Rolling stock design
Even before new vehicles are introduced to your network, you can be designing in security considerations. DfT has recommendations on incorporating security into rolling-stock design. For further information contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Searches and checks
There are a number of common sense searches and checks that can be conducted on vehicles. Operators should visually check inside their vehicle at the start and end of a route before the next journey to ensure that nothing has been concealed or left behind. Checks should include underneath seats and any storage areas, e.g. for pushchairs, bags etc. within the carriage. Drivers or other crew should ensure any overhead luggage shelves are also included in a vehicle check. These basic visual checks should only take a few minutes to complete. Examples of existing good practice include the issue of crib / prompt cards to staff on security awareness and what to do if an unattended item is found – you may wish to consider introducing something similar for your own operation.
Image: Undertaking the security search © First Group
Should staff find an unattended item, whether as part of a security check or during the course of their duties, it is important that they know what to do. One example for doing this is to apply the ‘‘HOT’’ protocol (at Annex C). This has been designed by the BTP to assist rail staff in determining whether an item or bag found is a genuine item of lost property or if it is something more suspicious. HOT has proved effective in minimising delays caused by unattended items and by identifying those which may represent an immediate hazard.
Almost all property that is left on the network is lost property, and it is important to have arrangements in place to return lost property to its owners. However some items may be malicious and it is important that these are dealt with correctly to protect your staff and your customers.
Whilst it is a useful tool, HOT may not be suitable for all environments – particularly where there is no active security presence, CCTV, search regime etc. (see Section 5 on Security at light rail stations, termini and interchanges). It is important that you have discussions with your police force to establish a system to enable unattended items to be reported and dealt with appropriately by your staff. Further advice is available from the BTP.
Securing vehicles and carriages not in service
Drivers should ensure that doors are closed when carriages are left unattended (e.g. at the start and end of a journey, during a comfort break or whilst parked at termini, depots or stations). This is to protect against someone entering the vehicle and potentially leaving an item on board, or engaging in other forms of criminal activity such as theft or vandalism. Where possible, doors should be locked and, if appropriate, windows secured.
At the end of a route, where a security check is carried out, passengers should not be permitted to board until it is completed.
It is recommended that you develop appropriate procedures that minimise the risk of someone placing an item of luggage on the vehicle without boarding, or of a disembarking passenger leaving baggage behind (See Section 1 for further details).
Reconciling passengers and their luggage is important because it:
Acts as a deterrent to potential terrorists seeking to plant a bomb;
Special attention should be paid to any luggage that appears suspicious, or is handled in such a way as to raise suspicions;
Reassures passengers that you, the operator, have appropriate security measures in place; and
Minimises potential for items of baggage to be left behind and associated delays this can cause.
Security awareness measures for passengers
Passengers can help act as your eyes and ears, and awareness messages are useful in promoting vigilance and providing reassurance. You could display security posters in your vehicle to remind passengers not to leave bags unattended and on what to do if they find any unattended or suspect packages or are concerned about suspicious behaviour, e.g. by reporting to a member of staff or a police officer. Where vehicles are fitted with electronic messaging or TV screens, these can be used too. If practical, voice announcements can be made from time to time on public address systems, where fitted. You should establish clear procedures and points of contact to deal with passenger reports.
High visibility clothing
The public are reassured by seeing your staff. This is particularly the case at times of heightened security (as indicated by the DfT, or by the National Threat Level, available from the Security Services website7). Those planning or who are intent upon criminal activity, may also be deterred by a clear staff presence on your network. You should consider whether your on board staff (drivers, revenue collectors etc.) 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. However, the legitimacy of wearers of high visibility, or branded company clothing, should not be automatically assumed. Staff should be encouraged to challenge anybody they do not recognise posing as staff, for instance if somebody is not wearing a pass in a non-public area, and / or is acting suspiciously.
On board Closed Circuit Television (CCTV)
CCTV has a useful deterrent value, and can be a valuable source of evidence for use in the detection and investigation of crime. The Surveillance Camera Code of Practice8 issued under S30 of the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 contains guidance on the overt use of CCTV in public places in England and Wales. The purpose of the code is to ensure that individuals and wider communities have confidence that surveillance cameras are deployed to protect and support them, rather than spy on them. It sets out 12 guiding principles which are intended to ensure the use of CCTV is necessary, proportionate, transparent, and effective in meeting a stated purpose and meets all legal requirements. In general terms, local authorities and the police are specified as relevant authorities who must have regard to the code when exercising any functions to which the code relates. Other CCTV system operators are encouraged to adopt the code on a voluntary basis. The Surveillance Camera Commissioner has been appointed to encourage compliance with the code, review its operation and provide advice about it. That advice will include information about the relevant operational, technical, quality management and occupational competency standards which are available for a system operator. CCTV system operators can then consider these standards in determining how best to meet the purpose of their surveillance camera system whilst meeting legal obligations, making effective use of it, and safeguarding privacy considerations.
Image: On board CCTV © Metro
In the specific context of on board security, if CCTV has been fitted, at least one camera should provide identifiable quality images of everyone entering the vehicle, i.e. a clear image of the face plus characteristics of clothing, items carried etc. CCTV cameras positioned for identification purposes (i.e. for determining who is involved in an activity) should be able to produce an image size of not less than 100% standard definition screen height and ideally run at a minimum of 6 IPSPC (images per second per camera). Cameras positioned for recognition purposes (i.e. for determining what is happening) should be able to produce an image size of not less than 50% standard definition screen height and should record at a minimum of 2 IPSPC.
The system should be able to quickly export video and stills onto a removable storage medium, such as a CD or DVD, with the time and date integral to the relevant picture. Exported images should include any software needed to view or replay the pictures or be able to be replayed on a standard computer system with no additional software.
We recommend that if possible, recordings be retained for a maximum of minimum of 31 days, unless the evidence is being used in further proceedings, before recording media are reused, and made available to police on request. A log should be maintained to provide an audit should recordings be required by the police or other law and order agency.
As with any technological system, things can go wrong and it is essential that good maintenance arrangements are in place so that any faults can be repaired as quickly as possible. If current CCTV systems are to be replaced, digital systems are recommended. The Home Office has published comprehensive guidance for organisations who wish to install or upgrade CCTV systems, in its CCTV Operational Requirements Manual 20099, which concentrates on how best to determine your requirements and ensure that the system you use meets these as closely as possible. Information can also be found on the CPNI website10.