The Safe Locality – Safe Living project in Brno, which aims to increase the safety of people and property in apartment houses including technical and organizational measures with the direct participation of house residents, was selected, in the spring this year, in the prestigious competition Mayors Challenge inspiring cities to create innovative ideas for solving problems and improving the life in cities, which is initiated by the former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg. Along with the Brno project, another twenty projects from the whole of Europe were selected for the competition final. Safety Locality has proven its innovative approach when last year it received the “Best preventive project of regions, cities and villages” award of the Ministry of the Interior of the Czech Republic and, in 2011, Brno won 1st place for it in the prestigious competition Urban Security Award. 

The Safe Locality – Safe Living project was prepared in 2009 and since 2010 it has been successfully implemented by the Municipal Police in Brno-Nový Lískovec in the apartment building at Koniklecová 5. It is a 13-floor panel house with 156 small-scale dwelling units occupied by more than 500 residents. The building was built in 1994 and it was co-financed by 13 city districts.

Now one third of the building is being used as a temporary residence hall for mothers with children and the remaining part is a conventional tenement house in which, however, problematic or socially disadvantaged tenants are often accommodated. And this was also the reason why letter boxes or doors were often broken in the house and vandals damaged the lift and walls of common areas. The situation was worsened by the fact that unknown people moved around the house, which could not be prevented efficiently with such a high fluctuation of residents.

Within the Safe Locality – Safe Living project, Beta Control installed two new lifts, a fire alarm system, a camera system and an access system in the apartment building on Koniklecová Street.

 

Improvement in the situation from the view of the house residents at Koniklecová 5

The apartment building at Koniklecová 5 was selected for the Safe Locality – Safe Living project due to the high rate of criminality in the building and its surroundings. The question is: “Do the people in this house and its surroundings have a greater feeling of safety thanks to this project?” We can answer it thanks to a sociological survey conducted in the years 2009 and 2012, which directly addressed the residents of the building at Koniklecová 5 and the people in its close vicinity.

In 2009, people in the building often faced the non-functionality of the lifts, lighting in the building, bells or building telephones. The installation of the Safe House system in 2012 resulted in a significant improvement (the satisfaction with functionality of the technical equipment in the building increased by 46.6%). Improvements also came in other serious matters, whether it was the lighting and greenery in front of the building or in this case probably the most serious problem which was the movement of foreign people in the building. The access system currently does not allow free access of people to the building, so the cases when foreign persons were seen, for example, in the lift or on the staircase, were reduced very much. According to the tenants, the feeling of safety in the building also increased significantly thanks to the new technical devices and up to two thirds of them feel safe in the building all day (in 2009 it was only less than a third). This figure is also reflected by a reduced number of interventions of the Municipal Police in the building.

In general, the tenants expressed great satisfaction with the new safety measures, particularly the camera system and the access system to the building proved good. The above-mentioned comparisons indicate that the building residents perceive the introduction of the Safe House system at Koniklecová 5 positively and they are inclined to extend it with additional camera system elements in the building corridors.

We can say without exaggeration that in this problematic locality the Safe House system from Beta Control contributed not only to better technical conditions in the building, but particularly to the feeling of increased safety.

Information on other successful projects can be found on the website at http://bezpecny-dum.cz/en/

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