Prevention of terrorism: Festive security precautions

The degree of terrorist threat remains “moderate” in Portugal, but the PSP wants to ensure that security awareness is also unchanged and undertakes to strengthen the presence on the streets of several cities.

The terrorist attack on the Christmas market in Strasbourg – whose author was shot dead by police tonight – has left European authorities on alert, including Portugal.

According to the office of the Secretary General of the Internal Security System (SSI), “Portugal did not change the degree of threat, while remaining moderate.” However, the deputy prosecutor, Helena Fazenda, pointed out to the Diario de Noticais, “security forces and services will keep vigilance and safety concerns in areas and places of greatest concentration of people.”

It is precisely with the aim of “preventing acts of terrorist character as well as other serious and violent crime” that PSP – the police that protect the cities of the country – will reinforce its presence in the streets, with greater visibility from this Friday, “Ever Present Police: Secure Holidays 2018-2019” under the motto “Long live your Christmas with our security”.

In this operation there will be a visible side – mainly with the uniformed police and patrol cars – but also a more discreet element. Agents of the so-called Covert Tactical Reaction Teams (ERTE) will be distributed at several points considered most sensitive, accompanied by elements of the Special Operations Group (GOE), with unmarked cars that patrol and react immediately in case of threat.

Officers posted to the most critical areas, such as airports, transportation terminals or areas with more people, are trained and armed with MP5 machine guns. They are operational from the Intervention Corps of the Special Police Unit.

As with the Eurovision festival and the Web Summit, the PSP will install at some perimeters of squares, for example where there are more people, the so-called “hedgehogs” – metal balls with steel spikes – to avoid attacks with vehicles for mass hit-and-run.

According to an official source of PSP, the police also in the areas “where it is predicted greater concentration of people”. In “historical, tourist and commercial areas and where, where possible, larger events” will be established, “security perimeters” will be established.

In this operation, “there will also be protective measures, such as physical barriers in the premises where festivities are scheduled and large clusters of people,” and PSP promises to increase “the number of control and inspection operations to be carried out, especially in the area road safety, throughout the PSP’s area of ​​responsibility.”


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