Daily Management Review

Europe is tightening security


London authorities have decided to intensify police patrols due to the increased threat of terrorist attacks in Europe. Germany is taking a similar move and introducing military patrols for the first time since World War II. France, where armed police are guarding beaches and areas with large concentrations of people, canceled dozens of cultural and recreational activities until the end of the summer. The authorities in these countries are urging their citizens not to panic, to remain vigilant and to treat increased security measures with understanding.

David Holt via flickr
David Holt via flickr
Starting from today, new police officers will guard London from increased terrorist threat. 600 police officers have had a special training to neutralize terrorists and prevent terrorist attacks on the streets, in buildings and even in the water. Thus, the total number of armed law enforcement officers in the British capital will reach 2,800 people. The patrols will appear not only in the historical places of the city, near the monuments, museums and other attractions, but also in places of the greatest congestion of people.

Commenting on period of the city’s life, Head of the Metropolitan Police, Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe said: "We know that the threat level is extremely high. We are concerned with that we have seen in Europe". According to him, in recent years, British police successfully prevented terrorist attacks and now, if necessary, is able to withstand an increased threat of terrorism. Head of the police said that residents and visitors of London should not be afraid of the change: "I want people to be able to approach these officers and to refer to them, they have been instructed". Head of the Metropolitan Police Service said that rapid response teams will ride around the city on high-speed motorcycles to get to the scene as soon as possible. London Mayor Sadiq Khan welcomed adoption of the measures and also urged citizens not to be afraid of new patrols. "All of our police officers carry out their work in close cooperation with all of our specialists and structures to prevent possible terrorist attacks", - he said. 

The tragic events of recent months changed life on the other side of the Channel. For the first time after the Second World War, streets of Berlin can be guarded by military patrols. So far, according to the German constitution, they could take part only in the aftermath of natural disasters. However, the three terrorist attacks, occurred in the country in July, made the government announce beginning of joint exercises of the regional police and army units to work out a coordinated action in the event of a large-scale terrorist attacks. German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen commented: "Events in Paris opened our eyes. It’s better to face skepticism, than to be accused of not being ready". For her part, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said last week: "We should be prepared for possible large-scale terrorist attacks, and we can do it, according to the constitution, which allows use of the armed forces at the relevant police management".

France, where on August 2 was buried a terrorist victim, Catholic priest Jacques Hamel, increased security measures as well. Already after the terrorist attack in Nice, the authorities decided to step up protection of beaches and places with large concentrations of people. On August 1, armed police started patrolling passenger ships and ferries across the English Channel. Squads of police land on board ships as soon as they come in French territorial waters, and remain on board until the vessel's arrival at the destination port. In addition, the French authorities have decided to cancel a few tens of major cultural and recreational activities in order to avoid mass gatherings. Thus, on August 13 Marseille will not host demonstrations of aerobatics team Patrouille de France, open-air concerts were abolished in Nice, and resort of La Baule canceled fireworks festival timed for 15 August. Open air film festival and basketball competitions were postponed in Paris, and the local authorities also revised their plans to transform the Champs Elysees in the pedestrian zone. Defense Minister of France Jean-Yves Le Drian commented on the decision: "We live in a state of war. Sometimes, if the safety requirements are not met, you just need to cancel the event. Everyone should understand that constraints are inevitable in such a situation. " 

source: bbc.com, dw.de, thelocal.fr