Security is becoming a new phenomenon for citizens, and they are becoming aware of it and subordinating certain patterns of behaviour to it. A safe and orderly environment has its importance not only in the current time and space, but also with a view to fu-ture development and sustainability. This is facilitated by clear and comprehensible objectives for the institution, measurable indicators by means of which citizens themselves can compare the current situation, indicators that are universal and binding for all local and regional authorities.
The Committee of the Regions of the European Union formulat-ed a resolution on „The political objectives of the Committee of the Regions“, in which it clearly stated its commitment to strengthening security in Europe. In point 19 of this document, it ‚affirms that local and regional authorities are committed to contributing to the eradication of the causes of insecurity and violence in all European cities and regions‘ (Resolution of the Committee of the Regions on the Committee of the Regions‘ Political Objectives (2006/C 192/07)). In that document, the Committee specifically proposes ’strengthening the institutional framework and giving the local and regional dimension a more specific role in the Community ap-proach‘. In the context of the European Security Strategy, the Committee reaffirms its intention to play its part in shaping security in the various regions. In Comparison to the most up to date Euro-pean Committee of the Regions‘ priorities for 2020-2025, the secu-rity aspects are visible there on the level of sustainability and resili-ency, which are connected with the crisis preparedness systems.
At present, local and regional authorities are drawing up an Eco-nomic and Social Development Plan, but there is still no strategic document on security at municipal, city or regional level. The above-mentioned absence is also directly related to the level of leg-islation,
which in Slovakia does not give local and regional authorities suffi-cient opportunities to address security issues in accordance with the principle of subsidiarity. By its status, location and relationship to the citizens, a municipality or town represents the most basic ele-ment of public administration, which is in the closest contact with the citizens.
It is proving to be essential that the self-government territorial unit also engages in a more meaningful, interconnected, results-oriented process of developing strategic goals and objectives as well as key processes and sub-objectives. Measurable indicators play an indispensable role in this process. They make it possible to monitor the level of fulfilment of the set objectives, to assess and compare the situation with the planned situation or with the situa-tion in other facilities. In this context, we believe that there is a so-ciety-wide requirement for the development of appropriate indica-tors reflecting the level of achievement of the set objectives. The development of such a procedure, including the development of a draft method for measuring the level of citizen security, would en-able institutions, individuals and social groups to have a better un-derstanding of the factors of citizen security, which would also be reflected in an increase in the level of provision of security risk management. This would create the prerequisites for public authori-ties to take qualified and timely measures to reduce security risks. However, a number of problems also arise in this context which require adequate solutions. First of all, there is the problem of draw-ing up appropriate indicators, with objective justification for their choice. Furthermore, it is the problem of the correct interpretation of individual indicators into the final form of a combined indicator, the index of citizens‘ security in the conditions of the territorial units of the Slovak Republic. It is these problems that this mono-graph solves in order to determine a suitable, theoretically justifia-ble and practically usable method for measuring the security of citi-zens in the conditions of territorial units of the Slovak Republic.
The monograph is logically and methodically divided into three parts comprising a different number of chapters. The first part has a theoretical-methodological character, consisting of the first, second and third chapters.
The first chapter concentrates the methodological background shaping the final form of the monograph. The first part defines the subject and object of scientific investigation, with a specific focus on the definition of the problem and the identification of problems that require a solution within the given topic. In particular, it de-scribes the issue from a methodological perspective, defining and clarifying the problem that the thesis addresses. Particularly im-portant is the unambiguous formulation of the main objective and related follow-up tasks of the monograph. It also describes the al-gorithm of the procedure for the treatment of the topics. Significant attention is paid to the overview of the methods used in the scien-tific work, broken down according to several criteria as they were used in the individual chapters of the monograph.
The second and third chapters present a set of theoretical and practical background of the problem. The second chapter focuses on clarifying the development of views on security in general and then specifically in relation to humans and its place within risk management. It progressively clarifies the terminological basis of the issue addressed and then explains and applies each of the basic concepts to specific areas of the solution as they will be used in subsequent texts. It derives terminological apparatus for further work and applies general definitions to specific terms within the monograph.
The third chapter then presents an overview of the human securi-ty measurement approaches published so far, at different levels. It assesses the various citizen security measurement methods reviewed on the basis of the same, clearly established evaluation criteria in the form of the method’s area of focus, the inputs used, the outputs offered, the algorithm of the procedure, the rating scale, and an assessment of the positives and negatives of the method.
The fourth chapter deals with the specific solution of the de-fined problem in relation to the knowledge acquired, taking into account the own views that shape the individual approach of each processor. Primary attention is paid to the definition of the territori-al unit, in relation to which the work is addressed in all subsequent chapters. This is followed by a comprehensive definition of the le-gal framework of the background of the issue addressed at the level of self-governing territorial units of towns and municipalities in Slovakia. A critical perspective on the analysis of the competences and tasks of self-governing territorial units of towns and municipal-ities in relation to the definition of qualitative and quantitative fea-tures of services in the field of security for citizens is used. Atten-tion is also paid to the survey of citizens‘ opinions on their percep-tion of security in order to clarify their competence to professional-ly assess security issues in various sub-areas. Subsequently, the chapter culminates in the final design of a method for measuring citizen security in the conditions of the defined territorial units of the Slovak Republic. The result of the application of such a method to measure the security of citizens in specific conditions is an asso-ciated indicator, which we call the index of citizen security. It de-scribes the focus of the method, the inputs used, the algorithm, the outputs offered, the scale of evaluation, and formulates the limita-tions of validity from a theoretical perspective.
The fifth chapter focuses on the verification of the functionality of the proposed model in concrete practice, focusing on the munici-pality’s services for citizens related to the protection of public order and crime prevention. According to the specification of the design method in Chapter Four, we carry out the individual steps in order to produce an output index of citizen security in the defined area, which we call the public order index. Part of the chapter also deals with the investigation of the addressed issue of public order provi-sion and crime prevention in the form of a standard statistical de-sign. We then combine the resulting knowledge about the level and variability characteristics, frequency intervals, and dependencies of each statistical feature with the resulting index to form an assess-ment of the outcomes and their applicability. In its final section, Chapter 5 contains an assessment of the positive aspects, as well as the negatives, weaknesses, and limitations of the proposed method for measuring citizen security in specific settings.
The sixth chapter deals with summarizing the results of the stud-ies in the monograph, including the broader context of linking the obtained metrics to the municipality’s planning documentation and their possible further use. It formulates conclusions from the con-ducted research on the subject, evaluates the results of the study and links them with proposals of a more general nature in relation to the documentation of the municipality concerning the security of citizens. It proposes to correlate the resulting method for measuring citizen security with the formulation of strategic visions and meas-urable objectives within the budget documentation of municipali-ties. Finally, attention is also paid to specific proposals for the use of the results from the application of the proposed method for measuring citizen security in the self-governing territorial units of cities and municipalities of Slovakia.
The conclusion of the thesis is devoted to the concentration of information on the theoretical and practical benefits of a specific solution of the subject problem, formulates the results in broader partly philosophical levels by linking all relevant aspects of the problem.