double-deck buses - Two shop assistants for local stores - Reward vigilance

14. Disrupt markets - Monitor pawn shops - Controls on classified ads - Licence street vendors

19. Neutralise peer pressure - “Idiots drink and drive” - “It’s OK to say No” - Disperse troublemakers at school

24. Assist compliance - Easy library checkout - Public lavatories - Litter bins

5. Control tools/weapons - “Smart” guns - Disabling stolen mobile phones - Restrict spray paint sales to juveniles

10. Strengthen formal surveillance - Red light cameras - Burglar alarms - Security guards

15. Deny benefits - Ink merchan dise tags - Graffiti cleaning - Speed humps

20. Discourage imitation - Rapid repair of vandalism - V-chips in TVs - Censor details of modus operandi

25. Control drugs and alcohol - Breathalysers in pubs - Server intervention - Alcohol-free events

Annex 2: Standardisation in crime prevention can be effective and fun

This article gathers guidelines and other resources on CPTED processes and principles for public space protection. It is written by Paul van Soomeren, Founder, DSP Groep.

Standardisation in crime prevention can be effective and fun

It is common knowledge that the prevention of crime, incivilities and feelings of insecurity require an approach in which local authorities and law enforcement agencies work together with social managers, urban/regional planners and designers and local residents and busi nesses. The same goes for Security by Design (SbD), Crime Prevention through Urban Design, Planning and Management (CP-UDP), and Crime Prevention through Environmental Design (CPTED). In this article, we will use the term CPTED.

The ISO 22341:2021 standard – combined with new European stand ards by CEN (CEN/TS 14383-2:2022; see below - defines CPTED as: aims at crime (including terrorism) + fear/feelings of insecurity. Main aim: quality of life, safe/secure living/liveability;  a mix of social and technical-physical measures (building & living); the theoretical roots of the CPTED concept are diverse; always time-place specific; the neighbourhood level, as a geographi cal social-physical entity, maybe structuring the approach; very different groups of stakeholders have to be included: partner ship approach (multi-agency, multi-disciplinary); working together in a step-by-step process in a specific national and local environmental context: planners, architects, engineers, police, residents, city management/maintenance, etc.; plan-do-check-act, hence learning in practice, evaluate and work evidence based/evidence informed; an organic approach adapting to local situations and participating stakeholders including residents/end-users.

An abbreviation soup

The array of names in Europe and the abbreviation soup (SbD, CPTED, CP-UDP, CP-UDPM, DAC, SCP, DfS, DOC, DS UPDM-US, etc.) prove that some standardisation might be useful especially for designers, architects, planners and con sultants who often work on a trans-national scale or even worldwide. In this respect the recent ISO standard has been a blessing in disguise: ISO 22341:2021 explains and defines CPTED: Crime Prevention through Environmental Design. A term regularly used in all continents outside Europe.

96 97 Increase the Effort Increase the Risks Reduce the Rewards Reduce Provocations Remove Excuses

What is a standard?

A standard is a text prepared by experts on which there is a consensus, whether on a test method or procedure, a product, a service, or a process (like quality or risk management, or a regular CPTED step by step process). CEN makes European standards and ISO makes worldwide standards.

Working together like an orchestra

Working together as a partnership sounds rather straightforward: a fine-tuned orchestra where urban planners, designers and managers (the violins) synchronise their action with law enforcement agencies (drums and basses), the school/youthwork (flutes) and residents/busi nesses (celli). An orchestra needs a conductor, a boss. But different or ganisations = different languages and cultures, approaches (hard/soft, quick/slow, preventive/reactive), management styles, planning systems and financial options. In short, working together in partner ship is a challenge.

What CPTED standards should focus on

For CPTED, the most urgent standards should focus on:

products: there are several product standards that are relevant for crime prevention (burglary-proof doors and windows, safe/secure glazing, anti ram-raiding systems, public lighting, anti-theft ‘Engine Immobilisers’, etc.);

terminology/definitions: this work had been started already and will be finished by 2023-2024 (the new CEN EN 14383-2 standard);

principles and process: this has recently been done with the new CEN TS 14383-2:2022 standard.

