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Czech police introduce checks at Polish border within training

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Prague, March 9 (CTK) – The Czech police launched another training focused on migration introducing random checks and a registration point for refugees at the Polish border this afternoon, foreigner police spokeswoman Katerina Rendlova told CTK on Thursday.

A total of 290 Czech and Polish police, soldiers, customs officers and health care workers participate in the exercise that will end on Friday, Rendlova added.

The police do not expect the exercise to restrict traffic substantially.

The exercise started on the basis of the government’s fictitious decision at 14:00. It covers 795 kilometres of the Czech-Polish border, 13 former border crossings and four green border sections.

The aim of the exercise is to test how long the police need to get to the points of destination and how quickly they are able to build background facilities for checks, First Deputy Police President Martin Vondrasek said.

“We should also train our ability to coordinate the forces of the three security corps and check whether communication works sufficiently at the state border,” Vondrasek added.

The security corps will train how to put a registration point for refugees, built near the former Chotebuz/Cieszyn border crossing, north Moravia, into operation. For the first time, they will train the steps in case of the occurrence of an infection disease among refugees, Rendlova said.

This is also why health care personnel from the Interior Ministry will take part in the exercise to look after the patients and organise their transport to hospital.

The border with Poland is the last Czech border section where the security forces have not trained yet.

The risk of migration from Poland to the Czech Republic is the lowest of all neighbouring countries, Vondrasek said.

After the exercise, the police will assess it and process information for the government, including proposals and demands for securing optimal conditions if this situation really occurred in the future, Rendlova said.

The Czech security forces have trained the border protection several times in the past few years.

The first exercise took place in late 2015 when 800 soldiers and police watched the border with Austria.

Last March, the police simulated the arrival of a high number of refugees at the Czech-Austrian border again. They focused on the checks of refugees and the operation of registration points.

In April, some 150 soldiers tested the arrival times to the border in case of emergency in the South Moravia, Zlin and Moravia-Silesia regions.

Another exercise was held in September when police introduced random checks along the borders with Slovakia, Germany and Austria. Most recently the checks started along the German border at the end of last November.

Last year, the police detained 5261 foreigners staying in the Czech Republic illegally, which was 3302 fewer than the year before, which was caused by a decline in transit migration. Not so many refugees were crossing the Czech Republic on their way to Western and Northern Europe as in 2015 when the migrant crisis erupted. The number of detained foreigners, who entered the country illegally, steeply rose then.

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