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Právo: Planned police unit to face possible migrant wave

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Prague, May 4 (CTK) – The Interior Ministry wants to form a special police unit within the Immigration Office that would have 181 members and be ready to intervene if the Czech Republic faced a migrant wave, daily Pravo writes on Wednesday.

This police unit would operate in four cities – Prague, Brno, Ostrava and Pardubice. Its tasks would be to guarantee security and order, protect the Czech border and work in new detention facilities for illegal foreigners. Its members might be sent abroad to protect the border of the Schengen Area.

The unit would also help in fighting terrorism and organised crime, providing security at public gatherings and assisting in the removal of damage caused by major accidents and natural disasters, if there is no imminent threat of a migrant wave.

The idea of such a new police unit is supported by lower house deputies from the government coalition but also a part of the opposition, Pravo writes.

“It is a good idea,” said MP Bronislav Schwarz (government ANO), a former police officer.

Schwarz said he welcomed the deployment of such a unit in various parts of the country in case that migrant routes lead across the Czech Republic.

The Communists (senior opposition KSCM) would appreciate if the police were prepared for a migration wave in this way, head of their lower house group, Pavel Kovacik, told the paper.

Civic Democrat (right-wing opposition ODS) security expert Jana Cernochova said the new unit may be useful.

But Cernochova said the police should have better equipment and training first of all. Due to badly set acquisition programmes, police officers and soldiers do not have boots, bulletproof vests and rifles, she said.

Marek Cernoch, who heads the lower house group of the populist Dawn, said a 180-member mobile police squad is not a sufficient solution.

Dawn would like 3000 police officers to be hired, a border guard to be reintroduced and a paramilitary guard of volunteers to assist the police. The Chamber of Deputies rejected all the party’s proposals, however.

In a report submitted to the cabinet, the Interior Ministry writes that it is hard to predict how the migrant crisis will be developing. The ministry said the building of hotspots in Greece and Italy proceeds very slowly, the protection of the critical sections of the outer Schengen border is extremely poor and many economic migrants are not returned.

The Interior Ministry would pay the formation of the special unit from its budget. The unit would include policemen who are dealing with illegal migration even now and newly hired officers.

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