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Harstad re-certified 20th March 2014


Photo: Andreas Isachsen

Signing ceremony. From left dept. mayor Jan Fjellstad, certifyer Guldbrand Skjønberg, chief of police Hugo Henstein and director Karl Erik Arnesen, Harstad University College

Harstad was certified 1994 and re-certified 2003. After almost 20 years Safe Community status the community was re-certified a second time. Guldbrand Skjønberg from WHO Collaborating Center at Karolinska said in his address that Harstad has been an example both nationally and internationally for their routine prospective registration of injury data since 1985. The data has made evaluations of effective interventions possible (1-3).
1. Ytterstad B. The Harstad Injury Prevention Study. A decade of community based traffic injury prevention with emphasis on children. Postal dissemination of local injury data can be effective. Intern J of Circumpolar Health 2003; 62:61-74.
2. Ytterstad B. Smith G. Coggan C. The Harstad Injury Prevention Study. Prevention of burns in young children by community-based intervention. Injury Prevention 1998; 4:176-80.
3. Ytterstad B. The Harstad injury prevention study: Community-based prevention of fall-fractures in the aged evaluated by means of a hospital-based injury recording system. J Epidemiol Community Health. 1996;50:551-8.

Update on the 4th Regional European Safe Community Conference in Harstad June 3-5 2014


The Midnight Sun in June

The website for Harstad 2014 is now published

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The planning for Harstad 2014, June 3-5 is on track. The organizing committee has secured internationally renowned plenary speakers. There will be a number of scholarships available for applicants.

The website for info on registration, abstract submission, early bird payment and pre- and post- conference activities is now published.
• Go here

We appreciate submission of works from practitioners and field workers as well as academics. We are keen to learn from and share good practices with the European and Global network of Safe Communities.
Abstract deadline is set for April 1st. Early bird registration and payment is April 15th 2014.

Harstad welcomes participants to a modern and well equipped venue at Harstad University College - and a North Norwegian landscape bathed in the midnight sun.

Additional suggested topics for Harstad 2014

Injury prevention for the ageing European Population
Involvment and capacity building in former Russia and former Socialist States
Injury Prevention within the health promotion concept
Injuries among the disabeled
Injuries among immigrants

Our advisory/scientific committee:

Scienticic/advisory Committee:
Professor Emeritus Børge Ytterstad (chair)
Professor Emeritus Leif Svanstrøm
Dr. Dinesh Seti (WHO Europe)
Mr. Guldbrand Skjønberg
Professor Mirjana Milankov
Professor Ronan Lyons
Associate Professor Diana Stark Ekman
Associate Professor Robert Ekman
Dr. Inge Kristensen
Dr. Johann Bøhmann
Associate Professor Johan Lund
Ms. Kristina Forsberg
Professor Andrej Grjribovsi
Associate Professor Alexander Kudryavtsev
Mr. Stig Fredriksson
Professor Shrikant Bangdiwala
Associate Professor Koustuv Dalal
Dr. Wah-shing Tang
Professor Jon Piil Cho
Professor Toomas Timpka
Professor Ragnar Andersson
Associate Professor Ann Clancy
Professor Dinesh Mohan
Dr. Peter Spitzer
Professor/Director Tor Ingebrigtsen
Ms. Eva Jakobson Vaagland
Dr. Aili Lassner
Professor Louis Francescutti
Professor Gainel Usattayeva
Professor Ronan Lyons
Professor Dinesh Mohan
Professor Mirjana Milankov
Professor Marie-Isabel Gutierrez Organizing Committee:

Reference Group

Marianne Bremnes (Chair Reference group)
Kjetil Nilsen
Bodil Olsvik
Thomas Rørnes
Jan Erik Kristoffersen
Geir Lyså
Solveig Rostøl Bakken
Kjetil Bjørkelund
Sturla Bangstad
Kees Jan Verhage

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Sande, Norway Designated 5th November 2013


Safe Community flag between Certifyer Guldbrand Skjønberg (right) and Olav Grande (deputy mayor) and Karl Einar Haslestad (Mayor)

Sande is the fourth International Safe Community to be certified in Vestfold County, Norway

The Norwegian County of Vestfold is working very systematically with injury prevention and safety promotion. Sande municipality is the latest newcomer, joining three previously designated communities.

