Note: The SHERPA project has received funding from the European Union’s Internal Security Fund - Police under grant agreement No. 815347. It is coordinated by UIC, began on 1st November 2018 and will last 24 months. It aims to improve the overall protection level for stations and trains in Europe against terrorist attacks by implementing multiple synergistic actions among the relevant stakeholders. The SHERPA Consortium is composed of six partners: UIC, DB AG, FS SpA, PKP S.A., SNCB, and SNCF.
Within the SHERPA EU project, one of the objectives is to deliver practical tools to develop a common approach for the protection of stations and trains in Europe. A three-day training course has therefore been designed by the consortium under the leadership of FS. The training was initially scheduled for the beginning of April in Rome in a face-to-face format, but due to the Covid-19 outbreak it was reorganised online with the following topics: Day 1 “Transport Sector Threats Analysis”, Day 2 “Crisis Management & Business Continuity” and Day 3 “Terrorism threats and awareness”.
The first session was held on 16 September focusing on “Transport Sector Threats Analysis”. Around 40 security experts from European rail companies and transport authorities attended the session.
The first lecture was given by the Police Prevention Central Directorate from the Italian Ministry of the Interior with an introduction on international terrorism and the trends in this global phenomenon, followed by an insight on suitable prevention and detection approaches to radicalisation and insider threats. Emphasis was placed on the importance of continuous cooperation with civil actors to better estimate the possible threats.
Then the Railway Police from the Italian Ministry of the Interior gave an overview of the challenge of protecting the railway infrastructure. The main challenge is to provide security without compromising the openness of the rail system, free movement and mass transportation. It is, therefore, very important to share information with partners and to clearly define roles and responsibilities in the various procedures.
This was followed by the presentation of the International Critical Infrastructure Protection Scenario by Belgian railways (SNCB) with a detailed description of the creation and application of the operators’ security plan (OSP), which identifies critical infrastructure assets and establishes relevant security solutions for their protection. Again, cooperation with all partners is needed in order to achieve good results.
The session ended with a lecture on “The Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) Threat” given by the Italian Ministry of Defence. It gave an insight into the CBRN threat and hazards, as well as lessons learnt from past attacks. Railways need to be prepared and to have basic skills for protection in case of an attack.
The next session of this international training course will be held on 23 September 2020 focussing on Crisis Management & Business Continuity.