Secure Stations Scheme accreditation for rail operators
The Secure Stations Scheme for crime reduction at overground and underground train stations: how to apply, keep and renew your award.
If you are involved in the management of a train station, one of your top priorities should be to provide a safe railway station environment for passengers and staff. The risks and effects of crime and disorder can seriously harm your business.
The Secure Stations Scheme, which is managed by the Department for Transport (DfT) and British Transport Police (BTP), sets station design and management safety standards for crime reduction at overground and underground railway stations.
If your station complies with these standards, you can get an accreditation award. Displaying this certificate will increase public confidence in your station. The award lasts for 2 years, after which it needs to be renewed.
This guide sets out the benefits and costs of the scheme, how to apply, how to keep and renew your award, and other approved security schemes you may need to consider.
Benefits and costs of Secure Stations Scheme accreditation
If you are involved in the management of a train station, public disorder and anti-social behaviour can be difficult problems to deal with. The Secure Stations Scheme is managed by the DfT and BTP and gives you detailed guidelines to enable you to tackle public disorder effectively.
Benefits of accreditation
Your certification from the BTP will give assurance to the public. You can display the certificate at the station, in your signage and in your publicity materials. You could consider organising a publicity event when the certificate is awarded.
Meet the Secure Stations Scheme standards will help you to:
- prevent or reduce crime and disorder, providing a safer environment for passengers and staff
- increase passenger numbers
- reduce costs of repair following vandalism, graffiti, etc, and of lost staff time due to distress or injury
- gain good local publicity for your rail business
You may be able to obtain investment from other agencies, such as the local authority, to improve the station approaches.
Costs of accreditation
The main costs of Secure Stations Scheme accreditation involve design and management improvements. Some stations will meet the standard with little or no additional expenditure, while others will require major investment.
If you are responsible for part of a mainline station, some of the design and management aspects may be covered already by the main operator’s certificate from the Office of Rail Regulation.
For more information, contact our Compliance Administrative Support Manager on 020 7944 3288.
Prepare for Secure Stations Scheme accreditation
You should conduct an audit of your station to see how much it already complies with the Secure Stations Scheme standards, and to find out what changes are needed. The scheme guidelines suggest different ways of meeting the standards.
You should take into account any security measures already present at the station that have been taken by other organisations, and decide how you will work with these to keep the station secure.
Accreditation criteria and guidance
You will need approval from the local BTP for your application, and the BTP crime reduction officer (CRO) will help you prepare for the accreditation assessment. The CRO will identify the crime figures you need to supply with your application and help you conduct a passenger survey on personal security.
To achieve accreditation, you must show:
- how the station design conforms to security standards
- that you have policies and structures in place to prevent crimes, respond to incidents, and communicate effectively with passengers
- that your station’s crime statistics for the 12 months prior to inspection show that you are managing crime effectively
- your passengers feel secure using the station, through a passenger perceptions survey
The guidelines for accreditation set out detailed measures for design, management, and recording and monitoring crime and incidents, as well as how to monitor passenger perceptions and work with other organisations. They also offer solutions for problem stations and problem areas of high crime and social exclusion.
You will need to submit the following supporting documentation with your application:
- completed design and management audit
- passenger survey results
- crime and incident data
- passenger throughput figures
If you cannot meet the accreditation standards now but want to do so in the future, you can apply for an intermediary award while you work towards compliance.
Co-ordinate your rail station security measures with other organisations
As a part of your Secure Stations Scheme application, you will need to show how you will co-ordinate your security measures with other organisations.
Organisations that can contribute to your security systems and procedures include:
- your local authority
- the police
- other transport operators
- other businesses
- passenger groups
- voluntary organisations
There are also 2 other approved railway security schemes that you should be aware of. Other organisations that you work with may be accredited to them and this may affect you.
The Railway Safety Accreditation Scheme
The BTP operate a separate crime reduction scheme - the Railway Safety Accreditation Scheme. This sets standards for organisations and their employees, such as train drivers, ticket inspectors, station staff or security personnel. Certain staff can gain ‘accredited person’ status, which enables them to control anti-social behaviour by:
- issuing fines (penalty notices) for antisocial behaviour - eg harassment or intimidating behaviour or trespass
- requesting names and addresses of offenders
- confiscating alcohol and tobacco products from young people
For more information, see the guide on how to deal with anti-social behaviour on public transport.
You may wish to gain this accreditation in addition to the Secure Stations Scheme award to help you fight crime and undesirable behaviour around your station.
Safety authorisations from Office of Rail Regulation (ORR)
If you operate a mainline railway, you must comply with a number of technical safety standards to obtain authorisation from the ORR. Your safety management systems must co-ordinate with other mainline operators as well as with non-mainline services. These requirements are set out in the Railways and Other Guided Transport Systems (Safety) Regulations 2006 (ROGS).
If you use part of a mainline railway station, you will probably have to fit in with the main operator’s safety management system. Complying with the main operator’s safety measures may help you achieve the design and management aspects of the Secure Stations Scheme.
The ‘working towards Secure Stations Scheme accreditation’ award
Initially, you may not meet all the requirements of the Secure Stations Scheme. If you fall short because of exceptionally high levels of crime or the need for extensive station design and management, you can be awarded the ‘working towards Secure Stations Scheme accreditation’.
This award recognises the efforts you have made to reduce crime and disorder and encourages you to attain the full accreditation.
The award is given by the BTP on the basis of an action plan, which the BTP will help you draw up.
The award process
Your action plan needs to address - in a realistic and measurable way - the weaknesses identified by the crime information and the design and management audit of your station. The aim is for the station to meet the standards for full Secure Stations Scheme accreditation within a period of 6 to 18 months.
The action plan will need to be approved by the BTP independent accreditor and signed off by you and your local BTP. A copy is then sent to the DfT, which creates the ‘working towards Secure Stations Scheme accreditation’ award.
Progress in implementing the action plan is monitored by the Secure Stations Scheme steering group. The steering group can withdraw the award if you do not comply with the action plan or fail to deliver its planned outcomes within 18 months. If this happens, you could apply to the steering group for a new ‘working towards accreditation’ award.
For more information, contact our Compliance Administrative Support Manager on 020 7944 3288.
Keep and renew your Secure Stations Scheme accreditation
Once you have attained the Secure Stations Scheme accreditation, the award lasts for 2 years. After this period, you will need to show that your station still meets the standards in order to renew your certificate. To renew your certificate you must follow the same procedure as for the initial application.
During the 2 years you also need to show that you are keeping to the scheme’s standards. You will continue to work with the BTP after being awarded Secure Stations Scheme status. You need to demonstrate your compliance with the standards through crime and incident reports, staff training, equipment maintenance and effective cooperation with other organisations to reduce crime and disorder.
If you clearly breach the rules, the BTP crime reduction officer can apply to the Secure Stations Scheme steering group to withdraw your certificate.
For more information, you can contact our Compliance Administrative Support Manager on 020 7944 3288.
DfT Secure Station Scheme enquiry line
020 7944 3288