Harstad Safe Community assessed in Site Visit December 9th 3013


Gulbrand Skjønberg together with

The site visit was done by Guldbrand Skjønberg, senior advisor/certifyer of the WHO Collaborating Centre on Community Safety Promotion Karolinska Institutet. The program for the day was extensive and gave according to the certifyer a good insight into the structure and activity of the Harstad Community work for fulfilling the seven indicators. The certifyer seemed to be in a good mood during the visit. The final verdict will be known shortly.

Important news from ECSA on product related child injury


Hey there! How can you protect me from injuries?

Eurosafe works within the EU system for injury prevention and safety promotion. The European Child Safety Alliance (ECSA), led by Joanne Vincenten and Morag MacKay, guides european countries towards building safer environments for children 0-14 years of age. This top down work is an important add-on for the bottom-up work of the International Safe Community Movement and ESCON.

December 5th 2013 a child product safety guide was published by ECSA. This guide lists 26 products, potentially dangerous for children. Some products are not recommended for use and should be withdrawn from the market. Other products may be dangerous when wrongfully used e.g. bicycle helmets and child car seats.





• Click here for Child Product Safety Guide

Nøtterøy, Norway designated September 26th 2013


Guldbrand Skjønberg, Certifyer for WHO Collaborating Center with Mayor Roar Jonstang and Deputy Mayor Toril Eeg

Nøtterøy (22 000) became the 18th Norwegian International Safe Community and the 318th globally

The designation ceremony was part of a day seminar on injury prevention and safety promotion. The presentations documented a strong commitment to the seven indicators. For re-designation in five years the indicator on documentation of injury occurrence in the community may have to be improved. The presentations on fall prevention, using modern technology was particularly interesting and innovative. The interventions for inclusion of vulnerable groups and asylum seekers were outstanding and something for other communities to emulate

Tallinn, Estonia designated International Safe Community


The SC agreement signed by Mayor Mr Edgar Savisaar (in the middle), Head of Social Welfare and Health Care Dept of Tallinn Mr Vahur Keldrima (left) and Mr Guldbrand Skjonberg (right) from European Certifying Centre.

TALLINN is the 315. Safe Community, the first capital in Europe (the 3rd in the world, after Wellington and Tehran). The designation ceremony took place on 28 May in Tallinn, accompanied by Mayor of Tallinn Mr Edgar Savisaar and other representatives, and by quests and greetings from three Estonian Safe Communities (Rapla, Viljandi and Lääne counties).
There are 4 Safe Communities in Estonia now.
 

Smedjebacken (population 11 000) re-designated as international Safe Community


The Smedjebacken Team and Aili

Aili Laasner of the European Safe Community Certifying Centre re-designated Smedjebacken, Sweden August 17. 2013

The city fulfills their International Safe Community obligations regarding all seven indicators. The whole community has been involved in the community safety promotion initiatives.Their work with vulnerable groups are outstanding

Arctic Race of Norway and Safe Community Harstad a success


Old bicycles brought in for repair

Safe Community Harstad arranged a "Bicycle Train" as side event for the Arctic Race promoting safe cycling and helmet use

Arctic Race of Norway was a success and Tor Hushovd won this first and historic event. Over 20 teams participated, seven of them Tour De France teams.

The Safe Community "Bicycle Train" was a success. The five Signaturees of the Harstad Safe Community Agreement were represented by the Mayor of Harstad Marianne Bremnes, The Director of Harstad University College Karl Erik Arnesen, The Chief of Police Geir Pedersen, The Regional Director for Road Authorities in Northern Norway Torbjørn Naimak and Rita Bjugg representing the Emergency Ward at tha University Hospital of Northern Norway Harstad.

The Safe Com Bicycle Train promoted physical activity and helmet use and first in the "Train" were Harstad Tigers on their newly painted black and yellow bikes. All ages, vulnerable groups, handicapped and ethnic groups participated to show Harstad as an active, safe, tolerant and inclusive Community. Please take a look at the Bicycle Train Video on youtube!

