Police patrols doubled for new season after Brussels attacks
Security will be doubled for the opening of the Aussie Rules football season, officials said Thursday, in the wake of the Brussels attacks that killed 31 people and injured 300.
Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews told state parliament the police presence in public places would be significantly stepped up across the capital Melbourne and at major events over the Easter weekend.
Richmond take on Carlton in the first game of the Australian Football League (AFL) season at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) on Thursday evening where tens of thousands of fans are expected to attend.
“There will be double the police presence at the MCG” compared to last year, Andrews said, without revealing numbers.
“This is an important part of doing everything we can in these challenging and uncertain times to keep Victoria safe,” Andrews said.
Security measures would also be boosted at other games over the weekend in Australia’s most popular sport.
“There is no intelligence to suggest there is any link between the events in Europe and anybody here,” he added.
Andrews described the measures as precautionary and similar to a security crackdown after the attacks on Paris in November that left 130 dead.
“The resources are there and the determination is there to keep Victoria safe and never let these evil murderers win out,” Andrews said.
Victoria Police Assistant Commissioner Doug Fryer urged the public to be “alert but not alarmed”.
Federal Attorney-General George Brandis confirmed Thursday that security had been tightened at Australia’s main airports.
“We’ve increased security operations and increased patrols,” he told Sky News.
“In view of the heightened level of appropriate public concern following what happened at Brussels international airport, the government has… decided to increase, yet further, airport security arrangements.”