Wednesday 16 June 2021

UIC Security Weeks 2021 ended with the final session on ”International Cooperation in Rail Security.”

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The UIC Security platform seventh ‘Security Weeks’ came to a close this Wednesday 16 June 2020 with the final session on “International Cooperation in Rail Security.”

The online event had over 80 participants from several continents: Africa, Asia, Europe, and South and North America. A special thanks to those participants and speakers who joined our session outside of their normal working hours.

The session was opened by Marie-Hélène Bonneau, Head of the UIC Security Division, who gave a brief overview of the security platform at UIC. This was followed by two keynote speeches. The first was given by the Chair of the Security Platform, Mr. Piotr Kurcz from PKP (Poland), who emphasized the importance of international cooperation as security threats know no boundaries. The second was given by the Vice Chair of the Security Platform, Mr. Arun Kumar from the Rail Protection Force of Indian Railways, who emphasized that important work carried out at UIC to facilitate international cooperation.

This was followed by a session focusing on the Rail Security Hub. Magdalena Kujacinska from the Security Division started off the session by explaining two of the security platform’s internal tools: the Rail Security Hub, an online, interactive web platform updated regularly with security solutions and the Network of Quick Responders, a survey based knowledge exchange which allows for fast answers to arising security questions.

Next, she shared the results from the most recent Network of Quick Responders questions. When it comes to measures to increase subjective and objective security, most responders use sound detection systems. When it comes to use of body cameras, only 7 out of 29 respondents state that they are currently using such systems.

Afterwards an interactive session on the Rail Security Hub comprising of a live demo and slido questionnaire took place. Participants were able to choose which measures they wished to be showcased during the live demonstration: security by design – stations and Cybersecurity – awareness and training for staff. These two measures were used to present the two ways in which one can search for a security solution to any security issues one is facing. They were also used to indicate how the information is laid out on the Hub: description, potential benefits, potential criticalities, recommendations, documents, related links & comments. Afterwards, the slido questionnaire continued and almost all participants were likely or very likely to recommend the rail security hub to a colleague.

The third part of the session focused on International Cooperation. Francesco Dionori from the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe described the Sustainable Transport Division and the work they are engaging in to support rail, such as the UNECE Rail Security Observatory. Up next, John Laene from RAILPOL illustrated the work being carried out by the European Association of Railway Police Forces and underlined the importance in private public partnerships between police and railway security forces. This was followed by Maria Cristina Fiorentino from the UIC special group COLPOFER who presented the various tools they use to enhance international cooperation: intelligence activities, information exchange, a graffiti database, joint exercises, etc. She also pointed out that for the on-going Covid-19 pandemic, private public partnerships between railway security and the police are key to enforcing Covid-19 related security measures. The session came to a close with the presentation of the UIC Security Leaflet, put together by the Human Factors Working Group, “Organization of security during major events.” Vladimir Kuznetsov from RZD (Russia) stated that the goal of the leaflet was to collect experiences and best practises from railway companies. He also thanked the many railway companies and associations that provided input to the leaflet, making it truly a fruit of international cooperation.

The 7th Security Weeks came to a close with an announcement: the UIC Security Congress will take place 8 – 9 December 2021. We hope it will be a hybrid event, taking place in Paris and online, and we look forward to seeing you there (either in person or remotely).

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