Judicial Reform and the Empowerment of Victims
Zagreb, 28-29 Nov. 2012
Zadar citizens support voluntary surrender of illegal weapons
Mountain Rescue Service also receives new equipment under UN program
"On average, 1.5 kg of explosives, 1,500 rounds of ammunition and 45 small arms and explosive devices have been collected each day since our campaign started," said UNDP Resident Representative Louisa Vinton. "This shows that illegal weapons still pose a grave threat to the safety of Croatian families, but citizen awareness can make a big difference."
The "Less Arms – Less Tragedies" campaign is a nationwide effort to prevent firearm-related tragedies by encouraging citizens to inform the police about the location of illegal weapons. The campaign has been jointly implemented by the Ministry of Interior and UNDP since 2007. It is currently implemented with financial support from the European Union as part of a region-wide effort to collect illegal weapons and destroy or store safely surplus firearms. Nationwide, citizens have so far surrendered 58,330 small arms and explosive devices, almost two million rounds of ammunition and nearly 2 tons of explosives.
The Zadar event also featured a demonstration of new equipment purchased for the Croatian Mountain Rescue Service (HGSS) under a joint UN program funded by the Kingdom of Spain and implemented by Zadar County and UNDP Croatia. The equipment, valued at HRK123,000 will help the HGSS rescue hikers who become stranded on Velebit Mountain. The Zadar HGSS station also contributes to small arms collection campaign by helping police to secure discarded weapons in remote and inaccessible areas.
Zadar Prefect Stipe Zrilić emphasized the importance of the Zadar Mountain Rescue Service, whose members are active the whole year, particularly in the tourist season, when many tourists go exploring the mountain of Velebit unprepared and without adequate equipment. The consequences of such adventures could be fatal without the brave members of the Mountain Rescue Service, who save these individuals from seemingly impossible situations.