Latest Rail News

22.03.13

Greater focus on rail security is needed – MPs

Rail staff must be better trained to deal with security incidents, the Commons Transport Committee has urged.

A new report warns that the conflation of a wide range of security issues – from terrorism to relatively minor crime against staff or passengers – is “not helpful” and needs more focus.

The Government must improve procedures for dealing with multi-modal transport hubs at which different threat levels apply to different modes; ensure staff have consistent levels of training and understanding of potential threats, risks and preventative measures; and maintain high levels of staff and public vigilance, the committee said.

The committee also recommends that Government should participate in EU discussions to ensure any detailed proposals are “focused and appropriate to the UK”.

The report reads: “There was a distinct lack of enthusiasm, both from government and industry, for further EU involvement in relation to land transport security, not least because the Government was concerned that action at EU level might result in the levelling down of existing security measures in the UK.”

Committee chair Louise Ellman MP said it was “essential that we constantly review the most effective means of keeping people safe and combating crime”.

She added: “It is important for the Government to push for greater action at a national level to address problem areas including the co-ordination of security measures at EU borders.”

A spokesman for the DfT said: “The Government sets clear security standards for the rail industry to meet, based on the current threat.

“Staff with a security element in their role are required to undergo sufficient training which includes awareness of threats, recognition of suspicious articles and how to respond to incidents.

“In addition, the National Railways Security Programme recommends that domestic rail operators have contingency plans for responses to security incidents, which must be covered in staff training programmes.”

Tell us what you think – have your say below, or email us directly at opinion@railtechnologymagazine.com

(Image: British Transport Police)

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