Prague 1 installing new security measures

The city center will have new pillars to replace the concrete barriers

Instead of the currently used concrete barriers, the center of Prague will be protected with new traffic safety features that meet stringent safety criteria while being more aesthetically pleasing.

So far the new barriers have appeared in three places near Jewish sights in Prague on Maiselova, Břehová and Široká streets.

Prague 1 is planning to install these posts in other streets in the center of Prague in the future.

Prague 1 Deputy Mayor Richard Bureš (ODS) was pleased with the project. “I am glad that with the City of Prague's financial support, Prague 1 can raise the security level in the city center once more to meet the level of world metropolises. We want to show that security measures can be permanently placed in the locality and not disturb the aesthetic perception of the historic center where the protection system is very much needed,” he said.

“Technically this is a combination of fixed and retractable posts that meet higher safety requirements than the current solutions. The currently finished solution is the first of those in the city center. Another one will be in built this year in Kampa, followed by comprehensive protection of the wider area of Old Town Square. This will aside from security also solve part of the disruption of the night quietness by leaving the wider area at night accessible only to residents,” he said.

Prague Mayor Adriana Krnáčová (ANO) said the city was secure, but it was also important that people feel safe. “I am glad that thanks to the cooperation between the Prague and Prague 1 we have succeeded in realizing this unique security measure, and Prague is once again a much safer place to live in. I hope this is the first effort and other similar projects will follow,” she said.

The security pillars are an effective defense against some of the worst attacks, especially when vehicles are involved, according to Prague 1.

The center of Prague has so far been protected by yellow-and-black concrete barriers, which first appeared in Prague at the end of 2016.

At that time, they were installed around the Christmas markets in response to a terrorist attack in Berlin. In September last year, concrete blocks were placed for an indefinite period at Old Town Square at the mouth of Pařížská Street. According to security experts, however, they are not sufficient.

Jan Munk, the chairman of the Jewish community in Prague, agreed. “Safety pillars are the only technical means that can effectively reduce the risk of attack from an explosive-filled vehicle and a vehicle driving into people. We are very pleased that we have been able to implement the project of installing security pillars in the Maiselova Street area,” he said.

“In a situation where in the last three years there have been many fatal attacks in Europe, there cannot be any doubt about the benefits of this project. We believe that thanks to it the inhabitants of Prague and tourists will feel safe in our country,” he added.

Only the Czech Police will have access to control of the posts. They will be used according to the degree of danger, from closing the sidewalks to closing the whole street.

“We consider the security of the city, and especially its historical center, to be one of the priorities in terms of protection of so-called soft targets. In the long term, we cooperate with both the municipality, the Prague 1 district and other entities for the technical security of selected locations. Besides regular patrols by police officers, this is another important part of security measures in the most-visited part of Prague,” Colonel Petr Matějček, Deputy Director of the Regional Directorate of the Police of the Capital City of Prague, said.

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