The Brussels prevention and proximity plan
The Brussels-Capital Region first introduced its prevention and safety plan in 2001. The Brussels communes were able to enter into prevention contracts with the Region, in the same way that some communes have safety contracts with the Federal Public Service Interior. These contracts are accompanied by subsidies for communal safety and prevention projects.
The Brussels safety plan and the various safety and prevention contracts have gradually merged into an integrated Brussels prevention and proximity plan, which is made up of 19 local prevention and proximity plans.
The Brussels communes receive subsidies from the Brussels-Capital Region for prevention projects, with three goals in mind:
- Putting the Brussels and communal prevention and proximity plans into practice: e.g. surveillance of parks and public spaces, protection of social housing, work with young people
- Combatting school dropouts and problems in school
- Combatting public nuisances with administrative penalties
Prevention and safety assistants
The prevention and safety assistants (or prevention officers) play a major role in these prevention projects. They are clearly visible on the streets, which is expected to prevent problems and enhance the perception of safety among citizens. If their presence alone does not suffice, they can take action in the event of problems in the neighbourhood. Some prevention officers take part in outreach work, building bridges with people in the neighbourhood and looking with them for solutions to such problems as crime and school dropouts.