Thursday 3 June 2021

UIC Security Weeks 2021 began with a successful session on Covid-19

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The UIC Security platform seventh ‘Security Week’ event began on Wednesday 2 June 2021 with the first session on “Covid-19: The Security Landscape for Rail & Public Transport”.

The online event had over 60 participants from all over the world: Africa, Asia, Europe, and South and North America. A special thanks to those participants who woke up especially early to join our event at 4am their local time.

The event was opened by Jerzy Wisniewski, UIC Director of Fundamental Values, who welcomed the participants and expressed a desire for us to once again be able to meet in person, hopefully for the upcoming annual Security Congress, which is to be held in the fourth quarter of the year.

The session was opened with a presentation from Laura Petersen from UIC Security Division, who examined how Covid-19 had affected crime generally and, thanks to data from the UIC Covid-19 Task Force questionnaires, had affected the railway sector specifically, and its evolution over the course of the pandemic. Cybercrime has remained an important issue throughout the pandemic and recently, due to the sense of “Covid fatigue,” aggressions towards staff are on the rise. This was followed by an interactive session where participants shared that terrorism, ticket fraud and antisocial behaviour are threats expected to emerge after the Covid-19 crisis.

This was followed by a session focusing on lessons learned by UIC Members. Sumati Shandilya from the Rail Protection Force of Indian Railways explained the vital role the railway sector has played in the response to the pandemic, going so far as to modify rolling stock to accommodate oxygen lorries on the Oxygen express. Dora Mezek Kukec from SZ Group (Slovenia) explained the protective measures they put in place to combat the spread of the virus. Kirsten Verlaan from NS (the Netherlands) explained the effects of the curfew riots that impacted several stations. Benoit LaDouceur from VIA Rail Canada shared the importance of teamwork when facing a global threat.

The last session focused on lessons learned from UITP members. Cristiano Stifini from ATAC Rome described the fraud aspects during Covid-19. Jocelyn Latulippe from STM Montreal described the changes made to their winter plan to have a more social approach to dealing with homeless in their network, including providing a solidarity bus.

Due to the importance of cyber incidents, cyber security has its own session in this year’s security weeks. Join us next Wednesday 9 June at 10:00 – 13:00 CEST (Paris time) to discuss about “Adapting Behaviour to New Cyber Threats.”

Don’t forget to also join us on 16 June 2021 10:00 – 13:00 CEST (Paris time) for our session on International Cooperation in Rail security.

More information, including registration, can be found on the event page:

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