Tuesday 23 June 2020

Online workshop focusing on the impact of Covid-19 on Security held on 17 June 2020

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On 17 June, the UIC security division organised an online workshop on the impact of Covid-19 on security. The event was attended by over 50 participants from 20 countries in Europe, Asia and America. The audience was composed of security experts from railways as well as representatives from authorities, international organisations and the European Commission.

This workshop complemented the meetings of the UIC Covid-19 Task Force which takes place every two weeks, with special focus on the impacts of Covid-19 measures on security during and after the lockdown period. Marc Guigon, chair of the UIC Covid-19 Task Force composed of 70 UIC members and 18 international organisations, presented all the outputs of this task force and especially the guidance documents which demonstrate the rail sector’s RAILsilience (online at https://uic.org/covid-19/).

The goal of the workshop was to address security aspects of the Covid-19 crisis. The workshop was a great opportunity to learn more about the cooperation between railways and authorities in India (Rail Protection Force), Canada (VIA Rail Canada) and France (French transport ministry). Then the impact on security of the crisis in Germany, Italy and Poland was presented respectively by security managers from DB, FS and PKP.

The presentations showed how challenging it is to have such a long crisis and to adapt the organisation accordingly, especially security skills which need to be adapted to the pandemic.

Partnerships with authorities is also a key aspect of the crisis especially with regard to the enforcement of some measures such as wearing masks, social distancing or measuring the temperature of the passengers.

In many countries, the total number of security related incidents has decreased since the number of passengers was very low during the confinement period. However, when resuming operations with enforcement of measures such as facial masks, more verbal or physical aggressions towards staff could arise.

To conclude Jerzy Wisniewski, Director of the UIC Fundamental Values Department, thanked all participants with special thanks to Marc Beaulieu from VIA Rail Canada for his great involvement, advice and assistance to develop the UIC Security activity over the four last years as the Security Platform Chairman. He then welcomed Mr Arun Kumar from Indian Rail Security Forces who agreed to take up the position as Vice Chairman of the Security Platform. He will work side by side with Mr Piotr Kurcz – the Platform Chairman form Polish Railways, from 1 July 2020.

Given the success of the workshop, which was very interactive with many exchanges between the participants, it was decided to organise another security dedicated workshop after the summer break to have an update on the situation while many railways are resuming almost fully operation.

All presentations are available in the UIC security workspace at: https://extranet.uic.org/index.php

For further information please contact Marie-Hélène Bonneau, Head of the UIC Security Unit: bonneau@uic.org

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