Particularly at times of heightened security, the public are reassured by seeing your staff. This can be an active deterrent to those planning or who are intent upon criminal activity. As regards use of high visibility clothing, the same considerations apply as for staff working away from stations. You should consider whether your members of staff/contractors should wear high visibility clothing during these times. This adds to their visual deterrent and identifies them as a point to report suspicious behaviour and items to. At the same time however, it should not be assumed that wearers of high visibility, or branded company clothing, automatically have a right to be in non-public areas of a station. Staff should be encouraged to challenge anybody they do not recognise posing as staff in these areas or who is not wearing a pass etc.
Undoubtedly, some light rail stations were designed and built without consideration to security. As a result many contain voids and spaces which, if large enough, could be used by a terrorist to conceal an explosive device. In addition, any ‘‘dark corners’’, particularly those that are out of view of staff and members of the public, can be potential areas of concealment and can be a source of crime and anti-social behaviour.
Whilst it may not be possible to eliminate all areas of concealment some measures can be taken to reduce them. These include:
Location of equipment - ask yourself if you are going to create a hiding space or if you can remove an existing one;
Where possible, any grit bins, vending machines or other equipment boxes should be flush to walls so that nothing can be hidden behind or around any sides; tamper evident seals can be fitted to cupboards or equipment boxes that cannot be locked;
Boarding or sealing up voids that cannot be removed e.g. under vending machines or around equipment boxes;
Lighting - additional lighting can be installed to improve security and make security checks easier, particularly in any darker areas; and
Conducting regular checks around the station.
Those involved in designing or refurbishing facilities at light rail stations (i.e. designers, architects and planners, as well as light rail station operators) can help ‘‘design in’’ security enhancing features from the outset. Clear lines of sight aid search and evacuation procedures. Curved tops on ticket machines, advertising panels and vending machines make it difficult for these to be used to place items on. Fitting them back to back with other machines, or on legs with large gaps underneath, can also make it difficult for someone to attempt to conceal an item without it looking obvious. Similarly, if planters are to be used on a station, they should be designed so as to make it impossible to hide anything underneath (i.e. no gap, or a gap so big that anything can be visible from all sides), and planting should not be so dense that it hinders searches.
Again, a useful reference tool when designing new major light rail stations, termini, and interchanges is the DfT’s SIDOS Guide (see paragraph 5.2). Whilst this guidance is intended for new major rail stations and rebuilds, it contains good security design principles that are more widely applicable. Other good sources of guidance available online are Integrated Security: A Public Realm Design Guide for Hostile Vehicle Mitigation15 and Protecting Crowded Places: Design and Technical Issues16 Of course, also be sure to contact your police force, who will be able to offer their specialist advice in helping you to design in appropriate and proportionate security measures from the outset of a new scheme.
Litter bins provide an easy and convenient method of concealment for a device and have been used by terrorists in the past. Certain types of receptacles, such as those made of metal, concrete or plastic, pose a greater risk as they can add to blast fragmentation, which can cause serious injury and structural damage.
The following bin design recommendations are based on regulated rail requirements but are equally valid here. Litter bins should be of a type that would not contribute to fragmentation if an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) were to explode inside it. A recommended design is a clear plastic sack that is unobstructed from view and suspended from a metal or plastic frame, so as to be easy to inspect visually and to remove if circumstances require. They should not have a lid, unless it is a plastic one, and hoops should be attached to concrete or brick walls, away from flammable structures, or to dug-in, stand-alone wooden posts. Consideration should be given to covering bins by CCTV so that the face of anyone placing an item in the bin would be seen.
We also recommend these ‘‘do’s and don’ts’’:
Check and empty bins regularly;
Place bins near staffed positions (where possible) for deterrent value as well as to ensure that they do not become over-full; and
Keep the number of bins to the lowest practicable level and monitor usage to identify those that are not really necessary
Allow litter bins to overflow (ideally they should be emptied when no more than half full); and
Place litter bins near control rooms, evacuation routes, sources of possible fragmentation, such as overhead glass
canopies, windows, mirrors etc., fire hydrants or electrical equipment
Bulk rubbish containers and compactors
Large bulk rubbish containers (including wheelie bins, compactors and skips) should be stored in secure non-public areas where possible. However, if they are to be stored in public areas such as in car parks or adjacent to entrances, they should be emptied and checked regularly, be capable of being locked and kept so, and covered by CCTV cameras.
Recycling facilities should not be located on or adjacent to well-populated areas (e.g. station concourse), next to station building walls or next to entrances or exits. Recycling facilities are not classified as bulk rubbish containers but, if placed within a station, should be subject to the same measures as litter receptacles.