Mitigating security vulnerabilities of local authorities

Department for Transport issues new preventative terrorism guidance for local authorities

Introduction

The Department for Transport (“DfT”) has renewed its Guidance to local authorities (“the Guidance”) on anti terrorism measures that should be taken in areas adjacent to national rail, light rail, bus and coach stations, termini and passenger transport hubs.

The Guidance

The Guidance aims to compliment the transport sector’s anti terrorism efforts by encouraging the provision of a holistically safe approach to both transport hubs and also the surrounding areas (managed by local authorities).The Guidance, which replaces the 2003 Guidance, contains the latest good practice security measures.

The Dft has focused on a range of local authority functions when considering anti terrorism measures, to include planning, transport and highways. Specifically, local authorities are encouraged to consider:

  • Street parking controls in and around transport hubs;
  • The training and education of local authority employees in relation to vigilance and their reporting responsibilities of suspicious items and/or circumstances;
  • Whether there is a requirement for hostile vehicle mitigation measurers and, if so, the location of them;
  • The safe installation of street furniture, such as planters, to ensure they do not impede exit routes from the transport hub or provide a place for concealment of terrorism material;
  • Whether the street bins’ composition are blast resistant;
  • The licensing of street vendors and the location of their trade stalls around transport hubs;
  • How bicycle lockers will provide the emergency services with access at short notice whilst still remaining secure; and
  • Collaboration with transportation hubs in relation to the positioning of CCTV cameras to ensure maximum coverage of all adjacent spaces outside the transport hubs.

The full guidance can be accessed via the Department of Transport October 2017 article on the government website.

Comment

This updated guidance comes at a time of increased risk in terms of the UK terror threat. As ever, some of the measures recommended in the guidance may present a financial challenge in the current climate of austerity. However, the guidance is useful in highlighting the important role that local authorities can potentially play in the sphere of counter terrorism in the transport sector.

If you require any assistance on the guidance or strategic planning please contact:

Peter Wake, Partner on 0151 242 6866 (peter.wake@weightmans.com or;

Jacqui Bickerton, Associate and Professional Support Lawyer on 0151 242 6846 (jacqui.bickerton@weightmans.com)

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