The largest global conference of its kind, the annual Munich Security conference draws high-ranking decision-makers from across the globe to Germany’s third largest city to discuss current and future security threats and challenges facing the international community. Attended by heads of state, government officials, academics, the media and representatives from both the business and social sectors, when it comes to the conferences own security, the highest alert levels apply.
As with previous year, for the 2019 conference some 4,000 police were deployed and parts of the city cordoned off to keep the attendees safe from possible harm. As part of its security efforts, the conference organised also used Smiths Detection’s mobile security screening units – which includes X-ray scanners and metal detectors – to screen over 450 attendees and several hundred media who would enter the cordoned-off Hotel Bayerischer Hof.
Only a few state guests and their security staff, are permitted to enter unscreened. For the rest, their person and belongings were screened as they would be at airport security; with any type of weapon, defence spray or glass bottle confiscated before they are permitted to enter. An occurrence, according to Smiths Detection Head of Market Europe North & East, Jasper van Gend, “Knives and sprays, for instance, are often found at the checkpoints.”
For 20 years, the mobile security department at Smiths Detection has provided security for the Munich Security Conference. “It’s always a special assignment for us because we are responsible for the security of high-ranking politicians from all over the world, who draw a lot of attention,” explains van Gend. The scope of the systems used has increased from year-to-year, partly as a result of newly added event sites. Including a checkpoint at the restaurant, “Käfer-Schänke”, where the exclusive MSC dinner takes place.
Overall, six scanners were used to secure buildings and tents for the event. These scanners were operated by personnel from the Securitas München security service, with whom Smiths Detection works closely. Dr. Benedict Franke, Chief Operating Officer for the Munich Security Conference says about this tried-and-tested concept: “We value the many years of professional cooperation with all of the parties involved and how smoothly everything runs at the checkpoints.”
Outside the Munich Security Conference, Smiths Detection’s 80 security solutions from its mobile security department are continuously in use at a wide variety of locations. Other examples have included the global economic summit in Davos and the signing of the renewed German-French Friendship Agreement between Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron at the Aachen town hall. They are also regularly used at general meetings of DAX 30 companies.
“Being able to supply mobile security solutions is a real advantage Smiths Detection has,” explained van Gend. “It allows our customers to get the best security screening available for their event year-after-year or for one-off events.”