Guarantee rights, solve the problems
INTERVIEW with the Prefect of Rome Carlo Mosca
by Pio MARCONI
The Prefect of Rome, together with the Prefects of Milan and Naples, has been nominated Delegate Commissioner with the assignment of dealing with the social emergencies relative to the presence of large nomadic communities on the territory. A phenomenon which has been added to that of the immigration and manifests constant growth. The ordinances with which the Prefects of the large urban centres have been entrusted the new governmental functions are not limited to designing assignments of public order. Social themes and objectives prevail in the texts: survey of the presence, re-establishment of the areas united to positive actions of integration and to the search of co-operation from those concerned in the creation of new liveable settlements.
A new philosophy of the relations between centre and periphery is interpreted in the ordinance of the nomination of the delegate Commissioners. The Prefects of three large cities are not called upon simply to carrying out the will of the executive branch of the areas in which they operate. On the delegate Commissioners weigh the honorary burdens of recording the needs of the community, of analysing the necessities of single social groups, of finding remedies, of favouring participatory solutions to the conflicts, and of organizing works of prevention.
Some questions on these themes to Carlo Mosca, Prefect of Rome and Delegate for the intervention on the nomad emergency.On what lines does he intend to proceed?How does he intend to guarantee the exercise of fundamental rights to those who live in a community and to those who are there in a condition which, often, is not the result of a free choice? And then, also questions of a vaster nature. How does he intend to respond to a diffused need of security? How will the actions of the Prefects be coordinated with the civil society?
These questions are prompted by the growing social alarm, but also by a new approach to the relations between citizens and institutions. The Italy of the years of 2000 cannot be depicted as a Country suddenly overwhelmed by a security mania, by campaigns of “law and order” and repressive drives. The Italy of the years of 2000 is a civilized Country, in which the communities reflect with tranquillity on the subject of security, showing a readiness to cooperate with the institutions. With the courage of the Sicilian businessmen determined to crush the practice of extortion and Mafia arrogance; with the sense of responsibility of many administrators and many local communities determined not to remain silent in the face of illegality, not to close their eyes in the face of a criminality that strikes the weakest.
With the Ordinance of the 30th May, 2008, the President of the Council of Ministers nominated the office of Delegate Commissioner for the interventions on the nomad camps. The Ordinance follows the Decree of the 21st May on the state of emergency for the nomadic community settlements in Campania, Lombardy and Lazio. The tasks of this office are monitoring, ascertainment of the legitimacy of the presence of the settlements, the identification of suitable sites for the realization of authorized areas, of social, health and scholastic politics – roles which are very far from the classical roles of the Prefect, jurist/generalist. Tasks which require knowledge/social sensitivity, political wisdom, rapid decision-making. The Decree envisages a Prefect who resolves problems with alacrity and is not limited to fit them into a technical-juridical scheme! How does he prepare to face the new tasks?
In these last years the Prefect, rediscovering his ancient vocation of guarantor of fair and equal liberty, with spirit of service and with elevated ethical sense, has renewed his capacity of acting in the different fields of information, of prevention, of the conciliation of social conflicts, of the management of the emergency, of promoting the efficiency of public administration, of the safeguard of the general laws, of the unifying of public powers.
A very particular role, as one can see, as a role of guarantor and of closure of the system. A role to refine in order to guarantee an effective contribution to the change, convinced that the formula for a healthy and secure State means a more efficient State because it is better equipped to respond to the real needs of the citizens.
Sabin Cassese, with rare efficacy, has indicated in the Prefect a solver of problems, a solver who, therefore – I say – merits respect because he takes on the burden of giving answers to the problems of the common people, because at the same time, he faces the reality with pragmatism and with that constitutional patriotism which expresses loyalty to the fundamental values of the Republican Democracy.
A Prefect, therefore, guarantor of the civil and social rights able to take care of the social, institutional and statutory cohesion: in synthesis, the national cohesion which allows us to affirm the unity of the entire Republic.
With this concept then, which signifies an important mission in the service of the citizens of our Country, the Prefect, today, is able to face also different tasks from those traditional ones – or they can appear as such – however, in essence, they relate back to the ancient, but always existing tradition, of being a servant of the State, which fights every day in the trenches of complexity to render the Country more modern and functional in the general interests of the citizens.
