Dhe closer cooperation between the Bad Homburg city administration and the state police is bearing fruit. The city has become safer in the past four years, and citizens can feel safer in public spaces in the city center and in parks. At least that is the conclusion of the city politicians, the police and the Hessian Interior Minister Peter Beuth (CDU). The city administration and the police have been coordinating the “Compass” program for four years. The name stands for “Municipal Program Safety Seal”. The state program is intended to facilitate contact between local authorities and the state police, including with additional police staff.
Bad Homburg was one of the first four Hessian cities to test the program in 2017. The Minister of the Interior awarded a seal on Monday for the efforts made so far. According to him, 92 cities have now joined the program, and 20 more are applying. In addition, the state is setting up a program under the name “Kompassregion” in which not only individual municipalities but entire areas work together with the police, for example the Hohe Meißner with the towns of Waldkappel, Hessisch Lichtenau and Großalmerode, the Upper Rheingau with Kiedrich and Walluf and the Weschnitz valley in southern Hesse with Lindenfels, Fürth, Rimbach and Mörlenbach.
The innovations with Kompass in Bad Homburg include, for example, a “policeman on site”, a police officer who is based in the town hall and is the contact person for the city administration, who also goes on patrol on foot and can be addressed by the citizens with their concerns. The police train volunteers who warn old people about fraud such as the “grandchildren’s trick” or false police officers.
Dissolve fearful dreams in cities
Compass is not only about the objective security situation, the number of crimes and their clearance rate, but also about “subjective security”, that is, the citizens’ feeling of being safe or uncomfortable in a square in the city, as Beuth explained. He named the “feeling of security” as the goal of Kompass. Lighting, for example, plays a major role here. If a place is well lit in the evening, it gives a feeling of security. A dark corner, on the other hand, could become a “dream of fear”. The feeling of security also influences the objective security situation. Criminals looked for fearful spaces and dark corners. If a place is well lit and animated, the perpetrator will be deprived of the opportunity to commit the crime.
In the spa town, the anniversary park, which adjoins the spa park, is now better lit, reported the deputy president of the West Hesse police headquarters in Wiesbaden, Roswitha Briel. The city’s regulatory officer, Lucia Lewalter-Schoor (SPD), named Rathausplatz as an example of a place where citizens would have felt uncomfortable and unsafe, especially because of drinkers who stayed there during the day. The city is now using street workers. The head of the Bad Homburg police department, Antje van der Heide, confirmed that there are currently no more complaints about the situation on Rathausplatz, unlike in front of Kompass. The program made it easier to work with the city. Lewalter-Schoor said that the representatives of the authorities spoke to each other in front of Kompass, but now the coordination has become closer and more structured.