Monday 10 June 2024

The UIC Security Division participates in the COLPOFER 77th General Assembly

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The 77th COLPOFER General Assembly took place in Riga, Latvia, on 30-31 May 2924 and hosted by the Latvian Railways (LDZ), bringing togther almost 40 participants from all over Europe.

The COLPOFER UIC Special Group, which operates as a Group of Experts in the European region within the UIC Security Platform, works to improve the protection of people, premises, trains, and information within the railway system through strong cooperation between railway police forces and railway company security organisations.

In his opening address, Roberto Massi from the Italian State Railways (FS), President of COLPOFER, emphasised the need for the organisation to meet the evolving challenges of the time by further strengthening cooperation with all the relevant stakeholders in the railway security domain (such as the International Association of Public Transport (UITP), and RAILPOL). In particular, Massi thanked François Davenne, UIC Director General, and Marie-Hélène Bonneau, Head of the Security Division, for their commitment to furthering the collaboration and joint initiatives of the two organisations.

The morning of the first day saw interesting presentations from Latvian public authorities (including LEAs and First Responders), framing today’s security challenges in light of the current European geopolitical context. In the afternoon, the chair of each COLPOFER Working Group (Major Events, Pan-European corridor X, Cyber Crime, Fraud and Ticket Forgery, Terrorist and Extremist Activities, and Graffiti) provided the audience with updates on the latest activities and initiatives undertaken since the previous assembly meeting.
Bonneau and Bruno De Rosa, UIC Senior Security Advisor, gave a joint presentation, outlining the latest activities carried out within the UIC Security Platform working groups and the respective deliverables (guidance documents, best practices, reports) that will be produced and disseminated to members within the coming months.

The meeting participants also received information about the latest security solutions added to the UIC Security Hub platform (e.g., Security Control Centres) and the different topics addressed, on the Security Platform members’ initiative, through the cooperative Network of Quick Responders tool (e.g., driver cabin security, safe places for high-speed trains).

The progress made within the EU-(co)funded projects IMPRESS and CYRUS was also presented to the meeting attendees, along with a proposal from the UIC Security Division for a new initiative to be jointly undertaken by UIC and COLPOFER. The new project would, on a yearly basis, assess the threat landscape in the European railway domain from the railway companies’ perspective via a questionnaire. The proposal was enthusiastically received by the COLPOFER members, who agreed to further detail and refine the new initiative’s plans in the coming months.

On the second day, the participants took part in an interesting technical visit organised by LDZ to one of the Rail Baltica building sites, testifying to the wide-scale impact expected from the project, both on a strategical and operational level.

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