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    Railway company beefs up its anti-aggression plan

    © Belga
    © Belga

    Belgium’s national railway company, SNCB, has reinforced its anti-aggression master plan with a series of concrete actions. Since Monday, the number of guards deployed on trains by the railway security company, Securail, on trains has increased, particularly at night. The SNCB has also asked for a stronger federal railway police presence on trains. Finally, the railway company will intensify the frequency of its targeted, large-scale checks.

    Every month, more than 150 Securail teams will now be present on trains between 6.00 p.m. and 2.00 a.m., which means they will be on an additional 20 trains in the evening. Their deployment will be reviewed each week and adapted where needed, SNCB explained.

    The reinforcement of the federal railway police details will take Securail’s deployment plans into account so that more trains can be monitored closely.

    More large-scale actions will also be organised, resulting in an increased presence of Securail, the federal railway police and also Ticket Control teams in trains and stations in each district. “The objective is, above all, to provide an effective response to the problems,” the SNCB stated. “Moreover, these actions also have a dissuasive effect.”

    On Wednesday, a group of SNCB employees launched a #StopAgressionsSNCB action, which they had announced on Monday. These workers are also asking passengers to show their support by sticking a post-it bearing the inscription #StopAgressionsSNCB onto a tile in their carriage, taking a photo of it and sharing the image on social-media networks. Commuters can also simply send a message accompanied by the same hashtag on social media. The SNCB and the associations of railway users, Navetteurs.be and TreinTramBus, support this action.

    In 2017, a total of 1,165 attacks against railway employees on trains and in stations were recorded, an 11% increase from 2016, when there were 1,051 such cases. In comparison, 1,502 attacks were recorded in 2011.

    The SNCB has been implementing a global action plan comprising over 50 anti-aggression measures since 2007.

    Oscar Schneider
    The Brussels Times