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    • Prevention will have to wait for the organized response by the state

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    • Date: 01 November 2011
      Panel discussion "Hooliganism – How to respond to the security challenge" was held
       
      Within the programme of the Belgrade Security Week (http://www.bgnedeljabezbednosti.net) on Tuesday, November 1, 2011 in the premises of the European Cultural Centre “Grad” (http://www.gradbeograd.eu) panel discussion “Hooliganism: How to respond to the security challenge” was held. As a representative of the Belgrade Centre for Security Policy (BCSP) researcher Marko Savković took part as well.

      Along his colleagues from the Centre for Peace and Democracy Development (CEMIR), Marko presented alternative ways to fight against fans’ (hooligans’) violence. Aleksandar Gargenta, Senior Police Inspector and Head of the monitoring and prevention of violence at sports events unit in the Police Department of the Ministry of Interior also participated in the discussion.

      Marko pointed out that because of numerous circumstances which are limiting possibilities for prevention of violence, government of Serbia will have to, for a certain amount of time, undertake activities of repression, meaning a stricter penal policy and more efficient processing of persons who are believed to be involved in disrupting law and order at sports events. At the same time, task for government and civil society is to recognize and try to apply best practices from Western Europe, developed as during 80’s and 90’s, countries faced increasing fan violence themselves.

      The examples from the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany show that it is possible to influence young people who belong to risk groups, either through mentoring projects or by providing them with opportunities for different (creative) expression. It is also very important to have all relevant representatives of the local community interested and involved, otherwise, the only remaining choice for government is to undertake repressive measures.

      Aleksandar Gargenta pointed out that even if we succeed in implementing best practices, we should nevertheless expect challenges coming from the ever changing nature of violence: its spill-over to the streets; incidents in the lower tiers of sport competition; and the ever present danger of young people who are prepared to behave violently no matter what.

      Panellists concluded how it is necessary to have more involvement of civil society organisations, from an expert as well as activist point of view. However, since the stadium is a public place, brunt of the responsibility remains on the authorities.

      Report translated by Djurdja Rajevac, BCSP Intern

       

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