|Paris, France, March 2019|
|The partners in the PROTECT project (“Public Resilience Using Technology to Counter Terrorism”) for the protection of urban public spaces against terrorist threats met for the project’s second meeting on 28 February and 1 March, in Paris. The manual developed by the Dutch Organisation for Applied Scientific Research TNO, a partner in the project, and Efus was presented to the partners. Its objective is to help local authorities use the tool developed by the European Union’s Directorate General Home Affairs to assess the vulnerabilities of urban public spaces.
Learning to identify vulnerabilities
Titled Vulnerability Assessment Tool (VAT), this tool can be used on site to evaluate a public space. Areas identified by the VAT tool as potential targets of a terrorist attack are those where the public comes regularly for an activity, for example transport hubs, squares, shopping areas, places of worship, and cultural, business and institutional venues. They are targets because attacking them can help terrorist organisations reach their goals, for instance threatening the safety of the public, the values of democratic states or citizen rights and freedoms.
The role of local authorities
As stated by the European Commission in its Action plan to support the protection of public spaces, “local and regional authorities are important stakeholders” and as such, the Commission promotes dialogue and exchange between national, regional and local authorities as well as support the development of operational projects such as PRoTECT.