The Minister of Interior, Oliver Spasovski said yesterday that “the level for security has been elevated for preventive precautions and to ensure the safety of citizens,” and this has been confirmed in the past few days at sports events, public gatherings and concerts where it is more noticeable the presence of regular and special police units, and strict controls of visitors at such events.
Increased police presence were most noticeable at Djordje Balasevic and Whitesnake concerts which had been organized by “Avalon Production”, one on November 14, immediately after the terrorist attacks in Paris and the second concert which was held this Wednesday.
Sports hall “Boris Trajkovski” which featured world mega stars Whitesnake were surrounded by police. Vehicle access to the parking lot at the hall was restricted, and the underpass near the hotel “Alexandria Palace” where police did not allow any vehicles to pass, even taxi’s could not approach to the concert hall.
At the front entrance of the hall with security metal detector checking visitors and inside the building almost every corner there were several members of the Rapid Deployment Unit.
Unofficial sources told us that inside the hall where the concert was to be held, before the Whitesnake concert the hall was checked by police dogs. Police officers with dogs checked dressing rooms, toilets and a crowd in the hall.
An identical image was also seen at “Jane Sandanski” sports hall before the handball match between Vardar and Barcelona.
Tonight, there is an expected increase of the level of security at “City Mall”, which will join the traditional American discounts for Black Friday which will create huge congestion in stores, where people will gather to buy clothes from the stores on sale.
“We have raised the level of security as a prevention, to provide security for the citizens of Macedonia. In that respect the MOI will intensively continue to cooperate with all other ministries, so we can act preventively for all possible risks”, said Mr Spasovski at a press conference with his Croatian counterpart Ranko Ostojic.,
The increased security measures were announced one day after the terrorist attacks in Paris by the MOI after Spasovski had a meeting with the top management of the ministry and was informed about raising the level of security and mobility of the police.
It was concluded at the meeting that although there is currently no specific threat to security, even so, a several conclusions were adopted and a decision was made for their urgent implementation.
“Among other things, security will be strengthened in and around objects where police function, the police will reinforce measures and activities in the provision of public gatherings and sport events where there is a presence of a greater number of citizens, and control will be strengthened over migrants when they enter the country, especially those in the temporary transit centre in Gevgelija. Both the northern and southern border are covered by the decision to declare crisis situation or a state of emergency in certain areas”, stated the press release after the meeting of the leadership of the Ministry of Interior.
There was an increase of the level of safety at “City Mall” a weekend after the attacks in Paris.
“Last weekend in the shopping centre “Skopje City Mall” one could see that there was an increased presence of police officers carrying guns. In the mall it was very crowded, and the police could be seen in front of the mall, inside and between the people who curiously wondered whether the increased police presence meant that there was some danger” says Monika Angelovska.
Before the attacks in Paris, there was an increase in the level of security and settled mobilization and security forces had been alerted due to the events in Kumanovo on the 9th and 10th of May this year.