More social workers needed at Czech Romany housing estate
The increasing of the number of social workers at the Janov housing estate in Litvinov, north Bohemia, that is mostly inhabited by Romanies, is one of the measures recommended by an analysis aimed to improve the situation at Janov that Jozef Murin presented to journalists today.
Murin is an employee of the Czech government agency for social inclusion in Romany localities.
The analysis, called "Social Trap," also recommends the raising of consulting capacities, the preparation of an anti-usury programme, focus on violence prevention, and adoption of an uncompromising procedure against drug dealers.
"It is not a document looking for the guilty party, but it describes the situation," Murin said.
He said the analysis has found out that every 10th inhabitant of the locality with 6000 inhabitants, is a drug addict.
Murin said it is also necessary to do something about the local gambling rooms of which there are 17, one of them right opposite a school.
The analysis blames the situation at Janov on the ill-considered privatisation of flats by the then Litvinov assembly 13 years ago.
It claims that the town wanted this way to transfer the solution to the issue on the new owners.
The current town assembly has approved an integrated plan of development of the Janov housing estate.
It can gain EU subsidies to the value of 45 to 85 percent of the costs.
The assembly has put the cost of revitalisation of public areas at 90 million crowns and another 410 million crowns are to be needed to repair the apartment houses.
The plan also contains a so-called soft project aimed at social work in the field, crime prevention and education.
Socially weak people from across the country have been moved to the Janov housing estate. Many of its inhabitants are unemployed, are not interested in education and they have run into debts.
The analysis says the labour mobility of the inhabitants of the socially deprived neighbourhoods is minimal.
The management of the sole school at Janov estimates that 60 to 70 percent of all pupils of the school come from excluded families, but not all are Romanies.
The socially deprived inhabitants of the housing estate visit the general practitioner only in the most acute cases, and they do not practically go to the dentist, the document says.
Organised crime, gangs specialising in the sale of stolen goods (mainly cars), the production, distribution and sale of drugs, prostitution and usury, including violent extraction of debts, are often mentioned by Janov inhabitants, the analysis says.
Murin said people must be integrated not individually, but at one go. This requires community planning, the raising of security with the use of the camera system, support to civic activities and an improvement of neighbourly coexistence, he said.
The original inhabitants complain about coexistence with the Romanies, but they cannot leave their flats that are unsaleable because of the environment. They find themselves in a social trap.
The extremist Workers' Party (DS) sent patrols to Janov on January 24. DS members were at Janov last October already, but the Romanies prevented their passage through the housing estate.
In retaliation, the DS organised a march to Janov on November 17 that ended in a clash with the police and injuries on both sides.
Litvinov mayor Milan Stovicek (senior ruling Civic Democrats, ODS) says the DS sponges on the problems that the town hall is solving.
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