Can Walls Protect?
Can you overdo security? That all depends on who you’re asking.
If you’re part of the task force implementing security around the stadiums in use for the World Cup in Russia right now – then the answer is no.
Since February, some residents have been dealing with walls and barricades, preventing them from accessing roads, buildings, and their own parking spaces.
Furthermore, authorities have warned residents that at the risk of appearing as an attacker, they are being told to remain off of their balconies to avoid confusion and the risk of being shot by a sniper.
They’re not allowed barbecues, access to some public services is restricted, and private shops are impacted. Living near a stadium means having a special pass to use your car, and public transportation is encouraged. Even getting into ones own home might involve extra measures.
Although the World Cup takes place for a month and ends on July 15th, extra security measures will remain in place until August, and have been in place for months already.
While authorities say that such measures are vital and necessary for operations to run smoothly and safely before, during, and after the clean up of the World Cup, some members of the public are quick to say that such extremes are only taking place to prove that work is being done regardless of cost or effect.
Others are enjoying a break from the every day ‘hoodlums’ and relaxing in this temporary peace and quiet.
From an outsiders perspective – measures probably do seem a tad extreme. Restricting access to peoples houses, cutting back on essential services, and warning residents that if they go on their balcony they could be shot by a police sniper confusing them with an attacker. Especially considering these measures are being implemented even after the World Cup is over.
But I guess as with everything in politics, budgets need to be spent (and usually exceeded), even if only mildly justifiable.
Its not just the World Cup where security is being amped up.
The Eiffel Tower is also getting an extra layer of protection at a cost of $40 million dollars.
With terrorist attacks occurring in Europe, specifically Paris – the tower has been under constant watch. With threats and risks still high, the security company tasked with maintaining surveillance has said that the tower is still in need of more high security measures.
Two glass walls are being built that are bulletproof, and ten feet high. In addition, metal fences will run along the other two sides to form a square security perimeter around the base of the tower itself.
In addition to the walls around the Tower, 420 blocks will also be set around the outside of the secured area to help prevent vehicle attacks such as though which have frequented Europe in the last few years.
While these security measures seem more reasonable then snipers shooting residents enjoying fresh air on their balconies, they may still be considered extreme to some. I’m sure there are some long term residents of Paris that still view their city and homes as safe and these extra measures costly and unnecessary. That being said, its probably easy to say these things until you’re walking along the sidewalk one day and a car driven by a terrorist comes hurtling toward you.
You also need to keep in mind that spending $40 million dollars to build a physical security structure is not the same as spending who knows what on security companies and police forces to provide their own security measures such as snipers and patrol units and whatever else they may have.
Of course the cost to maintain a physical structure will always be there, the bulk of the expenditure is for the most part a one time event. So while it may seem extreme at the initial glance, over time and if threats increase, the cost of security – if validated and reasonable, is priceless.
You can’t put a price on human lives. No matter the cost of security.
If there is a very real threat in Russia at the World Cup, and tying up that much of an investment and that many resources and affecting that many citizens is truly worth it – then no matter the cost, if lives are at stake, money shouldn’t be the main concern.
However if the threat level is only medium or low risk, then perhaps measures should be revisited and policies rethought.
There is such thing such as security over kill. Security is constantly being oversold and people are told the risks are higher then they may actually be. Such is the cost of business however and people will believe what they want and take the security that they think is best. At the end of the day, whatever helps you sleep at night just might be the best choice.
Guest Blogger Rayna Davies
Rayna Davies is a graduate and practitioner of Business Management. She has developed an expertise in blogging, covering subjects like travel, world events and security. Having grown up with a father who has developed an expertise in Physical Security and Executive Protection in the RCMP and two major corporations, she has personally observed and experienced many security details. These experiences have included personally meeting HM Queen Elizabeth, Prime Minister Jean Chretien and many celebrities. She presently assists Sentinel Security in Executive Protection workshops and guest blogging and also assists Gloprosec Preventative Services in Intelligence gathering and Business Administration. Her passions include World travel, having visited every continent. She currently is on maternity leave and providing daily close protection for a baby and a toddler and spending time with her husband who is a Police Officer.