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18 May, 2010 04:15

Olympic city of Sochi tightens security

As the Russian city of Sochi prepares to host the 2014 Winter Olympics, security is the top priority there and the authorities are using the latest satellite monitoring equipment to ensure it.

“The Eye in the Sky” – Sochi police are using unmanned aircraft to fly over Olympic construction sites. This whole TV show has just one viewer. He’s also the cameraman, air traffic controller and patrolman.

All events on the ground are being shown as they occur, in real time.

“It can be used in daylight and at night above any surface, including the sea and the mountains. We can send this drone to help locate missing tourists and to coordinate rescue operations,” explained Krasnodar police airborne unit officer Ildar Nagiev.

The perimeter of the future Olympic village is guarded by more than 300 security officers, armed with X-ray scanners and satellite tracking equipment – Russia’s own GLONASS.

Any trespassers can be stopped in a matter of seconds.

According to Russia’s law enforcement agencies, such strict security measures are a necessity as Sochi gets ready to host the 2014 Winter Olympics.

Even though the city is far from the republics of Dagestan or Ingushetia, where terrorist attacks have happened over the past few years, Russian authorities prefer to be forewarned, and forearmed.

“We’re planning to introduce even tougher security measures, and there is a presidential decree that has been prepared recently,” said Russia’s deputy prime minister, Dmitry Kozak. “It describes concrete steps and restrictions to be imposed during the Olympics. So we are sure that it will help us to protect the Sochi games from any type of criminal activity, including terrorist acts.”

While Olympic construction sites were picked as a testing ground for state-of-the art law enforcement technology, the city of Sochi itself, with its population of 300,000 and millions of tourists, is next on the list.

With the introduction of the “Safe City” concept, Big Brother will soon be watching over all main streets and beaches.

Russia’s future Winter Olympic capital, this city now has new obligations, and being a safe place is definitely one of its top priorities.