Long-term Programme Safety 2019-2022

Where do we start? Our mission is: ‘We aim to make Maastricht as safe as possible by 2022. We are building on the approach we have taken and making neighbourhoods safe again.’

We have set a number of priorities in order to achieve this mission. The focus is placed on tackling subversive crime. Tackling safety- related nuisance and frequent offences will also be given priority in the years to come. Improving perceived safety is also high on our list of priorities.

'We aim to make Maastricht as safe as possible by 2022. We are building on the approach we have taken and making neighbourhoods safe again.'

> Subsversive crime

‘Subversion’ covers a multitude of things. It concerns all kinds of crime that blur the line between legitimate society and the underworld. This includes criminals who apply for a permit or subsidy for an apparently normal activity, but who ultimately plan to launder money.

We will continue to tackle subversion with our cooperating organizations, but also with private partners.

We make subversive factors visible by increasing the resilience of society. In practice, that means that we help residents to keep criminals out. We’ll also be making our own organization aware of subversion.

Finally, we want to gain an insight into how property in Maastricht is financed and used. Criminals always need property for their criminal activities. That’s where the Property project comes in. The focus in the long-term programme is placed on tackling subservise crime.

'Inwoners en ondernemers worden nog actiever betrokken bij de zorg voor een veilige buurt.'

> Frequent offenses

By frequent offences we mean crime that takes place in the everyday lives of residents. Examples include house burglaries, robberies, pick-pocketing and vehicle theft.

The safety analysis shows that there has been a fall in frequent offences. We therefore intend to continue the approach we have taken, but also improve it where possible.

A new aspect is that residents and entrepreneurs become even more actively involved in bringing about a safe neighbourhood. The safety analysis shows frequent offenses are becoming less common.

'We will continue to work with the housing corporations to tackle issues such as drug trafficking.'

> Safety-related nuisance

By ‘safety related’ we mean nuisance with a clear impact on and link to public order. Such as a dispute between neighbours that ends in a street fight. By public order we mean the normal state of affairs in public areas. We have various powers to deal with these forms of nuisance. But there are many cases where an oppressive approach is not enough. That is why we need to adopt a strong and coherent approach to dealing with this form of nuisance. We direct and involve residents and relevant partners. Both internally and externally.

We also focus more on integrating the report, assessment, referral, and approach. That means looking beyond our noses. If a report comes in, we start by considering which other parties are or should be involved. We also appoint a case owner. This is how we build up a file, and that strengthens the approach.

Local safety often has areas of common ground with non-safety related nuisances, which include litter, deterioration of a neighbourhood, or traffic nuisance. If the nuisance falls under another policy area, responsibility for resolving it lies with the relevant policy area owner. In the example of litter, this is Urban Maintenance (stadsbeheer). This approach is however supported and strengthened from a safety point of view where required.

Finally, we will continue to work with the housing corporations to tackle issues such as drug trafficking. We have also made performance agreements for this purpose. Local safety often has areas of common ground with non-safety related nuisances.

'We listen more, and more closely. What do our residents need to feel safe in Maastricht?'

> Improving perceived safety

How safe people feel in a neighbourhood is often independent of the objective safety figures. It is possible that although nothing has ever happened in a neighbourhood, people still feel unsafe there. The perception of safety is therefore high on the agenda in the coming years. Our goal: by 2022, the percentage of Maastricht residents who sometimes feel unsafe in the neighbourhood will be equal to or less than 25 per cent. By 2022, the Maastricht score for safety in the neighbourhood will be equal to or higher than 70 per cent.

We intend to tackle improving perceived safety throughout the entire municipal organization and together with our partners and residents. Working on perceived safety calls for the active involvement and commitment of professional and social partners, other domains within the municipality (such as Urban Maintenance, or the social domain) and the residents themselves.

We will be drawing up agendas together with the neighbourhoods. In these agendas we briefly and concisely set out current public order and safety themes in the neighbourhood. An action plan is also being drawn up especially for this priority. The action plan describes exactly what we propose to do to improve perceived safety in the neighbourhood. What concrete tools are available to improve people’s perception, and in which areas is perceived safety being impacted the most? On that basis, we produce a concrete approach. In acute unsafe situations we adopt a method in which residents and partners together consider what is taking place and which type of solution has the best chance of success.

In short: we listen more, and more closely. What do our residents need to feel safe in Maastricht? Working on perceived safety calls for the active involvement of our partners.

'We plan to talk to our residents more than we have up to now. Ultimately, this will place our approach even more emphatically in line with their everyday lives.'

> Moving forward

As mentioned above, this long-term programme sets out the policy frameworks and basic safety principles. We translate these frameworks and principles into implementation agendas. We then take action on the basis of these agendas.

We will also be pursuing the same course of action: hand in hand with our internal and external partners. This approach is bearing fruit. The time has now come to continue this trend and set the right priorities. Such as focusing on perceived safety and communication. We plan to talk to our residents more than we have up to now. Ultimately, this will place our approach even more emphatically in line with their everyday lives.

More information
Get in touch via post-veiligheid@maastricht.nl.