Railway network is a target for lone shooters, says report, as RMT tells government not to fire public’s “eyes and ears”
The RMT has today called on the government to “wholly reject” the McNulty Rail Review proposals to axe station-based staff and guards on trains.
The call comes after the union was presented with a stark intelligence report from Southeastern Railways setting out a strategy for dealing with a Mumbai or Norway-style ‘active shooter’ attack on the railways with a warning that such an attack is a “strong possibility.”
The SouthEastern report is backed by a detailed advice and guidance note from British Transport Police that will be rolled out to all train operating companies saying “The railway infrastructure has previously been and is still regarded as an attractive target for terrorist groups” and citing the current threat as “substantial”.
General Secretary Bob Crow said: “We welcome and support any initiatives designed to keep the travelling public and staff safe in the event of an attack on the transport system and our reps are actively engaged in developing and implementing these plans.
“However, the government has got to face up to reality. Staff on the trains, stations, tracks and across the Tube network are the eyes and ears of the alert system and absolutely critical to implementing emergency and evacuation procedures of the kind we are discussing in light of the threat of an “active shooter” attack.
“To be considering axing literally thousands of these staff from the trains and the stations, which is the main thrust of the McNulty Rail Review, is an act of pure negligence on the part of the government and its advisers in light of the discussions we are having around emergency safety and security plans.
“Those same staff have already shown their value on the tube system at the time of the 7/7 bombings and yet more of those safety-critical workers are threatened by the TfL cuts plans. It is now time to face up to the realities of the current terrorist, crime and safety threats and call a halt to the jobs cull on our transport services.”
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