Public Safety should be a shared responsibility

30 September, 2011 - Public Safety is not an exclusive responsibility of governmental law enforcement bodies, but should be a shared responsibility. This is one of the recommendations in the study "Management of Public Security of the Federal District and Surrounding Municipalities," presented on Friday, 30, by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, UNODC, during a seminar under the same title, held at the University of Brasilia.

During the opening of the seminar, the regional representative of UNODC, Bo Mathiasen, stressed the importance of cooperation in the development and implementation of public safety policies. "Ensuring public safety is a duty of the State. A State formed by governments with executive, legislative and judicial branches, civil society organizations, private sector and citizens. Safety should be a shared responsibility and a right for all" he said.

The study presented by UNODC shows that none of the Surrounding Municipalities of the Federal District have a specific Municipal office for safety. In addition, out of the 23 municipalities that form the Integrated Region of Economic Development of the Federal District and Surrounding Municipalities, RIDE-DF, only two have a municipal guard.

Another conclusion of the study is that few municipalities have plans of public safety and municipal security funds, and only seven of the 23 municipalities have a Municipal Council for Public Safety.

The study also shows that more than half the municipalities in the RIDE-DF do not have a governing body such as a specific department of safety, a coordinating body or other body responsible for the area.

According to UNODC Official on Crime Prevention and Public Safety, Nivio Nascimento, municipalities of Goiás and the Federal District Administrative Regions part of the RIDE-DF need to implement local public security plans. "The Brazilian states that had major reduction in homicide rates were precisely those which have invested in and implemented local public safety programs. This is an urgent issue for the RIDE-DF," said Nascimento.

Among the main recommendations in the study are: to establish an integrated and systematic management of public safety policies; strengthen the production and the integration of data on crime in the Federal District and surrounding municipalities; develop local public safety plans for cities and administrative regions; improve investment conditions of the municipalities to improve the urban infrastructure of regions most affected by violence and crime; strengthen positive references among young people and youth participation in favor of collective actions; develop communication campaigns, emphasizing the positive potential of different communities; strengthen social participation in the governance of public safety through Community Safety Councils - CONSEG; create an observatory for public safety through partnerships with universities, research centers and public safety agencies in the region; develop ways to care and treat drug users through the implementation of interdisciplinary programs.

See the Program of the Seminar (in Portuguese)

Access UNODC Report "Public Safety Management and Governance in the Federal District and Surrounding Municipalities" (in Portuguese)

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