Youth Civil Patrol – Lozenec Quarter, Stara Zagora
During the last few years there were cases of crime behaviour and violence that attracted public attention in the town of Stara Zagora, Bulgaria and put focus on the topic of social and ethnic tension. This was broadly discussed in the media and provoked many different reactions, among them some in favour of stronger measures. The analyses revealed that the core of these cases were hooligans’ behaviour of around 30 young people divided in groups from two quarters of the town (quarter Lozenec and quarter Makedonski) which has a population of around 25 - 30 000 people.
Ten Police Officers are responsible for the two quarters. They have relatively good contact with the inhabitants. They are available in a front-desk for consultation for anyone in the communities daily from 08:00 to 23:00.
The Police Officers had experience in prevention activities with children in the educational system, although not specifically with youth who are outside the education system. These Police Officers made personal contact with the young people and realised that they were ready for dialogue and were looking for socially acceptable forms of self-expression. Some of them were interested in police work and ready to assist the police.
These active contacts with law enforcement officers support their self-respect and develop their motivation to behave lawfully. Before the project these contacts were sporadic and a systematic positive influence on these youths was missing.
The project started in 2008 and is still running.
Last review: January 2020.