Czech Government Heightens Security Measures Following Expert Recommendations

The Czech government has decided to strengthen security measures across the country starting today until September 30. The decision follows recommendations from the Joint Intelligence Group and is in response to the upcoming World Ice Hockey Championship and other major European sports events.

These preventive security measures are designed to increase the performance of the police service, with an adequate number of patrols equipped with ballistic protection expected to be evident in the streets. The pyrotechnic service in Prague and Ostrava will be reinforced, and road checks will become more intensive.

Despite the lack of direct threats to the Czech Republic, Interior Minister Vít Rakušan (STAN) has emphasized the importance of not underestimating these preventive measures given the current global security situation and the advice of experts. It’s important to note that the threat level of terrorism is not increasing, but the measures within the first level are being adjusted.

The police are expected to increase their activity at sports and social events, at embassy buildings, and selected institutions. A sufficient number of patrols with ballistic protection and long-range weapons have been set aside. These patrols could be seen at sports events, transport nodes, and international airports.

Rakušan also mentioned that there will be more intense oversight of the ban on the entry of trucks into larger cities. The Ministry stated that security forces will pay increased attention to radicalization in the online environment and on social networks. Intensive communication and information sharing will also take place among security forces and local government.

The first level of terrorist threat has been in effect in the Czech Republic since March 2016, when it was approved by the cabinet in response to terrorist attacks in Brussels. The four-level warning system was approved by the government in January 2016. The Ministry of the Interior, according to Rakušan, will review the existing system of terrorism threat levels and propose its revision if necessary.