There is a point in the Decree of nomination which should be pondered. The Decree entrusts not only the burden of expulsion or re-establishment of the illegally occupied sites, but also entrusts functions of stimulation oriented towards a new type of social integration. The Decree speaks of “monitoring and promotion of the schemes in the authorized camps to favour schooling and professional training, and involvement in the activities of the realization or the recuperation of housing”.If I understand correctly, the participation of the interested parties is hypothesized in the recuperation of the environment and in the construction of liveable residential areas. A change which could be the forerunner to a new conception of social politics. With what means does he intend to proceed?
When the Prefect, also in his capacity of provincial authority of Public Security, exercises typical police powers, he remains, however, even in such a role, a Guarantor Prefect: to guarantee the exercise of a right of liberty, such as that of being safe. A right which is compared with other rights constitutionally expressed and which require a sense of balance, of sensitivity in evaluating which of the compared liberties must, in that moment, prevail; what the most prudent decision should be to render effective the perception of substantial respect for the dignity of each person.
The Delegate Commissioner for the interventions on the nomad camps is, therefore, a guarantor of integrated politics which beside the typical prevention of the Police, sees the social prevention; the situational one, the unexpected one and the community one take root in such a way that a capable civic network is activated, each in its turn offering answers to so many needs.
The Prefect, representative of the State and the Government, has the task of rediscovering and renewing the many networks which are present on the territory, connecting each with the other, urging them to act in view of common objectives in sign of loyal collaboration and of unity between all and each one. This, with the end of reaching, in the shortest possible time, the most effective results.
All this applies also for the questions of the nomads or of the populations without territory, who merit the highest respect for their history, for their vicissitudes – at times tragic – for their need to be recognized and understood, for the urgency of their integration, which also implies their recognition and involvement in the same respect of the values and rules of our Democracy.
The Reform of the Title V of the Constitution provided for a re-writing of the powers and areas of competence of the Prefects and Prefectures. No longer the Napoleonic body, but an integrated structure in the Federal System and oriented to obtain the loyal collaboration between institutions that operate in the ambit of the subsidiarity. Standard laws have already re-designed the role of the Prefects. In recent months, nevertheless, new functions are constantly emerging. The Prefect must guarantee not only the coherence between the local action and the “governance” capability of the State, but also that the State is capable of directly interpreting the needs of the people.How to monitor the social needs? Is communication with the political representation sufficient? Or is it opportune to enter into contact with the networks and interests of the civil society?
The ties of the Prefects and Prefectures with the territory and with the problems of the people who live on the territory go back more than two hundred years when the founding idea of the institution of the Prefectorial Corps was the precise desire to mobilize the Prefects and the Prefectures in the meaningful pursuit of the general interests and of the public good. This is the reason for the strong identity of the Prefect, which is not based on memories from the past – which belong to an outdated rhetoric nobody needs – but is meant to consolidate the strong idea aimed at investing in the future, elaborating a project suitable for guaranteeing that the figure of the Prefect can continue to be the man of the “equality” State. We need to plan the future implementing the institutional mission to exchange information with the local institutions and to have a constant ear for the needs of the people. This capacity is the actual essence of the “generalist official”, who, today, must face the many contradictions of the present world – governed by the global, but also by the local, by the culture of the “market” and by the need for solidarity.
Sometimes, to be the Prefect means also to express a possible Utopia, in believing in the presence of the plural, instead of the singular; in trusting that to be united is worth much more than being alone in pursuing a common objective.
To do all this the Prefectorial Corps has, in its adaptability, one of the elements of strength of its continuity; a Corps that exists to serve the national community; that it has the advantage to be united around perpetual ideals and values; that it was instituted to guarantee the civil and social liberties; that knows how to let its identity be acknowledged, even in new and modern times.
Precisely for all this, the Prefect must be able to tend to the efficiency of all the administrations of the State until faith in them is re-established, but at the same time, there must be a re-awakening of energy in all the Governments of the territory until the needs of the people are satisfied.
In the reality of today, where fragmentation is judged as signifying decisional autonomy and adult responsibility, it is necessary that the Prefect functions as a third organ able to guarantee the essential levels of the services concerning the civil and social rights of the citizen – essential and not minimum levels. This is why it is necessary to consolidate the territorial networks, to make contact with them, to give importance to every social turmoil that can reveal needs of the citizens, in such a way as to better understand and better democratically govern each phenomenon, in the public interests.
In the same work of the Delegate Commissioner for the nomad emergency, it will be most important to have a network system of relations with the principal associations which represent the nomadic communities, but at the same time, with the representatives of those laic and religious associations which have worked in these areas, achieving a consolidated experience of assistance.
