26 May 2016

Euro 2016: State, organisers and host cities mobilised for optimum security

The Euro 2016 football championship will take place in ten host cities in France from 10 June to 10 July. For the first time ever, 24 teams will take part in 51 matches, attracting 2.5 million spectators to the stadiums. Several million supporters are expected to arrive in France for the competition. This remarkable event will take place in an unusual context due to the terrorist threat. It will therefore be surrounded by an extremely high level of security to ensure its complete success as a sporting event and to guarantee that it remains the festive occasion it is intended to be.

Content published under the Government Valls III from 2016 11th February to 2016 06th December

On Wednesday 25 May 2016, the Minister of the Interior presented the measures taken to ensure security at the Euro 2016 football championships in the ten host cities in France (Lille, Lens, Paris, Saint-Denis, Lyon, Saint-Etienne, Bordeaux, Toulouse, Marseille and Nice). These collaborative measures between the State, the organisers (UEFA, European Union of Football Associations and FFF, French Football Federation) and the host cities have been designed to anticipate, prevent and if necessary respond to both the terrorist threat and possible hooligan excesses or violence.

The roles of each party have been clearly assigned:

  • Inside the stadiums, security is the responsibility of the organiser (EURO 2016 SAS). Operational control centres (PCO - postes de commandements opérationnels) inside the stadiums are the nerve centres which coordinate the security personnel put in place for each match.

  • Outside the stadiums, police and gendarmerie contingents will be positioned in advance around the perimeters of the stadium walls to maintain public order and take action inside the stadiums.

  • Organisation and security of fan zones (official areas in the host cities where the competition matches will be publicly broadcast on giant screens) will be the responsibility of the local authorities concerned. Law enforcement officers will ensure security at the perimeter. The State’s participation in funding security measures for the fan zones amounts to €8 million in favour of the host cities (including 1.9 million for video surveillance). Match broadcasts outside the fan zones will take place in enclosed, secure areas.

Almost 90,000 people will provide security at Euro 2016

Over 77,000 Ministry of the Interior staff will be mobilised:

  • 42,000 policemen including 2,000 public security agents, 5,000 border policemen, 2,000 CRS (riot control officers) and 10,000 officials from the Paris Préfecture de Police

  • 30,000 gendarmes, including those from the GIGN (Gendarmerie special operations unit) and its regional branches

  • 5,200 civil protection staff, including 2,500 firemen and 300 bomb-disposal experts.

Some of the 10,000 soldiers from Operation Sentinelle will specifically be detached to security duties at Euro 2016, notably in the main public transport systems.

13,000 private security agents will be deployed throughout the competition, as well as 1,000 volunteers from first-aid associations. The mayors of host cities can also, if they wish, mobilise their municipal police to supplement security measures.

GIGN (Group d’Intervention de la Gendarmerie Nationale), RAID (Recherche, Assistance, Intervention, Dissuasion) and BRI (Brigades de Recherche et Intervention) special operations units will also be positioned to cover all sites in order to take action without delay.

30 security exercises prior to the competition

Just before Euro 2016 commences, I will release a smartphone app for issuing an emergency population warning in case of immediate danger. The application will be available for download to smartphones and fully operational for the opening of the competition. While we are taking every possible measure to avoid a terrorist attack, we are also preparing our response in the event that such an attack occurs.
Bernard Cazeneuve

Over the last two months, nearly 30 inter-ministerial exercises have been carried out in France to ensure that Government departments, officers on the ground, task forces and emergency services are prepared to face any type of crisis. One recent example is the CBRN (Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear) defence-style exercise held in Nîmes on 17 March.
A risk analysis unit, grouping together stakeholders in domestic and foreign intelligence with those involved in public security, will be active 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Prior to each match they will provide, in real time, a report on the various risks and threats not only at the locations of the matches themselves but at other sites which might be concerned. This will enable the Prefect and central government to constantly adapt operational measures in the field. Europol and Interpol networks have naturally already been mobilised, as well as all resources for exchanging information between national police forces.

Protecting the players

Each national football team will have its own liaison and security officer. Permanently appointed to the teams during their stay in France, liaison and security officers are the main contact for team security officers (TSO) and liaison officers appointed to each team by Euro 2016 SAS. They will act as the interface between the foreign contingent and accompanying security officers and police or gendarmerie authorities for the area in question, as well as private security personnel put in place by the organisers.

In addition to this, a minimum of 2 RAID officers will be assigned to each team to ensure their personal protection in places of accommodation and while travelling. Stronger security measures will be employed for teams which are the most at risk. Personnel will be equipped with the appropriate apparel and hi-tech communication tools.

Lastly, 3,500 public security police officers will be dispatched to ensure security at each team’s base camp. The teams will also be escorted by security personnel when travelling.

Fighting against hooliganism

Significant measures have been taken by the Division Nationale de Lutte Contre le Hooliganisme (DNLH - National Division for Combating Hoooliganism), with public security forces being strengthened by almost 200 foreign police officers.

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