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Army and federal police to increase security at Expo.02

Security is to be tightened at Expo attractions, including the Fun Park in Biel

(Keystone)

Switzerland's national exhibition, Expo.02, is to have extra security from the federal police, the army, and civil protection units.

In addition to the police from the five cantons in which Expo.02 is situated, some 1,100 police from outside the cantons, as well as 3,000 soldiers, and 2,300 members of the civil defence force will be made available for duty at the exhibition.

Expo.02 will start in May, and run for six months until October. The exhibition, which is based around the three lakes of Neuchâtel, Murten, and Biel, is expected to attract hundreds of thousands of visitors from both Switzerland and abroad.

Canton Neuchâtel police say the main security problems at Expo.02 are likely to come from increased traffic, petty crime such as pickpocketing, and possible minor disturbances of the peace.

Complicated coordination

The fact that the exhibition will take place in several cantons means the security arrangements are complicated, but police say the different forces are working well together.

A central security coordination office will be set up in the town of Colombier, canton Neuchatel, for the duration of the exhibition.

Meanwhile the many special buildings being set up on and around the three lakes will be protected by private security firms.

The directors of Expo.02 say they are happy with the security arrangements, and are confident of having a festive and peaceful exhibition.

swissinfo with agencies

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