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Creating a united security force


The Rail Safety Accreditation Scheme gives security firms police approval, granting them powers that include being able to issue penalty notices and confiscate alcohol from minors. But it’s not used widely enough, says Abbey Petkar


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Security guards talk to British Transport Police at Wilsden Junction station, London


PAGE 28 MAY 2011


illions of people everyday take to railway networks around the world and, despite increasing costs, the railway


remains one of the UK’s most popular forms of transport – particularly for long distances. However, with something so large and important, there is always one worry for owners and operator – security. How safe are our railways? On the


surface of it, railway security in the UK looks reasonably good with no major security incidents apart from the tragedy of 7 July, 2005 which dramatically impacted on the London Underground infrastructure. But, though rare, terrorist incidents


such as this mean that there is now, more than ever, a need for joined-up thinking and a focus on high-quality security services. In my opinion that means one thing – widespread use of the Rail Safety Accreditation Scheme (RSAS). In 2011, railway safety is not just about


policing people, it’s about complex issues ranging from track safety and signalling to logistics and surveillance. In fact, thanks to the convoluted organisation and management structure behind our railways, it is hard to believe there is any security at all!


Britain has one of the most complex


railway networks in Europe, maybe even the world. With several different companies running train services and Network Rail looking after the tracks,


www.railimages.co.uk


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