• Click here for you tube video

Arctic Race of Norway and Safe Community Harstad


Preparation for Arctic Race "Bicycle Train" by Harstad Tigers, Safe Community and the "Rainbow People"

An international Bicycle Race used for promoting physical exercise and safe cycling in an International Safe Community

The Arctic Race of Norway is an international bicycle race occurring right after Tour de France. The race starts in Bodø, north of the Arctic Circle and winds through Lofoten, Vesterålen and ends in Harstad August 11th 2013. The event is extensively broadcasted internationally and represents an opportunity for promoting safe cycling. Harstad will in 2014 start building an extensive network of pedestrian and bicycle pathways. There in a formidable challenge is to increase the use of bicycles to work and for play and leisure. This is good opportunity for health and safety promotion in "Harstad, City of Diversity"

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Borås City re-designated


Signing the agreement: Mayor Ulf Olsson, City Manager Svante Stomberg and Certifier ProfessorBørge Ytterstad

Borås City, Sweden with population 104000 was re-designated International Safe Community June 3. 2013

Borås municipality was designated Safe Community in 1998. The re-application shows that very good work is being done in Borås. The application not only fulfils the requirements for re-certification but serve as a showcase for a populous Safe Communities. They document good work towards preventing injuries for vulnerable groups e.g. low income, disabilities and ethnic groups The joint efforts of municipal public institutions in the preventive work in e.g. traffic, schools, children, sports and homes show a well organised Safe Community. Borås has done pioneer work on the Safe Hospital concept. Not unlike many other Swedish communities they have a potential for improvement concerning documenting injuries sustained in home and leisure. The complete report on the assessment of Borås re-designation may be found on the Karolinska institute website.

Child Safety Report Card

The Child Safety Report Cards monitor and report the status for child safety from injury in different European countries


Child Safety Report Cards have been released as part of the project - TACTICS (Tools to Address Childhood Trauma, Injury and Children’s Safety) of the European Child Safety Alliance. “Report Cards” developed and released for more than 30 countries and the Europe Summary Report Card, score countries on their level of adoption, implementation and enforcement of over 100 proven, effective child injury prevention strategies – good practices known to save children’s lives. The good practice policies relate to road traffic accidents, drowning, falls, poisoning, burns, choking and supports, such as leadership, data infrastructure and professional capacity, necessary to combat child injury.

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Tøreboda, Sweden re-designated 12. October 2012


Certifyer and signaturees posing proudly in front of Safecom flag and plaque

Tøreboda, population 10 000, was first designated International Safe Community in 2005. Lars-Åke Bergmann and Lars-Erik Lind signed the agreement for five more years of membership of the Safecom family

Tøreboda has documented impressive multi-disciplinary and trans-sectorial cooperation towards injury prevention and safety promotion. All seven mandatory indicators for re-certification are met. The community has benefited from the Skaraborg county system for injury data collection. This has enabled evidence based targeting of interventions and evaluation of results. Injury prevention has a strong position under the umbrella of general health promotion work in the community. Tøreboda has amalgamated the community societal security system with the daily life safety e.g. in home and leisure activities, schools, traffic and work.

Vorarlberg, Austria re-designated 10. October 2012


The signing by Dr. Christian Bernhard and Mag. Harald Sonderegger

Vorarlberg has 360 000 inhabitants and includes 96 municipalities, first designated 1998 as no 22 in the world and re-designated in 2002.

The injury prevention work in Vorarlberg has been exemplary evaluated and documented by assessment of injury rates and expenditure of injury related hospital resources. The results are compared to national figures and are impressive in terms of preventing human suffering and saving societal resources. In an European setting this large community has been an exemplary model for top-down (from the Central administration) and bottom-up work (in the 96 Municipalities). In the period between 1997 and 2004 a total evaluation and scientific monitoring was carried out by the Institute for Safe Living (Traffic Safety Board, Dr. Rupert Kisser). Presently, evaluation is performed in different programs. These programs are targeting injuries occurring in Vorarlberg and documented in their Injury Data Base e.g. sports injuries and chain-saw injuries occurring in forestry.

