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Protecting Davos Police plan more security checks at WEF

Police plan to carry out more personal and vehicle checks along routes leading to the World Economic Forum in 2016

(Keystone)

The police commander responsible for protecting the World Economic Forum next month says security controls will be heightened following recent terror attacks in Paris. 

Walter Schlegel, who heads the canton Graubünden police, told the Südostschweiz publication that he doesn’t consider Switzerland to be a top terrorist target. Nevertheless, plans for protecting the World Economic Forum, set to take place in Davos in January, now include more frequent and intensive checks of individuals and vehicles at the event.

“We are constantly refining our ways of getting information,” Schlegel said. “The closer WEF gets, the more precise this network should be.” 

However, when asked whether WEF security forces had significantly bolstered their numbers or resources since the Paris terror attacks, Schlegel said that his anti-terror resources had already been at maximum capacity since the attacks on the World Trade Center in 2001. 

“That’s why expansion in this area is no longer necessary,” he said. “It’s not even possible.”

Cameras and traffic jams 

Schlegel said that having security cameras in public places would help his team but that this is not allowed under current Swiss surveillance law; cameras can currently only be used in already secured areas.

“We are bound to the people and the rule of law and must not do anything that is not permitted by law,” he said. 

Security forces will place more of an emphasis on securing paths to the WEF site with more vehicle controls “that will likely lead to traffic problems” that “can’t be helped”, according to Schlegel. In addition, a public bus that had been allowed to circulate near the WEF site will no longer be allowed to do so this year. 

A ban on drones in the airspace above Davos will also be in place in 2016 after heightened airspace controls were introduced last year. 

Schlegel added that the Swiss army, which usually provides 3,000 additional forces to protect the event, will be called on to protect “a few” additional sites this year. He said the total number of soldiers used in 2016 would not exceed “the upper limit” of 5,000.

swissinfo.ch and agencies

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