Because the standards often make difficult reading, it is indispensable to accompany them with manuals/handbooks as well as training pro grammes. In this respect, the training manual developed through the Efus-led Secu4All project can be considered a prototype.

A long and often tiresome route

In Europe, the CEN-work on standardising CPTED started as early as in 1995. It has been a long and sometimes tiresome route to reach a European consensus, made even more difficult as a growing number of countries were joining this collective effort. Over the years, a series of standards were issued. The most recent is CEN TS 14383-2:2022, which is set (at the time of writing) to be issued in late 2022 or early 2023.

1. Terms and definitions (EN 14383-1:2006). Work on a new super seding standard has started in 2022

2. Urban planning (ENV 14383-2:2003 superseded by TR 143832:2007 and again superseded by TS 14383-2:2022)

3. Dwellings (TS 14383-3:2005)

4. Shops and offices (TS 14383-4:2006)

5. Petrol stations (TR 14383-5: 2010)

6. Safety in schools (TS 14383-6:2022)

7. Facilities for public transport (TR 14383-7:2009)

8. Protection of buildings and sites against criminal attacks with vehicles (TR 14383-8:2009)

A standard useful for local and regional authorities

This new European CPRED standard CEN TS 14383-2:2022 is par ticularly useful for local authorities in their effort to improve urban security. It explains the main principles of CPTED and how to apply them: Process oriented, Contributing to urban development, Inclusive, Scientific, Evidence based, Pro-social, Focused on changing Human Behav

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iour. The main aim: reduce crime and fear of crime to enhance quality of life. The measures to be implemented are always a mix for a specific context, building or planning project. However, CPTED has a set of possible socio-physical/technical measures, such as: Natural surveil lance, Territorial reinforcement, Natural access control, Maintenance, Social cohesion, Community participation, Site/target hardening, Activity support, Social connectivity, Threshold capacity, Liveability, etc.

The CPTED supermarket

Each context will require a specific mix of measures. As such, the ‘what to do principles’ might be considered as the products in a ‘CPTED su permarket’, which the partners can choose according to the specificities and context of their project.

The new CEN TS 14383-2:2022 also describes the general framework for a CPTED process at a higher scale level, that of the whole city/mu nicipality, region, nation, and even the EU. This framework resembles the plan-do-check-act circle (PDCA-Demming circle): Scan, Prioritise, Analyse, Task, Intervene, Assess, Learn.

Another level, much closer to the ground, is a specific building or planning project. It might be a block of houses, a new neighbourhood, a new sports or entertainment area, or the renovation of a square or a thoroughfare. Here, we recognise the regular (ISO 31000) risk manage ment approach with a few additions (see figure on the right):

Making standards practical and fun

In several local, national and also EU-level training sessions, we sim plified the CEN TS 14383-2 approach and trained various participants – often a mix of police, designers, urban-managers, experts, local au thorities – in a specific situation to follow a more or less standardised CPTED process using CPTED principles.

The risk management approach for one specific project/environment (ISO 31000)

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In practice: the experiences of Fano, Xàbia, Hannover, Riga and The Hague

The new CEN CPTED standard TS 14383-2:2022 has been tested in practice in several cities via the Efus-led Secu4All training programme. The aim of this programme was to train relevant stakeholders on how to incorporate evidence-based design, planning and management measures for the security of public spaces, anticipate potential undesired outcomes and assess ethical aspects.

Real examples have been used like a residential neighbour hood and sports facilities (Fano, Italy), a busy boulevard (Xàbia, Spain), a huge two-levelled city centre square (Hannover, Germany), an entertainment area (Riga, Latvia) and a governmental/parliament centre (The Hague, The Netherlands). In these cases, a mixed group of local actors was trained to identify risks, threats and vulnerabilities. They were tasked with putting forward feasible and ethically sound solutions, as well as identifying the stakeholders needed to implement these solutions.

The training sequence is in fact simple, but very real:

1. Come together (preferably in a diverse partnership)

2. Go together to a specific (problem) area/spot and talk about the risks/threats (wear a dark brown glass and be a pessimist) and values (pink optimistic glasses). We used ‘risk stickers/icons’ to be put on a map or birds eye view photo (made by drone).

