Czech government to spend $20 million on prevention of crime

Initiatives

The government decided today that the Czech state will spend some 400 million koruna ($20.6 million) on the prevention of crime during the next four years, Interior Minister Ivan Langer (the Civic Democratic Party, ODS) told journalists today.

The cabinet wants to strengthen the role of regional authorities and to focus on the prevention of crime in major towns, Langer said. The plan Strategy of the Prevention of Crime for 2008-2011 envisages more emphasis on research, he added. “The government has clearly agreed that prevention of crime is among its priorities,” Langer said. There is an array of preventative programs, reaching from educational programs for children of school and pre-school age and close-circuit camera systems to the campaigns warning the passengers of public transport of pickpockets, he added.

In 1996-2007, the state sponsored over 4000 projects in 230 towns and villages with almost 900 million koruna ($46.46 million). However, it has been the state that has decided on the campaigns, while now the choice of the projects is to be influenced more by regional authorities. At the national level, the national committee for the prevention of crime will support preventative programs that are considered important by the government and whose solution is impossible at the local and regional levels, the plan says.

Another change relates to the 47 towns with over 25,000 inhabitants. If they fulfil the set conditions, they will be guaranteed the drawing of money on their preventative programs for four years. At present, they must be based on one-year programs, Langer said. The Strategy of the Prevention of Crime for 2008-2011 is to increase the feeling of public safety and lower the extent and seriousness of crime, Langer said. The targeted groups are children and teenagers, repeat criminals and socially marginalized communities, he added. (ceskenoviny.cz)

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