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Security Boost for Sydney as APEC Summit Looms


The New South Wales state government in Australia is boosting security at this year's APEC summit in light of the foiled attacks in Britain. Hundreds of additional surveillance cameras will be installed on trains and buses. Authorities are building a citywide digital network linking public and private closed-circuit TV cameras. Phil Mercer reports from Sydney.

Hundreds of high-definition surveillance cameras are being installed on Sydney's transportation network ahead of September's summit in Australia's biggest city.

Security cameras at major railway stations are being upgraded with facial-recognition technology, which proved to be effective in the aftermath of the London bombings two years ago.

The security upgrade will cost $29 million.

The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit will bring together leaders from more than 20 countries, including the United States, China and Japan. APEC promotes trade and economic coordination along the Pacific Rim.

Security measures will be the strictest Sydney has ever seen and will be made even more stringent following foiled car bombings in Britain earlier this month.

Australia's ambassador for counter-terrorism, Mike Smith, thinks the security operation will do its job.

"There's always a threat to any large gathering of people like that - like the APEC conference - and particularly a gathering which brings together very senior figures - presidents and prime ministers and so on," Smith said. "So, everyone's aware of that and of course the authorities are ultra aware of it. The police here in New South Wales, ASIO, the Australian federal police. So, you know I am pretty confident that they will be able to prevent anything from happening."

More than 3,000 police will be deployed in and around Sydney during the week of the conference.

Aircraft will be barred from flying above the city and harbor ferries will be monitored.

Australian Prime Minister John Howard says his country should not be deterred from hosting major events such as the APEC summit despite growing fears of attacks by extremists.