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Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel and Federal Councillor Simonetta Sommaruga at an official reception in Bern
Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel and Federal Councillor Simonetta Sommaruga at an official reception in Bern. (Photo: Keystone/Peter Schneider)

fedpol assesses whether and to what extent dignitaries, members of parliament and foreign guests of state are at risk. Based on this assessment, the cantonal and municipal police services take appropriate measures.

Threats

fedpol also protects federal officials if they are threatened. In recent years, dignitaries, members of parliament, and federal officials have received more and more threatening letters and telephone calls from unknown people. fedpol advises them and prescribes the necessary police measures. Through analysing fingerprints and other trace evidence, criminal investigations help to identify the culprits.

On duty round-the-clock

Government buildings, the private residences of federal councillors and foreign diplomatic missions in Switzerland are all afforded a high level of protection. Surveillance on the ground is supplemented with video cameras. fedpol receives calls 24/7 concerning burglaries, acts of sabotage, assaults, threats or technical problems in federal buildings, not just in Bern but also in other federal buildings throughout Switzerland. The cases are forwarded to the appropriate services (police, facility management units, etc.) for follow-up action.

Parliament and federal government buildings

Parliament is given special protection. All visitors to the parliament building are checked by fedpol security officers. Politicians, staff and accredited journalists can enter with a special badge. Guests must hand in an identity card at reception in exchange for a visitor’s badge, before proceeding through the security gate and metal detector that screens all bags. Checks are also in force before entering the five federal government buildings housing the seven government departments of the federal councillors.

State visits require additional surveillance and security. During demonstrations the parliament building and federal government buildings can be protected with railings.

Aviation security

Depending on the security situation, fedpol officers are deployed on Swiss aircraft flying to certain destinations. They check passengers, avert criminal acts and thwart hijackings in order to prevent the country from becoming a victim of blackmail. So-called Tiger officers are deployed aboard aircraft, while Fox officers are deployed on the ground at certain high-risk airports. fedpol is in charge of training and operational planning. 

Legal bases

Last modification 20.01.2021

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