The security question has passed through diverse phases in our Country. We have had two periods in which the emergency consisted in the defence of the State against great phenomena of subversion and organized crime: the armed struggle first, the military mafia afterwards. Today, we are experiencing a third season, the diffused attack on the civil society; the multiform criminality; the penetration of the foreign mafias; the continual criminal innovation (referring to informatics).Are the old instruments of prevention and repression still adequate?The structures of co-ordination and monitoring of the security, introduced in the years of the emergency are still adequate.Are the Provincial Committees for order and security still functional?Is it opportune to change the structure? How? Who should be placed at the top?Is the role of Mayor of the regional/provincial capital – already recognized by the New Order of Administration of the Public Security (the Law 1st April, 1981, No. 121) – sufficient? Can this role be expanded? What is the role of the other Mayors? Should the Committee be an advisory body of the Prefect? Or something different?
Today, the security is a question that must be seen from various aspects. It is conjugated and declined in various ways and, by now, each one of us is accustomed to speaking of security also outside of the traditional ways, typical of an era in which security was seen only from a Police point of view. In effect, our Country has experienced very significant moments of emergency, when it was assaulted by the pernicious onset of terrorism and the mafia. And it is, perhaps, for this that I would prefer that today the term ‘emergency’ be used with caution where, with it, one wishes to understand the phenomenon of the diffused criminality, which, often, is the real cause of a general rising of fear, of insecurity and of mistrust in the institutions which are supposed to guarantee a peaceful life in common.
There is no doubt that, today, the investigative instruments are so sophisticated and modern to be able to effectively fight the new forms of mafia and terrorist aggression in all their specificity. It is likewise undoubted that an intelligent and penetrating control of the territory, the so-called violent micro-criminality can be reduced and defeated.
The results reached by the Police Force on the criminal statistics horizon are indicative of an efficiency and effectiveness which certainly can improve, but are already, at the present, more than satisfying. However, it is still not enough to reduce that feeling of insecurity that many people sense with increasing uneasiness. It is for this very reason that I have, for some years, formed the conviction that the policies of prevention and repression of the Police must be accompanied by all the others; social, situational and communal, in a common effort of all the territorial Governments. This in order to supply a framework of cohesive and functional answers to the needs felt by the people.
In this sense, the Provincial Committees for public order and security are still functional, if they are able, as happens in most cases, to put together all those who have responsibility res publica on the territory to outline a strategy together, which is able to improve results. This, guaranteeing equal dignity to all those who participate in the management of the collective body, but always recognizing, however, the superior authority of the State body, since it is our Constitution that considers matters of security the exclusive competence of the State and as such, to assure a superior authority capable of expressing also the necessity of guaranteeing, in a unitary and non-fragmented manner, security on every part of the national territory.
Since 1981, the year of the Reform Law of the Public Security, there have been many integrations and modifications concerning the Provincial Committee, above all, regarding the presence of the mayors and presidents of the province. It is more than right that they should have an always greater say in the defining of local security policies, primarily when the citizens ask for more forceful intervention from them, in the elimination of the social decline and urban blight which afflict the city and endangers civil security.
A growing demand for security is being manifested in all the developed societies. It is not a phenomenon either of the Left or the Right: you can read the manifestos which divide the Republicans from the Democrats in the United States or of the programmes of the parties that operate in Europe, alternating between the conservative and socialists. It is the consequence of the failure of traditional certainties, of the Welfare crisis. It is the consequence of new conflicts produced by the global economy and the global movements of the populations. It is the search for a new civil order and the fruit of a new concept of political participation. There are requests from the bottom for self-management of the security: the patrols, the civic associationism, the associationism piloted by the local authorities. Should they be opposed? Or can positive aspects be gleaned from them?
I am favourable to bipartisan and participated security policies since I believe that the involvement in the exercise of an important right of liberty, like that of being safe, can only be facilitated by such awareness and participation.
To share and participate in the defining of security strategies does not, however, mean the acceptance of forms of self-management of the security itself. The phenomenon of the patrols cannot, therefore, be shared when it intends to substitute the Police Force which it holds to be, rightly or wrongly, insufficient or inadequate with respect to the mission conferred upon it. Security is a task entrusted to the State, to the Police Force, in their capacity as officers and agents of the Public Security and, therefore, they are entitled to employ the public force which is legal in virtue of this very legitimation.
As for other aspects, since the activity concerning the security is, in particular, the control of the territory, it can comprise three distinct phases: observation, monitoring and guarding, and since only the last two presuppose powers of verification, identification and coercion, one can well imagine that there might be a “space” , always supervised and controlled by the Public Security Authorities, for the activity of observation, which must translate, though, into a constant reference to the bodies to which the Law entrusts Police powers.