• Video of Ceremony

ESCON board meeting in Falkøping June 5th 2012


From left to right: Inge Kristensen (Horsens, Denmark), Børge Ytterstad (Harstad, Norway), Aimo Ahti (Kouvola, Finland), Mirjana Milankov (Novi Sad, Serbia) and Aili Laasner (Rapla, Estonia).

The main theme for disussion was the sustainability of the ESCON board activity towards promotion of the Safecom model in Europe

Titti Walterum (Falkøping, Sweden) was nominated for a new board member. Titti has agreed to work with us. Considering the tremendous job she has done together with the Falkøping team in organising the Conference, we are very pleased to have her on board in the crew.

The main challenge for ESCON presently is funding for our work. The board has unanimously proposed to establish a co-operative agreement with WHO Collaborating Centre on Community Safety Promotion (WCCCSP)
regarding a sustainable system for the network to function. Our aim is to promote Safe Com practices and facilitate development of Safe communities in Europe.

ESCON has been a strong advocate for an equitable and diversified system for accreditation of International Safe Community status. The newly made proposal from WCCCSP on this new system is highly appreciated.

The Falkøping Conference was professionally organized with diversified and high quality presentations. ESCON thanks the organizers for scholarships that made possible a full board attendance.

ESCON extracurricular activity


The “cultural section” of ESCON is discussing strategies for the performance at the Conference Banquet. Inge is an accomplished jazz vocalist and sang “Walking my Baby back Home” and “Ack Värmland du sköna”

The ESCON board has a section for jazz music

Falkøping, Sweden redesignated


Mayor of Falkøping Ulf Eriksson receiving Safecom Placard at ceremony

At the third European Regional Conference in Falkøping (31600), the host city was re-designated June 5th 2012.

Falkøping was the one of the first communities in Sweden and the world to be accredited as an International Safe Community. Falkøping was re-certified in 2004.
Hosting the third Regional European Safe Community Conference, Falkøping provided for seamless logistics, high quality presentations from academics, field workers and community administrators. Falkøping has been and still is a showcase for Safe Community practices. A special thanks to public health coordinator Titti Walterum for her dedication and hard work towards a successful conference.

Ludvika, Sweden re-certified 23. February 2012


Ludvika (26 000) was certified i 2000 and is one of three certified Safe Communities in the Dalarna County

Deutschlandsberg designated Safe Children Community


Bo Henricsson certifying in Austria

17. Novembar 2011. Deutschlandsberg, Austria was designated as a first Safe Children Community in the world.

Banja Luca designated


Banja Luca Certification Ceremony. Professor Leif Svanstrøm at work

4. May 2011. City of Banja Luka (225.000), Republica Serbska-Bosnia and Herzegovina, became the 235 th Safe Community in the world and the 4th Safe Community in South Eastern Europe Safe Community Network.

Delmenhorst Germany designated

The second International Safe Community in Germany was designated 25. March 2011. Delmenhorst (78 000) has a long record of injury prevention and safety promotion. Dr. Johann Bøhmann and co-workers have highlighted child safety.

Kepez Turkey designated


Certification ceremony in Kepez

Kepez, Turkey (387 000) designated International Safe Community 7. April 2011 as the first Turkish member of the Safecom Movement.

Re Norway designated


Certifyer Guldbrand Skjønberg and attentive audience

As no 18 in Norway, Re municipality (9000) in Vestfold County was designated International Safe Community 20. May 2011.

Viljandimaa Estonia designated


Aili Laasner and the Viljandi Safecom crew

As the third International Safe Community in Estonia, Viljandimaa (55 000) was designated November 3. 2011

Estonias first International Safe Community Rapla (28 000) was designated in 2004 and re-designated in 2009. In 2010 Laane (28 000) was designated. Further information on the Estonian Safe Communities may be seen on

Motala Sweden redesignated


Photo:Tass

Motala, Sweden (42 000) was designated International Safe Community as 4th in the world in 1990, redesignated in 2004 and redesignated Nov. 15 2011

Motala has been a frontrunner in the Safe Community Movement in terms of injury data capture, analysis and evaluation of interventions.

Early involvement of University of Linkøping led to publication of several articles in international peer-reviewed journals.
Several of these articles have been reviewed by a Cochrane Group.

• The Cochrane Collaboration