There is a risk that explosive devices could be concealed in bicycles. Bicycle bombs are rare; and many examples have involved IEDs in panniers rather than concealed ‘invisibly’ within the frame tubes. The following recommended measures can be taken to reduce the risk of damage and injury.
Bicycle racks should be positioned with regard to the safety of passengers, staff and facilities, preferably away from crowded parts of the station such as platforms, waiting areas, entrances, concourses and large windows. If this is unavoidable, we suggest the racks be covered by CCTV surveillance. Derelict/abandoned bicycles should be removed once adequate notice of removal has been given.
Bicycle lockers are increasingly being used to safeguard bicycles from theft. These bring associated risk, as an explosive device could be concealed inside a cycle locker. As with cycle racks, positioning can minimise the risk (see above for recommendations). In addition, we recommend that those using the lockers do not secure them with their own padlocks. Ideally, keys and padlocks for lockers should be controlled and issued by the facility operator, with spare keys retained securely to enable lockers to be checked by staff in the event of a security incident or alert.
Solid sided bicycle lockers may be used, although lockers with mesh sides or adequate vision ports (that provide good visibility of the interior during low light conditions) are preferable and can assist in checking.
It is recommended that all equipment boxes, such as sand and grit bins, fire extinguisher boxes, first aid equipment etc., are kept shut and secured to prevent anything being concealed inside. One of the best ways of doing this is with a tamper evident seal (e.g. plastic/wire seals, stickers) that can easily be broken in the event of an emergency. A broken seal can also highlight if a box has been tampered with.
Public toilet facilities
Terrorists have in the past used toilets for concealing explosive devices. When public toilets are checked at a station, particular attention should be paid to potential areas of concealment (such as exposed cisterns). Where old style cisterns are used, a tamper evident seal could be placed on to the cistern. If refurbishment of a public toilet facility is being considered, designs that reduce or eliminate areas of concealment are preferred. Your police force can advise.
Any post boxes located at a station should be kept locked or otherwise securely closed (apart from any opening used for the posting of mail), except when being emptied by a person authorised to collect the mail within it. The opening should be kept as small as possible to limit the size of items posted to letter format.
You should obtain advice from your police force if you intend to increase the number of post boxes at a station, particularly if you are considering installing post boxes that take items larger than normal letter/small packet size.
Tenants and cleaners
Tenants and cleaners have their part to play in overall security. We recommend that you have periodic meetings with them (and indeed with all operators at the station) at which security issues can be discussed. Tenants and cleaners should be made aware of the importance of vigilance and given details of incident reporting procedures (who to report to, what to report etc.). Tenants should also be aware of the need to secure any stock rooms and, where appropriate, monitor and supervise any delivery vehicles. Cleaners should also ensure that they lock cleaning cupboards when not in use and do not leave any cleaning equipment unattended. The importance of adhering to the security regimes in place on the premises should be emphasised – such as the wearing of passes, signing-in procedures etc.
Security awareness measures for passengers
You should remind passengers not to leave bags unattended and to report any unattended or suspect packages or suspicious behaviour to a member of staff or police officer. You may also wish to produce notices such as 'keep your belongings with you at all times', avoiding any messages which would cause undue alarm or panic. Security messages can be displayed on posters and information screens, and they can be delivered by regular announcements on a public address system during the times that the station is open. Staff should be trained to deal with reports from members of the public and should reassure the person that their concern or information will be taken seriously.
Closed Circuit Television (CCTV)
CCTV has deterrent value and can be used to cover parts of stations or facilities on stations that terrorists could exploit, such as litter bins, cycle racks/lockers and doors to non-public areas. CCTV also has a mutual benefit in terms of crime reduction (in both recording crimes taking place, and tracing perpetrators, to discouraging criminal activity in the first place). Please refer to Section 4 for further information on appropriate standards for CCTV systems, and Annex F for a list of recommended CCTV publications to consult.
You may wish to consider liaising with other local organisations/ operations (e.g. rail stations, local authorities etc.) to identify whether it would be useful to have compatible systems or whether their CCTV surveillance covers any part of your operation to avoid duplication. It may be possible to agree the positioning of several systems to ensure that there are no potential gaps in coverage.
Left luggage facilities
Left luggage facilities present an obvious security risk. Where possible Left luggage facilities should be located away from the main concourse or areas of large crowd density. In particular, left luggage lockers are of concern, as there is no control of persons depositing bags or items. Where left luggage lockers are installed we recommend that they are covered by CCTV. Staff should have a means of accessing the lockers – or enabling the police to do so – to check their contents – for example, in circumstances of a bomb threat. This is also relevant to any other lockers, for example customer collection lockers, at a location.
We recommend that luggage or other property (other than lost property) be accepted on the condition that the person depositing the luggage or property agrees that it may be searched and/or screened. A record should be kept of the left luggage searched/ screened.
We recommend that screening be carried out by hand searching items of luggage and their contents, or using x-ray equipment that conforms to DfT standards, if it is available. A Standard Test Piece (available from x-ray machine manufacturers) determines whether an x-ray machine meets these standards in terms of image quality and will help to ensure that performance is maintained. Where it is used, x-ray equipment should be checked regularly to ensure that it is operating correctly and be maintained in accordance with manufacturer’s recommendations. Further advice on testing of x-ray equipment is available on request from the DfT Land Transport Security team at firstname.lastname@example.org
Left luggage facility operators should encourage their staff to pay particular attention to any bags that appear to be suspicious or are handled in such a way as to raise suspicions. Where a customer refuses permission to search/screen items, staff should not accept these and should notify police immediately.