Tuesday 14 December 2021

16th UIC World Security Congress held on 8 and 9 December 2021

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The 16th UIC World Security Congress was held online on 8 and 9 December gathering around 100 participants from 30 countries and 50 companies, representing: national authorities (transport, police), UIC members, international organisations (UITP, UNECE, EPF, CIPC) and relevant European Commission DGs (DGHOME and DGMOVE) and EU bodies (EUROPOL).

The 1st Day was dedicated to the Organisation of security during major events and was moderated by Marie-Hélène Bonneau, Head of Security Division.

UIC Director-General, François Davenne, expressed that the UIC Security Activity is a core subject. He pointed out that cooperation is essential in order to know how our partners succeeded in resolving security problems and that UIC is a trusted space for exchanging on these issues. One of the key challenges for the future is to achieve safe and secure rail transport. Security is a key element of the rail customer experience; therefore, we need to look at the future and develop innovative solutions to increase resilience of railways against security threats. It is essential to be able to ensure an acceptable level of security for passengers throughout their journey at regional, national or international level.

UIC Security Platform Chairman, Piotr Kurcz from PKP S.A., Poland, recognised UIC as an immense contribution for railways in combatting covid and mitigating the risks; and the Security Division as very important to promote synergies. He underlined that the success of a major event is measured by its organisation and its level of security. For this reason, UIC security division recently published a leaflet on security during organisation of major events.

UIC Security Platform Vice-Chairman, Sanjay Chander from RPF, India explained that security of crowds is a key issue in India as the second most populated country in the world and with railway as a prime transport. Railways have to adjust and adapt to emerging threats such as cyber-attacks or new biological weapons. The development of technologies like drones, which could be used maliciously, surveillance is needed.

There were three presentations given from the railway perspective:

Mr Hideaki Kuroda from JRE, Japan presented JR EAST’s measures for rail security and the legacies from the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, where the first priority was to ensure the safety and security of customers and employees, while promoting measures to prevent terrorism on railways. A key measure used to ensure security was a high level of coverage via CCTV.

Daria Kardel and Jakub Kardahs from PKP shared the experience of PKP during UEFA championships, COP24 and large, annual festivals where rail transport is crucial for the entire logistics process of these events. PKP highlighted their use of volunteers, easily identifiable by language spoken, to help passengers, including foreigners, navigate the railways.

Vladimir Kuznetsov from RZD explained the security system RZD put in place during the 2013 University games, the 2014 Winter Olympic Games and the 2018 FIFA World Cup. He emphasised the importance of sharing information in a timely manner to avoid security incidents.

The second session included presentations from the authority perspective:

Finbarr O’Sullivan from the National Police Force Ireland shared their experience in organising the security for a series of three Ed Sheeran concerts. He emphasised the importance of communication with the public to build confidence, credibility and avoid complaints. He also highlighted their partnership with transportation hubs and taxis.

Helmut Langenbach from the German Federal Police displayed their international prevention campaign against pickpockets, launched during UEFA 2021 and disseminated in various railway environments. By explaining the common ways in which pickpockets operate, the general public who had received the communication expressed a higher awareness of the issue and a higher willingness to report to the police.

Bernard Higgins explained the work of Police Scotland undertook for the organisation of COP26 and the key role the British Transport Police played in ensuring the security of travellers.

The third and last session of the first day included two presentations from the international perspective:

Magdalena Kujacinska shared the UIC Security Platform updates. She highlighted the newly published (October 2021) leaflet on Organisation of security during major events, which is available at https://uic.org/security. She then shared about the recent “Network of quick responders” activity and the latest updates of the Rail Security Hub.

Gaëtan Carlens detailed the Colpofer roadbook for major events and its implementation in practice.

The 2nd Day was dedicated to emerging threats and was moderated by Laura Petersen (UIC Senior Security Research Advisor).

The keynote speech was given by Samuel Farinha from EUROPOL. He presented the relevant emerging threats to railways and the ways in which EUROPOL is working to combat them. A key focus was on terrorism, as due to their open network, railways remain a key target for malicious actors. He highlighted the importance in creating a security culture among citizens and passengers alongside the use of technical security.

Grigore Havarneanu coordinator of the EU H2020 PROACTIVE project (PReparedness against CBRNE threats through cOmmon Approaches between security praCTItioners and the VulnerablE civil society) presented the main goal of the PROACTIVE project which is to enhance preparedness against and response to a CBRNe (Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and explosive) incident. The project has a rail focus, with at least one future field exercise taking place in a railway environment, allowing the railways to learn lessons about such incidents.

Dr. Marian Kolencik from ISEMI, Slovakia explained their training programme on profiling for CBRNe terrorism. The profiling is based on learning risk indicators such as physical appearance: burns, dress (e.g., a winter coat in summer) and behaviour.

Armand Raudin from SNCF presented the EU H2020 project PREVENT PCP. The goal of the project is to innovate CCTV technologies which will allow for the tracking of abandoned luggage to their owners and bring such technologies to the level of precommercial procurement.

Marie-Hélène Bonneau presented the EU H2020 SAFETY4RAILS project (Data-based analysis for SAFETY and security protection, FOR detection, prevention, mitigation and response in trans-modal metro and RAILway networkS) which aims at increasing resilience against combined cyber-physical threats including natural hazards to railway infrastructure. The project will deliver an overall SAFETY4RAILS Information System platform (S4RIS) which will integrate 20 tools focussing on risk assessment, risk reduction, threat prevention, threat detection, stakeholder response to incidents and system recovery.

Edgar Laurens Fonseca from RATP/UITP explained how security can be an element of business continuity and the ways in which the UITP working group on Security by Design is addressing security impacts on rolling stock, stations and the whole system.

Fernando A. Chinchilla explained that ICPC (International Crime Prevention Center) works on urban mobility and transport and presented on their work combating radicalization. A key output of the work was the importance in transparency with local communities and building trust.

B. Venkateshwar Rao from RPF Indian Railways presented the strategy of Indian Railways for combatting a variety of emergency threats (terrorism, cyber threats, CBRNe and natural hazard-based disasters). He concluded with the various measures they have taken to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

The Congress concluded with an interactive online poll, whereby participants gave the event 4.5/5 stars and provided suggestions for next year’s focus topics.

For further information, please contact Marie-Hélène Bonneau, Head of Security Unit at bonneau@uic.org

5 Votes

Average rating: 5 / 5