Mayor of the City of Novi Sad Mr. Miloš Vučević attended a session of the Coordinating Body for Primary and Secondary School Violence Prevention in Novi Sad, held at the City Hall. Following the session, Mayor Vučević held a press conference with the members of the Coordinating Body, at which they presented the data on the students’ safety, as well as the results achieved so far regarding the issue.

- In the second half of 2014, thanks to the activities of all the stakeholders participating in the process of safety improvement in Novi Sad schools, we acknowledge significant results. These results have certainly been only strengthened by a more active role of the Coordinating Body, improved presence and better organization of the Novi Sad Police Administration, better communication with primary and secondary schools, as well as by identifying the key issues in cooperation with the Parents’ Council. This year, the City will introduce video-surveillance in all schools which currently lack this equipment, it will instruct PE City Construction and Development to increase its activities and improve the schoolyard lighting, and most importantly, the City will emphasize the importance of resolving the issue of traffic safety, as well as decrease of social network-related crimes and abuse. – said Mayor Vučević, and particularly praised the success of the “Operation Schoolboy” by the Novi Sad Police Administration, emphasizing that for our schools optimal safety we require cooperation of all stakeholders – of schools, students, parents, as well as of the media.

President of the Coordinating Body Mr. Vladimir Jelić said that in majority of schools a parent-student education course has been completed on the subject of violence, and a pilot-project – pioneered by the Milena Marić Technical School, regarding installation of multi-zoned metal detector door with an X-ray scan of hand luggage – has also been adopted. In his address, Mr. Jelić spoke of one more novelty.

-  My expectation is, and by that I mean implementation of student ID-cards which will enable entering schoolyards for all students and prevent all unauthorized access of unwanted individuals – said Mr. Jelić and added that for this purpose the redrafted City Budget will allocate funds for purchase of necessary equipment in order to implement the project till the end of the year.

Head of the Juvenile Delinquency Suppression Group within the Criminal Police Unit of the Novi Sad Police Administration Mr. Nenad Erdeljan said that all the police activities have been significantly strengthened, and that they are focused both on prevention and on suppression.

-  We will work more with the plain clothes police officers who will do unannounced patrols of schools. Assisted by the school policemen, their task will be not only to patrol the school building and its premises, but also the entire neighborhood surrounding the school. – said Mr. Erdeljan and added that the Operation “Schoolboy”, according to the official data, achieved significant results in the field of safety improvement.

Coordinator of the Juvenile Deviant Behavior Prevention Center Ms. Biljana Kikić Grujić said that the Coordinating Body Working Group, whose member she is as well, visited 29 schools so far, and that after immediate inspection and discussion, they compiled their reports on the state of students’ and employees’ safety in schools.

- Apart from problems such as lack of lighting and video-surveillance, the schools also identified as a problem electronic violence as well. Novi Sad is the first city in Serbia which approached these issues with dedication, implemented a whole series of measures, and has actively been working on numerous solutions. – said Ms. Kikić Grujić and added that the plan is to visit all city schools until April.

In Novi Sad, February 25th 2015