3. Go to a nice venue, have a coffee (or beer/wine) and discuss the identified risks/threats and value/opportunity of the area/place. Write remarks on a big map/a real photo and use the risk/threat

stickers. Find consensus in the diverse group. Try to add value by analysing other/more information (police figures, victim surveys, residents/housing associations, schools, etc.).

4. Prioritise (risk management: chance x seriousness consequences). Agree on the one or two high priorities.

5. Think/brainstorm/dream about possible solutions and write each solution on a sheet.

6. Think about the stakeholders you need for every solution and then also check for the feasibility of each solution and the ethical conse quences (we often played a simulation game by dividing the group in extreme-pro and extreme no.

7. Summarise and start.

Understanding and applying crime prevention standards might seem at first rather technical and boring. But if local and regional authorities state that such an approach is really needed and standardisation is a helpful tool, all they have to say is “comply with CEN TS 143832:2022!” And with a bit of creativity, a human centred partnership approach of CPTED is possible in every city. Moreover, it can turn out to be actually quite fun.

> To contact the author:

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Annex 3: Preventing vehicle attacks: the experience of the UK’s Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure

The Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure (CPNI) is the UK Government’s technical authority for physical and personal security. It conducted a study on the prevention of vehicle borne threats and Vehicle Borne Improvised Explosive Device (VBIED). This is a summary of the main findings.

Vehicles have been used for decades to facilitate terrorist attacks, tradi tionally the most recognised form being a Vehicle Borne Improvised Explosive Device (VBIED), in other words a vehicle full of explosives.

Vehicles have also been used in countless attacks to facilitate armed assaults on sites and people, either using the vehicle to ram through protective security measures or simply transporting attackers and their materiel.

As with all threats, their nature and frequency fluctuate, and the attack methodologies evolve. In recent years, Vehicle As a Weapon (VAW) has been the most prominent vehicle borne threat, however VAW attacks are not new.

In order to complement their longstanding countermeasure develop ment programme and develop contemporary risk-based security advice, CPNI have reviewed over 150 VAW attacks to develop a detailed understanding of how they manifest themselves.

There have been over 140 VAW attacks between 2014 and 2021, pre dominantly in Europe, North America and Western Asia, the majority of those occurring in publicly accessible locations. The vast majority can be attributed to extreme Islamist terrorists, and a significant number to extreme right-wing terrorists.

Collaboration with key stakeholders is essential

Justifying counter-terrorism protection of Publically Accessible Loca tions (PALs) is challenging. PALs are mostly mixed economies, a blend

of hospitality, entertainment, social, shopping, business, residential, public and people transit spaces.

A terrorist attacker will exploit any opportunity or weaknesses. As such, layered security and collaboration with key stakeholders is es sential to effective mitigation. The opportunities for public / private partnership are great and the benefits are often mutually symbiotic.

For local authorities and businesses, robust governance structures, access to detailed threat information and security advice are essential. Following structured risk management processes helps identify the challenges, opportunities, and risks, and will help develop cohesive and reasonably practicable mitigation strategies.

Close collaboration with counter-terrorism security specialists will help inform threat, planning assumptions and where appropriate help develop risk-based options, designs and implementation of operational and physical protective security measures to Deter, Detect, Delay, Mitigate and Respond to incidents and attacks.

Counter-terrorism security measures should be a supplement to De signing out Crime and Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design practices.

At a strategic level, best practice would address six priorities:

1. Development of protective security risk frameworks to help local au thorities prioritise places to protect and manage residual risks.

2. Providing counter-terrorism protective security guidance, training and advice to businesses, local authorities and the emergency services.

3. Cross Government collaboration (at local and national levels).

4. Collaborate with, and professionalise, reputable security consultan cies and security professionals.

5. Collaborate and, where appropriate, unify emergency response practices.

6. Be prepared to adapt as the threats will continue to evolve and po tentially surge.

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Vehicle Borne Threats – Physical Mitigation

Understanding how VAW attacks manifest themselves, including the environments they occur in and the response of people and security operations and emergency services, provides opportunities to apply risk-based VAW mitigation strategies that encompass ‘layered’ security.

