Police unveil SWC security plan

2010-05-07 22:28

Cape Town - The police unveiled a wide ranging security project for the 2010 FIFA World Cup to MPs on Friday, with plans that include air sweeps by fighter jets, joint border patrols with neighbouring countries, police escorts for cruise ships and team security guards with "diplomat" training.

Police Lieutenant General Andre Pruis told Parliament's portfolio committee on police that the police had been working closely with foreign intelligence agencies through the newly established Intelligence Co-ordinating Committee (ICC) and were prepared for any threat.

"The ICC operates in co-operation with intelligence services from all over the world and provides tactical intelligence that is flowing on a minute by minute basis," he said.

"Every bit of tactical intelligence is collected and liaised with intelligence personnel so that action can be taken."

Pruis said the police's Special Task Force, the defence force's special forces, the bomb squad and the National Intervention Unit would be on standby at games, with the defence force's Seven Medical Battalion ready to deal "with any possible chemical, biological and radiological threat".

Public order police, a large number of local and foreign security spotters and private security would work inside the stadiums.

Database of dangerous names

Fighter aircraft would be used to sanitise airspace before, during and after matches, Pruis said, adding that there would be a number of no-fly zones during the tournament.

A database of "dangerous names" would be kept to monitor spectators passing through turnstiles at the stadiums.

All vehicles entering the stadium would pass through a remote search spot.

Mass evacuation areas had been established outside stadiums, while the defence force would have a company in each province to provide major support in event of a disaster.

Ten kilometre cordons would be formed around stadiums with special focus on preventing domestic extremism, possible strike action and service delivery protests.

Pruis said each team had been assigned dedicated security liaison officers and "close protectors".

"A police member will co-ordinate all security activities of each team. These officers have been specially trained in various fields.

"They also trained as diplomats so they know how to liaise and have skills in time management, for example."

Assessing terrorism threat

Open practices would be done with tight security, equivalent to security on match day.
Pruis said the ICC was working with foreign intelligence agencies to assess the threat of terrorism to teams and during certain matches.

"We took participating countries and categorised them into high, medium and low risk," Pruis said.

Profiles had been done on base camps and hotels and, where necessary, recommendations had been made to hotel security to step up security in areas such as access control, lifts and gyms to be used by teams.

Special routes and alternative routes with "safe havens" had been planned to transport teams from their bases to matches.

All teams would be tracked so that the police would know "where they are going and what they are doing".

Borders would be monitored by satellite with information sent to the defence force about possible illegal crossings.

"What we have decided is that we will have joint operations centres with Zimbabwe, Botswana and Mozambique, where we will plan jointly on a daily basis," Pruis said.

Airports monitored

Perimeters of the nine airports, eight domestic airports and military airports would be patrolled and monitored constantly.

The three sea ports to be used during the tournament, Port Elizabeth, Durban and Cape Town, were receiving special attention, with patrolling navy frigates patrolling the coast.

Pruis said the police knew the movements of the cruise ships coming to South Africa. The handing over of the cruise ship "from one country to another" had been arranged with Namibia and Angola.

"We will escort the ships into the harbour from 12 nautical miles out to sea," he said.

Cross border trains that could be used by tourists would be monitored with the help of neighbours.

Pruis said several emergency points would be placed on long distance routes, such as the N1 highway between Pretoria and Bloemfontein.

"Between the police, the health department and defence force we are setting up emergency points with helicopter support. If there is a bus accident we will be able to provide first response support."

"Special investigating teams" are in place at bars and restaurants likely to be used by visitors, while security was to be kept tight at public areas around the stadiums.