The policies towards the migrants and the nomadic communities touch only one aspect of the security. There are others. For the last twenty years the developed Countries have been employed in a continuous work of regulation up-dating and of strategic innovation. Some solutions have caused a great stir. The zero tolerance of the Civic Administration of New York and of the Mayor Giuliani has become a slogan. Is it still a remedy? Does it have contraindications?
Actually, for many years the developed Countries have been employed in the search for operative solutions able to reduce the rate of defused criminality which, in particular, in the great metropolises is a source of serious preoccupation and an ever increasing mistrust in the Institutions.
There are, however, two theories and solutions which have exercised the greatest appeal and have had a more consistent application: the zero tolerance and the so-called “broken window”. Also in these cases it concerns approaches which are fundamentally different. On the one side the zero tolerance is a classic expression of a repressive security policy of the Police, while the “broken window” plays everything on the prevention side, not so much by the Police, but by those Governments of territory who are able to intervene immediately with respect to any phenomenon of civil degradation, with the intention of terminating, with the greatest immediacy, the presence and effectiveness of such degradation. I know that many are in favour of the first solution and many others of the second. I feel that it would be more opportune to adhere to the thesis which sees one and the other put together, measuring out their application each time and according to the specific situations, opting, in this way, for a mixed solution where the dimension of the application of one theory or the other remains entrusted to the knowledge and experience of the decision-maker. Besides, I am still of the idea that wise and persuasive policies of prevention produce, where suitably structured, much more positive margins of results than one can imagine.
CompStat is the name given by the New York Department of Police to a new concept in the monitoring of crimes and the organization of the prevention. With a periodic collection of information the system enables the construction of geographic maps of the risk, which favours the continual improvement of the strategies of counteraction. The system has been successfully applied in other American cities. In Italy, is it possible to integrate the reorganization of the prevention with new technologies? Is it possible to pass from the old question of coordination between the Police Forces to a qualified coordination which permits the certain identification of questions that merit a priority intervention?
Also Italy is progressing towards establishing the technique of constructing geographic maps of the risk which are able to alert the chiefs of the Police Forces and thus favour the improvement of counteraction strategies. The so-called geo-referential maps, for example, are able to verify the quantity and kind of crimes present, not only in the cities, but in their municipalities, districts, quarters, and even in the roads and streets of the same city. This enables the selection, with intelligence and adaptability, of the instruments of counteraction, to concentrate them where necessary, to refine them and make them maximally productive of useful results. Likewise, it allows for the handling of the priorities in an ambit where the coordination of the Police Forces finds its specific coalition – because it is able to enhance the single specificity and professionalism with respect to a gamma of diverse interventions precisely from the kind of crimes to be counteracted. The theme of coordination, however, remains essential, also if it recalls somewhat the phoenix question, hard to do, because nobody actually wants to do it.
I can say, however, that after more than a quarter of a century the culture of coordination between the Police Forces has grown considerably and, today, produces significant results in many situations, for the very reason that the awareness has matured that together one can do more and do it better, using the resources to the maximum and to avoid wasting them in useless competitive exercises.
Visiting the portals of the local security of the English language Countries, one remains astonished. Non-reticent statistics on the state of the criminality. Information on the investments. Draft and presentation of the accountability of the activity. Even costs/benefits analyses. The reason for all this is the supposition that the information on crime creates security! Is something similar possible also in Italy?
I feel that also in our Country, particularly in recent years, there is a rich crop of information on the state of the security and criminality. Each year, apart from the official statistics, there are many reports, starting from that of the Ministry of the Interior, which offers careful and specialized reading on the criminal phenomena. I think more must be done on the informing of the costs/benefits analyses. Let it be clear, however, this is already possible by carefully reading the State Budgets, which, nevertheless, are still not easy to obtain or interpret. It would certainly be useful to know better how much is spent on security and why – I am convinced – in this way that excessive affirmations could be avoided, of the kind that Italy spends too much on security compared to other western Countries, or that the number of members of the Police Force could be reduced because elsewhere the security is guaranteed with a minor number of personnel. This is a subject which, unfortunately, is not sufficiently analyzed in depth and could, on the other hand, be welcomed in many university faculties and qualified authorities and institutes of research which, in our Country, are not lacking. I hope that this may come about and hope that, above all, the universities dedicate more space to deepening knowledge on the policies and strategies of security, contextually monitoring the efficacy and efficiency, and contextually providing to offer to the political decision-makers those opportune reflections to improve choices and operative interventions.