The proven method of stopping a hostile vehicle is through the deploy ment of Vehicle Security Barriers (VSB) in accordance with internation ally recognised standards and performance rating. There are well over 500 rated VSBs available, of which 470 are listed in CPNI’s Catalogue of Security Equipment that can stop a range of threat vehicles at differ ent speeds and impact angles.

VSBs come in many shapes and sizes; overt and robust in appearance, blended and visually pleasing, dual use such as seating, information signs and other street furniture, landscape such as bunds and berms and temporary barriers.

Manufacturers of vehicle security barriers and street furniture have also invested heavily in making the products adaptable to the urban environment, creating barriers that have very shallow foundations and or no fixtures, thus saving considerable sums in civil costs and avoiding moving services.

In the built environment, counter-terrorism security measures need not be expensive, overt or oppressive. Done well, they can complement the architecture, help build a sense of space, assure the public and in directly present additional business, social, environmental and economic opportunities.

But it’s not just about the products available. The way in which VSBs are installed is as important as the level of protection they provide. Clearly, VSBs should be installed in the same configuration in which they received their rating, but beyond that there are a multitude of pro tective security schemes that urban designers and security risk owners should consider, including:

Total traffic exclusion (no vehicles allowed)

Controlled vehicle inclusion (some vehicles allowed)

Footway protection (pedestrian protection on the footway)

Traffic calming to enforce slower vehicle speeds

Semi-permanent protection (permanently installed gates or socketed barriers, occasionally closed)

Temporary protection (short-term deployment of portable barriers)

Do nothing (no protection)

Security personnel are an asset too

An individual or group may identify a PAL as a potential target, and in doing so they will want to obtain current, reliable and credible informa tion by conducting hostile reconnaissance to inform their attack planning. Ensuring organisations have security minded communica tions strategies is essential to this. It will ensure the right security messages are placed in the public domain and also ensure sensitive information is not released.

Authorities and businesses employ a broad range of staff and contrac tors, many of whom will know and spend much time in PALs. They are a security asset so it is important to ensure they are vigilant and re sponsive to suspicious or aggressive activity, abandoned bags or attempts at concealing devices in various street furniture.

The posture and professionalism of security staff is critical in the per ception a hostile will build of a PAL, and play a role in deterring hostile reconnaissance and an attack.

Hostile Vehicle Mitigation (HVM) is a discipline, and one of its funda mentals is risk reduction. Knowing the threat, vulnerabilities and con sequences of an attack will help duty owners assess, mitigate and/or accept the residual risk.

> This is a summary of an article published in PACTESUR’s Publication Series in September 2021. The full version is available here.

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Annex 4: The example of the ALARM project

The objective of the ALARM project (2017-2021) was to develop oper ational transborder cooperation between civil security stakeholders on both sides of the French-Belgian border, on different aspects (risk analysis, planning, crisis management) and on a wide range of risks. The project’s core principle was that security knows no border.

intervention on daily risks, depending on the available assistance.

SAMU and SMUR emergency services regularly intervene to support their colleagues on the other side of the border. An emergency station in France may be closer and better suited to intervene in case of an accident happening in Belgium, and vice versa. This daily coop eration enables fire brigades, ambulance services and police officers to better know each other and thus to be complementary and able to act more efficiently.

1) The integrated management of risks

The project put in place an integrated management of natural, techno logical and human-made risks on both sides of the French-Belgian border. In practical terms, the Geo-Alarm platform identifies at-risk sites and the nature of the risks, as well as the area and population that could be affected and the material and human resources available on both sides of the border (mechanical ladders, specialised means in case of a chemical accident, floods, landslides, train wrecks…). The ALARM project created an updated register of the available medical resources such as hospitals that can treat severe burns, facilities where to accom modate evacuees, ambulances and other vehicles, etc. The relevant services in Belgium and France regularly update this platform so that the level of risk and available resources are always up to date.

2) Planning and conducting common simulation exercises

For cooperation in civil protection to be fully operational, regular ex ercises should be organised, involving all the relevant public au thorities and operational services.

