Security tips for Winter Olympics
iJET Intelligent Risk Systems is publishing a special bulletin on the most pressing concerns for travelers to Italy during the Olympic Games in Turin. Although terrorism remains on the minds of many Europeans following the London and Madrid bombings, iJET is advising that transportation disruptions, petty crime and incidents of civil unrest will be of most concern for travelers to the region.
Some of the areas covered in the bulletin include:
* Transportation: Authorities plan to take extra precautions to secure transportation networks in Turin. Italy will also institute no-fly zones and use video surveillance from the Olympic Village to the surrounding areas. Olympic organizers are advising visitors to use public transportation whenever possible.
* Petty Crime: Petty theft is frequent in the region, especially in crowded tourist areas, shopping districts, on buses, and at Porta Nuova railway station. Petty thieves are more active during special events than at other times and travelers should take careful measures to protect all valuables and avoid the use of outside ATMs if possible. Travelers should also avoid Via Nizza, the train station, and isolated areas (such as parks and side streets) at night.
* Civil Unrest: Disruptive protests and demonstrations by anarchists and other activist groups are possible as activists from areas outside of Turin may have easy access to the city. Demonstrators may include domestic anarchist groups and members of several anti- globalization movements seen regularly at international economic summits. Though most large-scale demonstrations in Italy are peaceful, some draw harsh responses from police, including tear gas and rubber bullets. Protesters in Italy usually do not intentionally harm people, although vandalism is a concern.
* Terrorism: Officials have developed security measures specifically to counter terrorist attacks, including identification checks and security perimeters around venues and attractions. Although Italian Interior Minister Giusseppe Pisanu has warned that terrorists may target the games, groups such as Al-Qaeda typically do not strike where strong counterterrorism measures are in place, and are better known for unexpected, simultaneous attacks that would be hard to orchestrate in a high-security environment such as that at the Olympics.
Due to general security measure across Turin and in neighboring cities, travelers should also be prepared for long delays, searches and questioning when entering buildings and many private establishments. For this reason, travelers should carry as little as possible while moving around the city. iJET also advises travelers to carry a photocopy of their passports on their person, and keep the original in the safe at their hotel’s front desk.