Cobra to counsel Polish police over Euro2012

A special Austrian police unit will assist their Polish counterparts in getting ready for a major sports event.Austrian People’s Party (ÖVP) Interior Minister Maria Fekter announced today (Fri) that a team of Cobra unit officers will meet with special police forces in Poland later this year to discuss security measures for next year’s European Football Championships.The event, which will be attended by hundreds of thousands of soccer enthusiasts, will be co-hosted by neighbouring country and European Union (EU) member the Ukraine. Some newspapers have warned that Eastern European (EE) hooligans will use the global limelight to provoke violent street fights between police and fans.Now Fekter has explained that Austria’s Cobra has agreed to advise Poland’s special police troops over how best to prepare for the tournament. Austrian police can pride themselves with having avoided the Euro2008 – which took place in Austria and Switzerland – being overshadowed by fan violence.”We may not be champions in football, but we are leaders as far as safety standards are regarded,” Fekter – who is a figurehead of the ÖVP’s right-wing branch – said today.Cobra officials meanwhile appealed to women interested in working as special police unit officers to get in touch. Only one woman has passed the gruelling Cobra acceptance test since 1978.Cobra officers protect statesmen on visits to Austria but also take over from regular police to carry out risky operations such as the freeing of hostages.