Over three million euros are to be spent in 2016 by the Brussels government to strengthen both terrorism prevention and safety in certain metro and tram stations. The focus is upon those stations which present an increased risk of a more significant number of physical attacks. The Brussels Minister-President Rudi Vervoort (of the Socialist Party) and the Brussels Minister for Transport, Pascal Smet (of the Flemish Alternative Socialists) announced this provision yesterday (Thursday).
These resources granted to the STIB (the Brussels public transport operator) are intended to ensure the recruitment and an operational structure for the 107 station security officers and 15 supervising staff. This workforce’s remit is to improve security in the stations which are most at risk.
This new means of making public transport more secure will cost eight million euros annually, with effect from 2017.
Both ministers say that the mechanism in place constitutes a specific pillar of a more general project devoted to security within public transport. This is currently being developed jointly by the federal police and Bruxelles-Prévention & Sécurité (both of which, in this sphere aim to prevent terrorism and promote security in the Brussels region).
An agreement upon the coordination of these mechanisms will be concluded between these various partners to guarantee both strategic and operational direction of police capabilities.
There is a protocol for collaboration between the STIB, Actiris (a job and employment advice organisation), Bruxelles Formation (a training organisation) and VDAB Brussels (a public employment service) on the recruitment and training of interested parties. This helps in the selection of highly specific sought-after person specifications.
In Rudi Vervoort’s view, “It is vital to strengthen staff presence within the Brussels public transport system, in particular, owing to the positive effect that this has upon the sense of user safety.”
Pascal Smet commented, “As in other large cities, we are ploughing money into terrorism prevention and security by introducing security officers within metro stations. These measures will automatically have a positive effect, all the more so if they are applied across the whole network throughout the years to come.”