Tuesday, 26 September 2017

Security checks at Prague Castle to continue

ČTK |
17 July 2017

Prague, July 15 (CTK) - Police checks at the entrances to Prague Castle, the presidential seat, which were introduced a year ago, will continue as the security forces recommended this, and more police officers will be deployed for them, Presidential Office spokesman Jiri Ovcacek has said in a press release.

The Presidential Office turned to the BIS civilian counter- intelligence service, the Police Presidium, the police squad for president's protection, the Castle Guard and the Military Office of the President asking whether the checks at Prague Castle should continue.

"On the basis of an analysis of current risk, the addressed security forces still recommend preventive security checks of persons carried out by the Czech police," Ovcacek said in the press release on the Presidential Office's website.

All institutions agreed that the checks must be efficient and at the same time minimally disturb visitors, he added.

The checks are only part of the series of technical personal and organisational measures to secure the Prague Castle complex, Ovcacek said.

"This is in harmony with strengthening security standards at other significant facilities, such as airports and critical infrastructure buildings in the Czech Republic," he said.

The police president decided to increase the number of police officers for security checks at Prague Castle to speed them up during the tourist season, Ovcacek said, adding that visitors should wait for a very short time or not at all.

Long queues of tourists outside the entrances to the Castle were among the arguments of the critics of the security checks. They say the checks are unnecessary and undignified and will not protect Prague Castle.

Its administration dismisses this and points to the need to protect visitors.

According to CTK sources, the number of police officers checking visitors should rise by nine at the times when the highest numbers of tourists are usually heading for the Castle, that is during summer holidays and at weekends between 09:00 and 14:00.

Prague Castle has received 100 million crowns from the Defence Ministry to tighten security and it draws further finances from its own budget.

Besides, Prague Castle will be newly equipped with "anti-terrorist litter bins." The Prague Castle Administration has put up a contract worth two million crowns without VAT for such litter bins as well as other equipment, such as benches and bicycle stands.

($1=22.842 crowns)

hol/dr

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