EU must improve crime prevention measures, says conference

(AGI) Palermo, Nov 18 - The need for the European Union toimprove its crime prevention measures was voiced during the XIICPC Colloquium of the International Centre for the Preventionof Crime, currently underway in Palermo and attended by therepresentatives of 21 countries and international organisationslike the UN-Habitat, the United Nations Human SettlementsProgramme. The conference was chaired by ICPC Director GeneralDaniel Cauchy. Mr. Vincenzo Militello, professor of criminallaw at Palermo University, was the first to point out the'limits' of Europe's super-national crime prevention policies."The European Union Treaty contains a paradox in terms

(AGI) Palermo, Nov 18 - The need for the European Union toimprove its crime prevention measures was voiced during the XIICPC Colloquium of the International Centre for the Preventionof Crime, currently underway in Palermo and attended by therepresentatives of 21 countries and international organisationslike the UN-Habitat, the United Nations Human SettlementsProgramme. The conference was chaired by ICPC Director GeneralDaniel Cauchy. Mr. Vincenzo Militello, professor of criminallaw at Palermo University, was the first to point out the'limits' of Europe's super-national crime prevention policies."The European Union Treaty contains a paradox in terms ofEuropean crime prevention", he said and added: "On the hand,the Treaty confers to the EU the power to harmonise thelegislation of member countries in order to combat organisedcrime through criminal sanctions, while its powers have littleimpact on prevention". The Italian jurist emphasised that thisdiscrepancy also applies to the most serious crimes liketerrorism and people and drug trafficking. Josep M. Lahosa, theDirector of the Security and Prevention Services for the cityof Barcelona, mentioned the importance of inclusive integrationpolicies in the prevention of social marginalisation anddeviance phenomena. Mr. Lahosa said: "We must focus more onprevention than on repression," he emphasised, "And, in cities,we must activate anticipatory prevention measures throughsocially inclusive security policies. We must enhance citizens'liberties without forgetting to socially rehabilitateoffenders, within a democratic framework. Indeed, preventionreinforces the most socially vulnerable groups and eliminatessociety's segregationist reactions". He also said that, in hisopinion, policies imposed from above and not supported by localinterventions are "doomed to failure" unless they areaccompanied by local solutions. Veronique Ketelaer, theDirector of Prevention for the city of Brussels, reportedBelgium's success story after it adopted prevention measures 20years ago. At present, the measures are financed with 35million euros from European funds. "We have made greatprogress, we have developed carefully evaluated and targetedstrategic plans and software to guarantee the reportingactivities", Ms. Ketelaer said. She also said that it isfundamental to resort to reassuring prevention facilitators,some sort of metropolitan police agents adequately trained tobe social mediators. "After 20 years, we have realised that westill deal with the same issues, but we don't have theuprisings that we had in the past because Belgian cities nowhave many more neighbourhood services". (AGI) .