All public governments and authorities suffer from limited budget and the picturesque City of Mödling with its approximate 25,000 citizens is no exception. An historical place situated in UNESCO protected environment, this city just outside Vienna has attracted well-to-do families for centuries. Consequently, when a city prospers, it also attracts criminals, and like most cities, Mödling had its share of vandalism, break-ins and thefts.
Security for Parking
The mayor of Mödling, Hans Stefan Hintner, explains the rationale behind the partnership: “To us it is a win-win situation: we don’t need to have staff for parking surveillance, and Securitas deals with all the administrative issues around it. At the same time, we can use the income from the fines to finance a higher level of security for our citizens. The city also did not have to invest in new radar machines, as they were bought by Securitas and are part of the monthly invoices from Securitas."
“The police don’t have the resources anymore to deal with the petty crimes, such as vandalism or disturbing the peace, so instead we have the Securitas Service Guards (a city patrol team) during daytime and on weekends mobile patrols during the night.”
According to the mayor, the response from the shopkeepers has been positive. The security officers are there for prevention, but the shops can also get assistance if they need an escort to the bank, for example. The security officers also make sure that the area is safe and tidy, and enforce the pedestrian-only zone in the city center and make sure people don’t litter.
The security solution includes speed-limit enforcement and parking surveillance. The technology includes a pay-by-phone option. Parking surveillance officers check the validity of mobile phone tickets with a hand-held device and issue parking fines.
The joint venture with the City of Mödling has been created to run and manage the security solutions. By doing so, not only did the city avoid the necessity of issuing annual tenders, and end up with a low-cost, hourly based solution, but also created a long-term solution, partially financed by the joint venture company itself – or its operations.
“The beauty of it for us in the city is of course the financing of the security,” says Hintner. “In addition, if I had to do this myself there would be a lot of staffing issues – with holidays, sick leave, and scheduling. Securitas also handles the administrative issues such as complaints, which serves as a buffer for us."
“We haven’t formally surveyed our citizens yet regarding the feeling of safety, but I do get a lot of spontaneous feedback, and people feel safer. There is a psychological effect when you notice that there are security officers patrolling the street. Someone is there, and that’s a good feeling.”