Regular involvement of Belgian and French emergency services, i.e. the capacity for mutual assistance of emergency services in the border area and the development of a partnership culture among Belgian and French services.

Although France and Belgium have had since 1981 cooperation agreements on mutual assistance in case of a major disaster or accident, the ALARM project incorporated the possibility of mutual

Any cross-border intervention is evaluated and feedback is given in order to eventually adapt, modify or confirm the form of intervention. Furthermore, French and Belgian firefighters regularly take part in joint training exercises.

The ALARM project contributed to the design of a cross-border scheme for analysis and risk cover (Schéma transfrontalier d’analyse et de couverture des risques, STACR).

3) Raising awareness among local and regional elected officials

The ALARM project45 highlighted the need to raise awareness among local and regional elected officials on their civil and criminal responsibility regarding the prevention of risks and the preparation of adapted plans.

Being mindful of the legal framework governing the role of local elected officials regarding the prevention and management of crises.

Acting jointly with the relevant stakeholders in case of a crisis (fire brigade, emergency medical response, police, the army, civil protec tion, private sector).

Highlighting the need for a pan-European approach.

Emphasising the role of citizens in preventing and managing crises (“civil security reserve”, volunteers, etc.).

The awareness campaign reached 537 French mayors and 83 Belgian burgomasters of municipalities located along the 630km-long border between France and Belgium.

45- This project came under the Interreg V France-Wallonie-Vlaanderen European territorial cooperation project. ALARM was 50% funded by the European Union’s European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) (2017-2020).

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Establishing cooperation protocols

Cooperation protocols are essential and must be established in accord ance with the respective competences of strategic and operational authorities.

• Concerning the strategic level, the first authorities are local elected officials, notably mayors who are responsible for citizens’ security. Depending on the severity or nature of a crisis, local authorities may have to call human and material resources that are managed by non-local authorities, such as the Préfets in France or the governors or regional ministers in Belgium. The point is to coordinate efforts while respecting the prerogatives of each level of governance and, this is important, to speak with one voice to the media. European ex periences show that means are mobilised in a gradual way, from the local to the supra-local (province, département, region) and then the national level in case of a major crisis, such as the Covid pandemic.

• The ALARM project also highlighted the need to act at a transna tional level, in particular at a cross-border level, given that risks and their consequences on local populations are shared. There are coop eration mechanisms among the different Member States, such as the EU Civil Protection Mechanism, which aims to strengthen coopera tion between the EU Member States and six Participating States on civil protection to improve prevention, preparedness and response to disasters. When an emergency overwhelms the response capabilities of a country in Europe and beyond, it can request assistance through the mechanism. The European Commission contributes to at least 75% of the transport and/or operational costs of deployments. Since its inception in 2001, the EU Civil Protection Mechanism has re sponded to over 540 requests for assistance inside and outside the EU, including more than 100 in 2020, notably the Beirut explosion in August 2020 and flood relief in Ukraine, Niger and Sudan. Fur thermore, the Emergency Response Coordination Centre (ERCC) is constantly in contact with national civil protection authorities and ensures the rapid deployment of emergency support. It can intervene in disasters that occur out of the European space.

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Safe and inclusive public spaces: European cities share

The management and protection of urban public spaces remains one of the top priorities of local and regional authorities, and a key mandate from the electorate, given their central role in the attractiveness of cities and in fostering the social inclusion of all groups of the population, as well as cities’ offer of culture, leisure and trade opportunities. Unsurprisingly, this has long been a key area of work for the European Forum for Urban Security (Efus), as a network dedicated to urban security gathering some 250 cities of all sizes from 16 European countries.

The waves of terrorist attacks against European cities since the mid-2010s have sent shockwaves in European local and regional authorities, which found themselves confronted with the complex challenge of securing their urban public spaces without turning them into “bunkers”. What can cities do to render their public spaces more safe, inclusive and open to all? How to collaborate more efficiently with national authorities, but also police forces and all the other relevant local stakeholders? How to take into account new technological developments? How to better involve citizens and civil society?
their experience
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