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Rail passenger safety and security

The safety and security of our customers and our people is our first priority, and is fundamental to the way we run our business.

Public transport is the safest way to travel, and we have won awards for our commitment to safety. However, we constantly review our processes and are committed to putting in place any improvements required.

As a train operator, we have a safety certificate which allows us to operate. We set annual safety targets and key performance indicators for our company. Progress is monitored daily by our Head of Safety and on a monthly basis at the Board Safety Sub-Committee which is presided over by the Executive Chairman.

Read more about safety & security at stations and on our trains.

Safety plan

We have achieved high standards through the rigorous application of our safety management system and its security strategy, where we are recognised as a leader in the field. The training of managers and employees in their safety roles is a key feature of our strategy.

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We have developed a dedicated safety training programme for managers and trade union health and safety representatives. 

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We work closely with both the British Transport Police and other local police forces to ensure the safety of our passengers and staff, participating in both the National Railway Security Programme and the London South Railway Crime Tasking Group.

We are closely involved in Government railway security planning and initiatives. Our network has helped host trials of 'anti-tank' style barriers at Waterloo and metal detectors at stations such as Portsmouth and Guildford. Staff are all trained in dealing with suspect packages and regulations are in place in relation to station and depot security. 

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We recognise that fatigue is influenced by hours, work patterns, working environment, nature of task, travelling time and social and domestic factors. Managing these issues effectively for employees undertaking safety critical tasks is crucial.

We have processes in place to ensure that we meet our regulatory obligations and good practice guidance from the Office of Rail Regulation. 

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Operational reduction and mitigations group

This is a joint workshop between us and Network Rail. Held every eight weeks, the workshops look at operational incidents such as signals passed at danger or level crossing incidents. The objective is to discuss how each incident has affected the running of the railway and what can be done in the future to prevent similar incidents occurring.

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Crumple zones

Our Desiro trains, which represent over half of our train fleet, all have in-built crumple zones designed to absorb impact in the event of a collision, much the same as modern cars. 

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Personal Security Groups (PSG)

These bring together our employees from across the functions with British Transport Police and, at local level, local authorities and crime reduction officers. PSGs look at ways of reducing crime and antisocial behaviour on trains and at stations, using a community partnership approach. 

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Dealing with conflict

Our employees have to work in a busy environment where tempers can often be frayed. Conflict avoidance training teaches them how to calm people down and to turn a situation around. We have a strict no touch policy.

We do not tolerate our employees being assaulted and will pursue cases through the courts. 

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CCTV investment

We have more than 4,000 CCTV cameras at stations and on trains. These provide the police and courts with vital evidence when pursuing criminal cases. They also reassure our passengers and employees on our network. 

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Rail Community Officers

We employ Rail Community Officers who work side-by-side with the British Transport Police (BTP) in providing a high profile uniformed presence on our stations and trains, while we also encourage and fund staff to work part-time as Special Constables.

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Improved lighting

Good lighting and well-maintained foliage make stations look more welcoming and improve security. We have introduced daylight lighting at Basingstoke station, and Network Rail has invested £1 million on lighting improvements at Clapham Junction. 

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Secure Stations

The Secure Stations scheme represents a national standard for passenger safety and security on Britain's railway stations. We have more than 50 Secure Stations, the highest of any train company. Each has to pass rigorous judging criteria including a passenger survey asking them how safe they feel, and looking at low crime rates. 

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CIRAS reporting line

The Confidential Incident Reporting and Analysis System is a way for frontline railway employees to report safety concerns that they feel unable to report through normal company channels. It offers a completely independent and confidential way for employees to report those concerns without fear of recrimination. It helps identify potentially dangerous practices, procedures, situations or incidents. 

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