Czech minister of interior, Milan Chovanec, has replied to criticism of the Czech Republic by one of the interior security experts of one of Germany’s main government parties. Armin Schuster, an expert for the CDU, attacked both the Czech Republic and Poland for their alleged failure to properly police their domestic territory. Schuster said that failure was highlighted when Germany reinstated border controls last week in connection with the G20 summit in Hamburg and many wanted people were found who had crossed into the country. Schuster added that the European Commission should quickly investigate the claimed failings. Chovanec said Schuster’s comments failed to reflect the high level of police cooperation between Czech and German forces.
Snow and icy conditions have been complicating traffic in many parts of the country. The Road Maintenance Authority has closed the main road to Poland via Harrachov for trucks and the restriction is likely to remain in place at least until Thursday. Meteorologists predict another 25 centimeters of fresh snow in the course of the day. Maintenance crews are out in force to keep the main roads clear.
Sixty percent of drivers in the Czech Republic flout traffic regulations when using railway crossings, Roman Budský of the national Road Safety Team said at a news conference on Thursday. The most frequent violation is driving over the crossings after warning signals begin. Mr. Budský said the majority of those killed at such spots live nearby and feel that they know them well. He also said that the Czech Republic was the European per capita leader in railway suicides.
Former top policeman Robert Šlachta has been appointed deputy general director of the Czech Customs Administration in charge of investigations and searches, the administration said on Wednesday. Šlachta was a central figure in the recent row over the reorganisation of elite police units which pitted government parties against each other. He resigned as head of the special police unit for combatting organised crime in June in protest at what he described as a politically motivated shake up aimed at curbing his force’s effectiveness. The customs administration said Šlachta was successful in his application in the tender for its high level job, it previously reported that there were no other candidates.
Eleven new destinations will feature in the winter timetable out of Prague’s Václav Havel airport taking effect from October 30. Two new long distance flights to China feature for the first time in the new timetable. As well as that, new services will launch to Tunisia and Radom in central Poland. In total, 105 destinations to 39 countries will be offered out of Prague.
A new agreement between the Czech and German interior ministries has just opened the way to closer cooperation in cross-border police operations such as surveillance, controlled deliveries and hot pursuit. The agreement, which went into force on October 1, should enable more effective action in the fight against drug-abuse, illegal migration and car-theft.
The Czech Republic and Slovakia are holding a joint training session on their common border to test coordination and communication in the event of the need to renew border checks due to the migrant crisis. Over 300 police officers, 140 soldiers and 30 customs officers have been stationed along a 250km stretch of the border and are conducting random checks of vehicles and people. The operation, which affects 11 border crossings, is to last for 24 hours. Similar training sessions are due to take place on the country’s borders with Austria and Germany.
Concerns linked to migrants who fail to win asylum in Germany has led to the introduction of spot checks on the Czech-German border, the news website iDnes.cz reported. Speaking at the Svatý Kříž border crossing, the Czech minister of the interior, Milan Chovanec, said it was likely that asylum seekers rejected in Germany would head for another European Union member state and try again there. Similar spot checks have already been in place on the Czech Republic’s borders with Slovakia and Austria for some time.
The minister of justice, ANO appointment Robert Pelikán, is working on an amendment to the Criminal Code that would give customs officials powers to investigate crimes. Mr. Pelikán said the move would increase efficiency as it would do away with a situation under which customs officials hand cases over to the police who then go over the same ground. A similar idea was put forward last week by ANO leader and finance minister Andrej Babiš, whose ministry oversees the Customs Administration. The interior minister, Milan Chovanec of the Social Democrats, has come out against the proposal. He recently announced the creation of a new financial police unit to focus on tax crime from the start of next year.
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