Petra, Lucie, Soňa and Věra know Kutná Hora like the palm of their hands. Every working day and in all weather, they walk criss-cross around the town supervising order, regulation observation, helping the locals and tourists, preventing conflict situations - because they work as crime prevention assistants.
A crime prevention assistant is a town employee assigned to the Police but she is not a police officer. Her task is to contribute to the safety of the town and make people feel safer. The towns often finance them from European subsidies. In Kutná Hora, they have long-standing experience. Some of them were so good that they became permanent employees.
Petra's partners are Soňa, Věra and Lucie. They rotate on morning and afternoon shifts, which start at about seven in the morning and finish at ten in the evening. “Fridays or afternoon shifts are more demanding because people drink more,” says Lucie. “I know many locals from my childhood. If they do something that is forbidden, I tell them to stop embarrassing me. It is quite helpful,” added her fellow worker Věra. Apart from the ban on drinking alcohol in public, they also check parks and play areas for truants, staff quarters for order or if people are cleaning up after their four-legged friends.
All of them are locals and it is obvious that they like their job. They are happy being amongst people. And people trust them and approach them often, which brings feedback to the Municipal Police. There are also letters of thanks. “They walked around the cemetery all the time, so I could arrange a grave without any concerns,” wrote a 79-year old woman.
At the same time, they have to study on a regular basis, mainly criminal law. They drill using different negotiating situations and on dealing with conflicting situations. Due to the fact that Kutná Hora is a frequent and favourite tourist destination, they have to know local places of interest and have a good sense of direction to help them.
A crime prevention assistant mainly contributes to the inhabitants' feeling of greater safety. Apart from this, such position offers employment. For example Soňa - she used to have a job in Prague and commuted there; now, she is happy to have a job in the place of her residence. The town employs six crime prevention assistants and four of them are paid from the subsidy. “It is really needed. People's moral is worse in general, so are the situations ‘in the street’. If we did not obtain the subsidy, we would have to provide this service in another way,” concludes Václav Mareček, the director of the Municipal Police.
|Operational Programme||Operational Programme Employment|
|Project name||Criminal Prevention Assistance in the city Kutna Hora|
|Beneficiary||Město Kutná Hora|
|Realization||1. 6. 2017 – 30. 5. 2020|
|Subsidy||4 616 800,- Kč|