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May 26, 2014

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Focus on detail key to summit security success

FROM checking sewers to ensuring Russia’s president got to his destination on time, attention to detail characterized security measures for the leaders’ summit in Shanghai last week.

It was the first time for the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA) to be held in China, and the largest gathering in the event’s history, so security was extremely tight, city police said yesterday.

Before dignitaries watched a performance at the Shanghai Grand Theater last Tuesday, police had checked inside 520 drain covers.

And more than 260 rubbish bins were moved from the area, to be returned at 9:15pm when the motorcades of guests had left.

Security checks were also tightened at entry points to Shanghai.

Local police organized seven campaigns against crime in the 20 days before the summit, with more than 1,100 people detained in connection with some 1,800 criminal cases.

Another 880 or so people were held in connection with 600 public security cases, said officers.

Shanghai Police created a comprehensive information platform, with all sections working together and sharing details in order to respond to any issue as soon as possible, said officials.

This helped ensure that the event passed without serious criminal cases, other public security issues or major traffic jams, they added.

Escort guards, who drove 5,000 kilometers in 300 escorting tasks, finished their last mission yesterday morning.

Police organized more than 350 regular routes, plus 140 back-ups and more than 20 emergency options, said Le Yi, director of the city traffic police mobile squads.

This proved useful when Russia’s President Vladimir Putin left his hotel for an event 15 minutes later than scheduled last Tuesday.

Motorcades should arrive at a meeting place with an interval of 30 seconds, and to ensure this was still achieved, police escorts used a backup route to get Putin to his meeting place on time.

Correct distance

Technology played an important role in the police escorts with cars equipped with China’s Beidou satellite navigation system and on-board cameras also keeping the command center and motorcades in touch.

Locations of motorcades could be viewed in the car on a tablet computer and drivers adjust their speed to keep the correct distance from each other.

Some roads faced restrictions, but organizers tried to minimize the effects.

It had been planned to close Yan’an Elevated Road in both directions for 24 hours, but following adjustments this was reduced to just one hour and 15 minutes in one direction, said officials.

And when Peng Liyuan, China’s first lady, invited the wives of foreign leaders to visit Yuyuan Garden, tourists could still explore the outer area of the popular sightseeing spot.

Meanwhile, at the Hyatt on the Bund, where dignitaries stayed, wedding ceremonies were still held on May 18, with guests undergoing security checks.

“Guests all understood the special procedures and joked that these were high-level wedding ceremonies,” said a manager at the hotel.

Shanghai’s Party Secretary Han Zheng thanked all citizens for their support for the CICA conference and praised police efforts.

“Security is the base and premise for the orderly running of a city and should never be relaxed,” said Han.


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