Information published on 23 September 2011 in the UIC electronic newsletter "UIC eNews" Nr 256.

The 7th UIC World Congress on Railway Security organised by UIC and FS Group opens in Rome

  • Security

On 22 September, UIC and the FS Italiane Group welcomed to the 7th UIC World Security Congress entitled “New prospects in a liberalised market: global risks and technological answers” over 200 delegates from 22 countries, representing the major players involved in rail and transport security issues: railway security managers, representatives of international organisations, rail supply industry, universities and research bodies.

The congress was opened by Mauro Moretti, CEO of the FS Italiane Group and UIC Vice-Chairman, together with Jean-Pierre Loubinoux, UIC Director-General, Santi Giuffrè, Director of the Central Department for Rail Police, Postal Police and Special Police Divisions, and Roberto Castelli, Deputy Minister for Infrastructure and Transport.

Mauro Moretti, CEO of the Italian State Railways, explained that the security methods adopted by the Italian Railway Group are particularly advanced, and how they led, within a few years and thanks to specific agreements with police forces, to a decrease in theft both on trains and in stations. He also underlined that it is important to exchange best practice between the various players and that the railways should assess the efficiency and productivity of their actions.

Santi Giuffrè, Director of the Central Department for Rail Police, Postal Police and Special Police Divisions, outlined that beyond technology, humans remain the basis of any security system. The fact that police forces are specialising in rail security issues is a guarantee of efficiency and cooperation between railways and state authorities.

Roberto Castelli, Deputy Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, stressed that information exchange is very important to prevent the different threats both in railway stations and in airports. In Italy, a Convention was signed between Italian Railways and the national police with encouraging results: threats were reduced by 50% in four years. The core business is video surveillance in stations.

Jean-Pierre Loubinoux, UIC Director-General, emphasised that security is an issue for railways to address, but first and foremost it is a matter to be addressed by the national authorities of each country, and international institutions when greater coherence has to be achieved beyond national borders. In this respect the partnerships UIC has established with international bodies demonstrate the success of this approach.

The aim of the World Security Congress is to further develop a global and long-lasting strategy to deal with security issues and their consequences. The ever-changing forms of crime and common malicious acts and the emergence and subsequent increase of terrorist threats implicates more and more time and money to be invested in the security of persons and property, customers and staff, and goods and infrastructure.

The congress is also addressing recent events such as the sessions devoted to metal theft, a criminal activity of which there has been a recent upsurge in many countries and the security of major stations, where an increasing number of operators and stakeholders are involved with respect to liberalisation of railway companies in Europe.

New technologies and research projects are also part of the programme together with a technology exhibition held alongside the Congress for specialist companies to present their products and solutions.

Another important issue has arisen due to the development of high speed rail. High speed rail raises specific security concerns as it may be a more attractive target for malicious and terrorist acts, while having to meet the particular demands of customers in terms of quality. Its relative novelty also offers opportunities to take decisive action, since security can be taken into account early on in the development process, when designing stations and facilities.

On the occasion of the 7th UIC World Security Congress, the UIC Security Division has released the new security brochure presenting its organisation, achievements and projects. This brochure is available in French and English on request.
The Congress will conclude today with the adoption of a Joint Declaration (more information in the next UIC enews).