ECMT Round Tables

European Conference of Ministers of Transport

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A series of conference proceedings on various transportation issues from the European Conference of Ministers of Transport, now known as the International Transport Forum.
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Vandalism, Terrorism and Security in Urban Public Passenger Transport

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02 June 2003
9789282103036 (PDF) ;9789282103012(print)

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The reader will find in this publication the recommendations which the Round Table made on ways to combat vandalism, namely:  the creation of local partnerships between all actors involved in crime prevention, policing and law enforcement;  exchanges of experience;  the issuing of guidelines on crime prevention and infrastructure design;  and publication of case studies of successes and failures.

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  • Report by T.FELTES Germany

    Over the past few years, increasing importance has been attached to the subject of public security in public places, in the streets and open spaces and particularly at stations, bus stops and any other places where people come into contact with strangers. Inspired by developments in New York and the "zero-tolerance" strategy followed there, urban and district authorities have begun to pay particular attention not only to public security but also to what is referred to as the "subjective sense of security", marred by the often groundless but all too common subjective fears and anxieties of citizens. Empirical studies in this field have shown that there is usually no correlation between the crimes reported in surveys (by the victims themselves), police records of crime and individuals’ subjective sense of security. In the case of Germany, for example, it has been possible to show that there is no connection between the levels of criminality in a city, region or federal state and the fear of crime and subjective sense of security revealed by surveys...

  • Report by A.CAIRE France

    The term "vandalism", originally used to describe the wilful destruction of works of art by a race of Germanic invaders, the Vandals, is today used in a much broader sense to mean the defacement or destruction of private or public property. This is also how it is construed in French law. Vandalism is a specific type of delinquent behaviour that is gratuitous, not acquisitive, in character. Acts of vandalism can be motivated by a number of factors -- sociological, psychological, ethnographic, etc. -- and fall into the category of provocative and aggressive behaviour, the search for an identity or social exclusion...

  • Report by S.DI SERIO Italy

    Security in public transport, alongside "traditional" parameters, such as punctuality, frequency, efficiency, etc., is increasingly becoming a central issue in the public debate on transport.It is a crucial issue for service provision because it involves all of the stakeholders. On the one hand, security concerns transport operators (their staff, vehicles and infrastructure), on the other, it affects public transport users. Thus the issue directly and indirectly concerns the whole community and, by its very nature, has to be considered as both a technical and social issue...

  • Report by J.STAFFORD United Kingdom

    There is evidence that public perceptions of insecurity and fear of crime are strongly influenced by the impression of public spaces which are unmanaged and appear "out of control" because of vandalism, litter and other negative features. The 1994 British Crime Survey data was used to conduct an analysis of factors contributing to anxiety about crime (Hough, 1996). It identified a direct link between perceptions of disorder and concern about crime, and this effect was independent of other factors, such as the actual level of crime...

  • Other Contributions, A.DWYER United Kingdom

    This paper examines the impact of terrorist incidents against the railways of England, Scotland and Wales, the management of which is the responsibility of the British Transport Police. The subject is examined from the perspective of the IRA campaign of the 1991-97 period and the ongoing attacks of the Real-IRA. The paper also addresses a number of issues associated with mass terrorism; specifically, the heightened concern relating to an attack incorporating a chemical or biological material...

  • Summary of discussions

    Subjective perceptions of the security risks involved in using public transport are high in all European countries. However, comparison of the number of robberies or assaults committed in public transport environments with those committed within the urban area as a whole shows that, while genuine, such fears are nevertheless exaggerated. There is a far greater risk of being attacked, robbed or sexually assaulted within an urban area as a whole than within a public transport environment. Indeed, three-quarters of all assaults take place within the home. Despite these figures, however, surveys show that a majority of public transport users do not feel safe when they use public transport services at night...

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