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Security and Crime Prevention in Cities

Insecurity has become a major concern of urban societies. In the face of the growth in both petty and serious crime, violence and anti-social behaviour, what is expected of political authorities is rapid action and practical solutions.  This phenomenon is mainly a result of persistent unemployment, changes in the family unit, the pressures of the consumer society, social exclusion, the often difficult integration of immigrant population groups and inadequacies in urban policy.  Unfortunately, growing concern among the public enables extremist movements to expound their xenophobic and racist theories, to lay the blame on scapegoats such as young people or immigrants, and consequently to place in jeopardy the principles of democracy, social cohesion and tolerance in which our societies must have their basis.  New strategies to combat insecurity based on improved co-ordination of preventive, repressive and solidarity-oriented measures should be endorsed. These strategies should not rely only on the commitment of the authorities concerned, but also on active partnerships between economic and social operators and restoration of the traditional roles of the family, schools, businesses and civil society.