Tuesday 5 December 2023

The EU IMPRESS Project reaches out to key stakeholders

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The IMPRESS project, co-funded by the European Union and coordinated by the UIC Security Division, aims to improve the protection of stations and trains by developing security training and awareness programmes for all stakeholders in rail stations and on trains (including rail staff, station shop staff, cleaning staff and other third party service provider staff). Reaching out to relevant stakeholders is paramount for ensuring the IMPRESS training and awareness programmes are sustainable, and the project has been doing just that.

In September, Marie-Hélène Bonneau, UIC Head of the Security Division and IMPRESS Project Coordinator, attended the Final Conference of the EU funded project SAFEBUS. The conference was an opportunity to share the project’s main goals with the larger transport sector and also learn valuable, transferable lessons from bolstering the security of the bus sector to the rail sector.

In October, UIC Senior Security Research Advisors Laura Petersen and Grigore Havarneanu attended the European Commission Directorate-General Mobility and Transport (DG MOVE) 9th Working Party on Rail Security (RAILSEC) meeting. Petersen presented the IMPRESS project and invited those present to join the Advisory Board.

In November, Bonneau was able to reach European rail security experts and rail police authorities during the General Assembly of COLPOFER, a UIC special group. She also attended the Security Research Event (SRE), a conference organised by the European Commission which brings together key players in the security research and innovation area, and distributed IMPRESS flyers.

Furthermore, Daria Kardel, PKP S.A. Security Office Chief Specialist, attended the EU funded project PRoSPeReS Final Conference. PRoSPeReS focused on the development of a security system for religious sites and lessons learned from the project can be applied to a wide range of public places including railway stations, as in both cases it is important to maintain a balance between security measures and the open nature of the venue.

Moreover, the 11th meeting of the UIC Security Platform Human Factors Working Group (HFWG) was dedicated to the topic of “Trainings against violent crime and terrorist attacks.” The meeting took place on 28 November and gathered more than 30 participants online with representatives from UIC members across 5 continents (Europe, North America, South America, Asia, and Africa), providing a diverse and global perspective on training practices. The experiences shared during the HFWG meeting will help guide the development of the IMPRESS training modules.

In December, Bonneau attended the Community of European Research and Innovation for Security (CERIS) conference as a panelist, contributing t0 exchanges on the topic of “informing and involving citizens in CBRN crisis management.” She highlighted that the rail sector is a major actor when it comes to the security of citizens, when implementing for example “see something, say something” campaigns. Such activities, however, should always be carried out in cooperation with authorities. Within the IMPRESS project, the idea is to go beyond alerting and spread awareness on how to act in the case of terrorist attacks or other major security incidents, including responding to CBRN threats.

Also in December, Magdalena Kujacińska, PKP S.A. Security Office Project Manager, presented IMPRESS during the meeting of the Polish Central Team of the security and safety in the railway areas and on the trains. The Central Team was established by an agreement between service representatives (Police, Border Guard, Military Police) , railway carriers (passenger and freight) and infrastructure managers and as such, it was a good opportunity to inform Polish stakeholders about the project.

Lastly, IMPRESS has joined the CBRNE and Standardisation Cluster of EU funded projects (CSTAC). Sharing lessons learned amongst projects focusing on these topics will help make the IMPRESS CBRNe training module for the rail environment the best it can be.

IMPRESS will continue to seek out opportunities to communicate about project as well as to collaborate with other sectors to enhance the protection of public spaces. The next IMPRESS consortium meeting and second IMPRESS stakeholder workshop will take place in January 2024.

You can follow IMPRESS on:
X (formally Twitter): @IMPRESS_RAIL_EU
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/impress-rail-eu/
The web: https://impress-rail-project.eu/

Co-funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union. Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.

For further information, please contact the UIC security division, coordinator of the project at:

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Marie-Hélène Bonneau, UIC Head of the Security Division and IMPRESS Project Coordinator, at the CERIS panel
IMPRESS roll-up at the PRoSPeReS Final Conference
Bonneau presents IMPRESS at the EU funded project SAFE BUS Final Conference
Petersen presenting the IMPRESS project to the CSTAC