Christmas markets are being guarded by hundreds of police officers
The Christmas markets in Brno are being monitored by 310 Brno city police officers and dozens of South Moravian police to maintain order and security during the pre-Christmas events. These special precautions also include service dogs and putting up concrete barriers to prevent traffic on certain streets. Photo: @BrnoDaily
Brno, Nov 29 (BD) – Brno squares hosting Advent markets are currently being watched by dozens of police, some carrying machine guns and accompanied by service dogs.
In a public statement, the police claim these measures are necessary to ensure safety during the pre-Christmas and Christmas season. The police spokeswoman Štěpánka Komárová didn’t state the exact numbers of men and women involved in these safety precautions.
“Regarding the Advent season and the Christmas holidays in the South Moravian Region, this year the police took adequate measures. Although we do not have information about any sort of upcoming danger, the first level security threat from terrorism in the Czech Republic still remains in power, and therefore we will not underestimate the level of security,” the police said in a statement.
In the streets, there are hundreds of police officers attending Advent Day celebrations.
“There are over 300 police doing their service right now. They are watching over Zelný trh and náměstí Svobody almost without catching a break,” said Jakub Ghan, the spokesman for the Brno City Police.
Safety measures are also bringing restrictions to transport in the city center. Drivers are not allowed to go through Zelný trh and náměstí Svobody, as there are concrete roadblocks on the roads. “The ban on pedestrian zones also includes other vehicles,” Ghan said.
Some people, like the owner of Momenta Cafe at Zelný trh, do not agree with these measures.
“Last year, we were able to park next to our café, but the police officers pushed us away from parking for a week. Still, we continued parking and paying thousands of crowns. However, this year I cannot park at all, which make the café supply difficult,” Tania Kmenta said for Brněnský deník.
According to Josef Kraus, a security expert from Masaryk University, the measures are more than sufficient.
“The given resources outmatch the terms of threats. We have no indication that Brno could become a target of a terrorist attack. Despite that, concrete roadblocks are put up around the center to prevent heavy vehicles from penetrating. A greater concentration of police officers is certainly not bad, but I do not think they need automatic weapons,” he said.
So far, the police officers did not have to solve any problems. Last year Advent markets also had no major complications.
“It was only after the closing hours of the stands that some enthusiastic visitors had to be arrested. Only a few individuals had to be taken to the detention station,” Ghan said for Brněnský deník.
Read more about police’s preventive activities and suggestions on the public pre-Christmas safety here.