There are a number of simple, common-sense security enhancement measures which can be employed at times of increased threat:
Increase frequency of checks on rolling stock;
Tighten controls on passengers boarding and any luggage reconciliation;
Increase frequency of passenger security announcements / display security posters; and
Deploy revenue control officers / other staff to travel on network, wearing high-visibility jackets / tabards.
Enhanced security may attract public attention. The measures employed should therefore be consistent with the threat and implemented in such a way as to reassure passengers and not to arouse anxiety. (This observation also relates to the use of awareness posters).
Stations, termini and interchanges can be crowded places, making them a potential terrorist target. (Consult the NaCTSO website for guidance on protecting crowded places11). A range of simple measures can help to create the feeling of a controlled environment; this helps as a deterrent for hostile actors and provides reassurance to customers:
Contact your police force to obtain free and independent advice on protecting your premises against terrorists and criminals;
Remind passengers not to leave bags unattended and advise how to report unattended / suspect packages or suspicious behaviour to staff;
Fit locks / tamper proof seals to cupboards / equipment boxes in public areas;
Review the area and see what "clutter" you can do without;
Review your litter management arrangements;
Access control to non-public areas; and
Encourage a "challenge culture".
Security in Design of Stations (SIDOS) and Hostile Vehicle Mitigation (HVM)
Protection of passengers and staff who use the rail and underground networks is a priority for government and rail operators. Incorporating physical security measures into stations is one method of mitigating the risk of a terrorist attack and other crime. Incorporating such measures at an early stage in the design of a new or major redevelopment of a station has benefits both in terms of their effectiveness and of minimising costs, and can take account of the needs of the travelling public better. In August 2012, the Department for Transport published its Security in Design of Stations (SIDOS) Guidance12. This includes detail of possible Hostile Vehicle Mitigation (HVM) measures which can be employed.
Image: HVM measures at St Pancras Station © Crown Copyright
The Safer Tram Stop Award
Those involved in the design of stations, termini and interchanges are encouraged to refer to the Safer Tram Stop (STS) Award13. Whilst the scheme is largely designed around crime and safety, it has clear benefits for counter terrorist security (sight lines, CCTV, lighting etc.) Speak to your police force for further details.
Searches and checks
Regular patrols by uniformed staff are a good deterrent, help to reassure passengers, and can be key to finding unattended or concealed items, detecting suspicious behaviour or checking doors are locked to prevent public access to non-public areas. Whilst dedicated and regular security patrols are the ideal, resources may not necessarily permit this.
Security checks can be shared by a number of staff and incorporated into their duties – for example by those monitoring areas as part of their customer service and safety duties, by cleaners as part of their routine cleaning duties and by ticketing or sales staff in ticket halls or concourse areas. Staff are familiar with their work environment, so are well placed to spot anything out of the ordinary. Checks need not be carried out during the times a station is not accessible to the public or is not open for service, but should be carried out on opening. We recommend that you keep records of these. They need not be overly detailed, but may provide critical information when reviewing incidents that have occurred, particularly when backed up by CCTV.
We recommend that you involve managers of other organisations (tenancies etc.) occupying premises or carrying out business at the station to ensure all parts of the station security check area are properly covered and that effective lines of communication are established. These groups should be included in all security planning, exercising and awareness presentations.
If properly planned in advance, a security check need not be too time consuming. The key considerations for you and your staff when conducting a check of public areas are:
Define the area - Staff designated to undertake a check should be sufficiently briefed and aware of what is required. Asking someone to "check the station" is not sufficiently detailed: a start / finish point and boundaries need to be established;
Plans - The process can be simplified if laminated plans of areas to be checked are produced. The plans do not need to be particularly detailed but should highlight key features of the areas (such as toilets, emergency exits etc.) to be covered;
Thoroughness - Checks need to be sufficiently thorough in order to be able to detect any concealed item. Staff should pay particular attention to areas that are not in clear public view: low roofs, emergency exits, lavatories etc. Other vulnerable areas include litter receptacles and work sites. There should not be sole reliance on visual checks - doors should be physically checked to ensure they have been properly secured. Any areas beyond doors that are found to be unlocked should be checked before they are secured. It is not considered necessary to lift drains or the covers to other utilities, unscrew access panels or search areas into which unauthorised access is not possible; and
Sealing - Any locations (stores) not in regular use should be secured under lock and key. When this is not possible (for safety reasons etc.), tamper evident seals are a good option. This will eliminate the need to check inside such boxes or cupboards unless the seal is no longer intact.
In summary, security checks should concentrate on areas of public space – especially those not in clear public view as terrorists do not want their bombs or their actions to be noticed. All checks should be made regularly and if possible recorded.
Should an unattended item be found, whether as part of a security patrol or during the course of staff carrying out their duties, it is important that there are established procedures to follow. One such example is to apply the HOT protocol (Annex C).