Security stepped up at nurseries in Paris

Security stepped up at nurseries in Paris
File Photo: AFP
Anne Hidalgo, the mayor of Paris, announced on Wednesday that the city’s creches and play groups will be covered by the counter-terror operation Plan Vigipirate, which has seen security stepped up at sensitive sites across the capital.

“I am delighted that as of the start of this year, nurseries are integrated into the priority area of Vigipirate,” Anne Hidalgo announced to an audience of elected officials, as part of her speech outlining her plans for the year ahead.

Up until now, creches and nurseries have not received any special protection from the anti-terrorism measures, unlike schools for older pupils which have seen restrictions on school trips, outside smoking areas and crowds of parents outside the school gates.

It is also forbidden to park a car outside the school gates.

By including nurseries in the Vigipirate the mayor hopes to ensure security is boosted through additional measures and a rapid response is organised in the case of an attack.

Hidalgo also asked for “the perpetuation of Operation Sentinelle in Paris as well as other means of protection to be in place to allow us to protect our city.” 

Operation Sentinelle, refers to the deployment of military troops in the city, were first introduced last January after the attacks at the Charlie Hebdo offices and a Jewish supermarket. 

The mayor declared her intention to “ensure” that the state creates additional police postings, that the Vigipirate plan is extended to schools and that police and fire fighters have “suitable equipment”. 

“The state should give police officers the means on a par with the threats we are faced with,” she said.

She outlined the safety measures already taken by the municipality, including CCTV and additional hiring of security officers.

In her speech Hidalgo recalled that one year ago to the day, when she presented her aims for 2015, “our city was hit in its very heart by terrorism” and spoke of the wave of attacks which killed 17 and which are being commemorated this week.

Before her speech, the audience watched a short projection of images commemorating the attacks, showing sidewalks covered in flowers and the Eiffell Tower lit up in red, white and blue, before displaying pictures of a defiant Paris “on its feet”, such as sports games, artists and young street dancers.