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Threat management system premieres in Solothurn

A man places a candle in a memorial one year following the September 27, 2001, mass shooting in the Zug cantonal parliament building Keystone

“Identify, assess, disarm” is the principle guiding the threat management system operating in canton Solothurn since the beginning of the year. The project was presented at the first Swiss Symposium on Threat Management, held on Monday in Olten.

Serious acts of violence are usually preceded by warning signals communicated by the potential perpetrators. “It never happens out of the blue,” said Hans Rudolf von Rohr, head of security for the Solothurner cantonal police, speaking at the symposium in Olten.

The mass shooting in the Zug cantonal parliament in 2001 and the state of emergency caused by a gun-wielding retiree who eluded police in Biel in 2011 both were preceded by warning signals and threats, said von Rohr, but no one had an overall picture.

Through multidisciplinary cooperation and exchange of information, it is possible to identify such signals early and prevent such acts of violence, von Rohr said.

The “Solothurn Model” includes a special core team that coordinates information, as well as  contact people at local and cantonal agencies, municipalities, hospitals, schools, and victim aid organisations who are trained to assess threatening situations.

The concept used by the centre was developed with the help of the Institute for Psychology and Threat Management in Darmstadt, Germany. According to canton Solothurn, the collaborative model being used in Switzerland is unique in Europe.

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR