Security Barometer – an application that increases quality of life in the city

As a degree of protection from danger, harm, or criminal activity, security is often perceived as a subjective category. The inhabitants of an individual city feel more or less safe, which consequently positively or negatively changes the perception of that city, its tourist indicators, but also the quality of life of its citizens.

Judging by the review of the basic safety indicators in the Republic of Croatia (data from 2010 to 2019) and the crime prevalence indicators according to police administrations, the Police Administration of Primorsko Goranska County ranked fourth in that period with an average of 7.1 %. However, if we look at the comparative overview of the crime prevalence published in the Statistical Review of the Basic Safety Indicators and the Work Results in 2019 of the Ministry of the Interior and data on the reported criminal offenses, the Police Administration of Primorsko Goranska County in 2019 marked an increase by 36.9% compared to 2018.  There is also visible a significant increase in the number of criminal offenses per 100,000 inhabitants. During the mentioned period, the number of thefts, attempted murders, criminal offenses against general security and organized crime also increased. In the same period, however, there was a decline in the prevalence of drug abuse and a significant increase in the resolved crimes and a decrease in the number of offenses. A special category is of a road traffic safety – according to the comparative overview of 2019 and 2018, the Police Administration of Primorsko Goranska County recorded a decrease in the reported traffic offenses, a decrease in the number of traffic accidents and traffic accidents with the wounded, but at the same time a significant increase in traffic accidents with fatalities, and according to the Review of the Basic Safety Indicators from January to November of 2020, the same trend was repeated in 2020.

These statistics shape the objective state of security of an individual city and also affect the subjective impression of its residents, visitors, or potential investors. Depending on the trends of the local self-government, the state government adopts measures, laws, and strategies aimed at improving the existing situation. However, as crime is a complex problem that cannot be solved independently within any social institution, help of the entire community is needed. The city of Rijeka tried to increase security and prevent harmful behavior by establishing the Crime Prevention Council and the Crime Prevention Information Center reducing citizens’ fear of crime and raising the overall quality of life in the city of Rijeka.

Partner Alarm Automatika, as part of the Living project, is developing another way of more active involvement of citizens and coordination of activities of all social entities, whose work is related to increasing the safety and quality of life in the city. The mobile application Barometer of safety will gather data on time and location of traffic accidents, thefts, offenses and other criminal events in the city of Rijeka, all in one place. Based on the collected and processed information, and given the possible traffic congestion or certain anomalies in the traffic situation (traffic accident, road works, weather disaster, etc.), the citizens will be suggested alternative routes. Also, based on the collected information, the Barometer will propose to the city services areas in which it is necessary to increase the level of security in the city, and thus increase the quality of life of the citizens.

So far, the available world examples of good practice of Crime Mapping have been researched, and from that the basic and available sets have been defined, which will be further elaborated and refined. Legal regulation concerning the so-called Crime Mapping has also been investigated, and an important step was a research and defining of all available sources of data collection in the field of crime, traffic and security records, as well as taking into consideration how to obtain information. After the communication with the available services and the competent police administration was initiated, the tools and algorithms were developed that will connect the application with the database and other data sources.

In addition to the mobile application that will display data on crime and traffic safety on the city’s geolocation map on crime and traffic safety, a web application will be developed on the Multifunctional device in the city of Rijeka for two-way communication (also part of the Living project) between citizens and the City of Rijeka, as well as a display of the results of the CEKOM project – the Center of Competence for Smart Cities. The basic design of the mobile and WEB application has been researched and defined, which will be further developed from the design and content side.

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