The SIA Approved Contractor scheme requires applicant companies to complete a stringent auditing process (both internal and external) which allows the SIA to measure compliance against the relevant British Standards. The audit process is quite intensive and makes stringent demands on applicants who must demonstrate exceptional rigour when implementing procedural and operational guidelines in security disciplines relevant to those particular British Standards. The relevant vetting documentation for security screening is BS: 7858 while site and mobile patrolling is covered by BS: 7499.
Nick Jones, Business Development Manager at Vital Rail Security, said: “The requirements of the SIA accreditation process are wide-ranging and call for best practice throughout an organisation. Vital have always had a mission for excellence and innovation in the way that we patrol rail sites and screen our staff. We are proud to have received SIA accreditation and hope this recognition as an Approved Contractor further demonstrates our commitment to continually raising standards.”
In the current climate of increasing cable theft, vandalism and trespass, effective rail security patrols demand a combination of human intelligence and judicious use of surveillance equipment. Joined-up thinking across both manned/mobile security and technology is also an essential part of any initial security assessment .
The SIA certification criteria for rail patrolling requires that applicants should be able to demonstrate a collaborative approach with other agencies who may include train operating companies (TOCs), police forces and British Transport Police. Vital Rail Security have an excellent relationship with BTP and other Police Forces and also ensure that any security solution is planned with the interests and concerns of all parties having been taken into consideration at an early stage.
Disruption to commuter rail lines has been estimated by the Environment Agency as costing TOCs up to £8,000 per minute. Rail security providers need to respond to this by conducting optimum screening of patrol personnel and then empowering them through a combination of training and technology.