Behind the glitz Cannes casts a tight security net

first_img Top Stories New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies “Since Sept. 11 — since always — Cannes is a place which is very well protected,” he added. “The security measures are very, very, very important here.”Security has been tightened across France since Islamic extremist attacks on satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo and a kosher supermarket in Paris in January left 20 people dead, including three gunmen.In February, a knifeman attacked three soldiers outside a Jewish community center in the southern city of Nice, about 20 miles (32 kilometers) miles from Cannes.French law-enforcement authorities say they don’t know of any specific threat to Cannes, but they regard the festival — a magnet for the world’s media — as a potential target.The streets of the seaside town are guarded by hundreds of municipal and national police, backed up by riot squads, and overlooked by almost 500 surveillance camerasPhilippe Castanet, the official in charge of security at the festival, told Europe 1 radio that there is also an invisible layer of agents “assessing risk with eyes and ears,” analyzing the Internet and social media for signs of trouble.An inner security cordon surrounds the festival itself. Access to the Palais des Festivals, where screenings, photo-calls and press conferences are held, is controlled by a phalanx of polite and dapper security guards who scan passes, search bags and wield metal-detecting wands. In this photo taken Tuesday, May 12, 2015, municipal police officers patrol outside the Palais des Festivals ahead of the 68th international film festival, Cannes, southern France. France is on heightened terrorist alert after deadly attacks in Paris, and the monied French Riviera offers rich pickings for criminals. That means the world’s glitziest film festival, which opens Wednesday, is the focus of an intense security operation to try and keep disaster and drama confined to the screen. (AP Photo/Lionel Cironneau) Two months later, a lone gunman pulled off one of the biggest jewelry heists of all time, stealing $136 million worth of diamond jewelry from Cannes’ Carlton Hotel — a location for Alfred Hitchcock’s classic “To Catch a Thief.”That theft drew promises that security would be tightened. But John J. Kennedy of the U.S.-based Jewelers’ Security Alliance, said Europe still presents a tempting target for jewel thieves, due in part to easily crossed borders and less heavily armed security guards than in the United States.Last week, raiders — one wearing an old-man mask — walked into the Cartier boutique on the Croisette in the middle of the morning, and walked out with millions of dollars’ worth of jewelry and watches. They have not been caught.___Follow Jill Lawless on Twitter at” alt=”last_img” /> read more