Police, Defence League to step up checks of people, vehicles during Siil

Vehicles as well as their drivers and passengers will be subjected to intensified checks in the region of the northwestern town of Keila as well as in South Estonia over the coming weekend as part of theSiil("hedgehog") exercise of the Estonian Defence Forces.

Altogether 50 checkpoints manned by more than 200 police officers and Defence League volunteers will be set up near Keila and in the different counties of South Estonia.

"Our aim is to carry out detailed checks of people's documents and vehicle documents alike, and to make sure that nobody is carrying forbidden or dangerous items," Cpt. Ottomar Virk of the police and Border Guard Board said on Wednesday.

He added that in those cases where not all the people traveling in avehicle are carrying identification, a longer wait may be required until the police can identify the person.

In the scenario of the exercise, the checkpoints will be tested by disguised military or security personnel trying to sneak through.

"Simultaneously with solving those cases that are played out as training events, the focus of our work will be on real-life incidents. For instance, when a breach or another real-life situation requiring interference by the police is detected at a checkpoint, the played-out incident will be interrupted or postponed. In order for the officials working at the checkpoints to be able to assess promptly what to concentrate on, the players in the exercise will be tagged," Virk said.

The checkpoints in the Keila area will be active from 8 p.m. on Friday until noon on Saturday, and the checkpoints inSouth Estonia from Friday evening until noon on Sunday.

Rehearsing the cooperation between police and Defence League is one of the goals of the Siil exercise.

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