An increasingly large degree of ‘public craftsmanship’ is demanded from professionals working in neighborhoods where citizens actively participate in security issues. The central question in this article is what role these neighbourhood professionals – mostly civil servants, (community) police officers and welfare professionals – play in facilitating and supporting civic projects in the field of security, how they create their ‘own’ social order outside of the formal policy domain of the organizations involved, and how they keep the public interest in mind. On the basis of three types of neighbourhood based projects – Neighbourhood Watches, ‘The Neighbourhood Governs’, and Residential Budgets – questions about the improvising and ‘crafting’ work of professionals are explored in this article. Such work is much needed in order to successfully establish connections between the different parties involved, navigate between the interests of citizens and organizations, recruit civilians while simultaneously amending their aspirations and expectations, safeguard public interests and ensure the progress of projects. Some professionals back away from these additional tasks and responsibilities they are increasingly face with. In many neighbourhoods much more is required from professionals however than the traditional roles as they were once defined by police, welfare and municipal organizations. In particular, the ‘new’ crafting professionals need to be able to deal with unreasonable expectations of ‘angry citizens’ who tend to dominate citizen participation in local security issues, act impartially and be accountable to the larger public, show personality and street credibility, and, finally, be attentive to unequal outcomes with regard to the distribution of safety and security projects in neighborhoods and districts.
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