Security on trains

Should anything more be done to promote and encourage safety and security on trains? Today’s worrying news makes this a topical question which I would be interested to hear about.

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84 Comments

  1. Posted August 23, 2015 at 7:54 am | Permalink

    Keep guards on trains (especially those with lockable toilets) and recruit more of them from the military. Preference should be given to those with active service experience.

    Otherwise there is nothing else we can do. Terrorists can strike anywhere with little preparation and a minimal amount of equipment – a stolen lorry will do.

    They can also slip through our borders unchecked and in large numbers.

    There will be more terrorism as different groups – which have sought economic refuge here – begin to demand equalities with the existing population.

    • Posted August 23, 2015 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

      On a train with say ten carriages and say one guard, the guard is unlikely to be able to stop a terrorist slaughtering passengers. As for one guard per carriage, that costs too much.

      • Posted August 23, 2015 at 8:41 pm | Permalink

        People are more likely to report to a guard anyone suspicious or anyone locked in a toilet perhaps longer than they should be. Not just terrorism, but any crime.

        The guard can help expedite stoppage of the train at a strategic point where police ARVs or bomb squads can be deployed. He can also relay messages to the driver to do this.

        This was done numerous times during the IRA terror campaigns.

        Passengers can’t do any of this on their own. Of course the guard doesn’t stop the terrorist himself, but should help with the coordination of a good emergency response.

        As with anywhere – the public are the first line of defence with terrorists. If they have the opportunity they should pile in or get everyone away.

      • Posted August 24, 2015 at 5:17 am | Permalink

        Exactly, not very much they can do beyond better intelligence and rewarding people to whistle blow. Make one target secure and there are always plenty more to go for. Shops, concerts, cinemas, buses, tubes, office blocks …….

        Still, they could stop using taxpayers money to augment divisions in society through funding religious schools. Far better intelligence on the terrorist groups is what is needed. You cannot even deter people (driven by religion and prepared even to blow themselves up) by strong sentences.

        As Obama said: “If you look at the number of Americans killed since 9/11 by terrorism, it’s less than 100. If you look at the number that have been killed by gun violence, it’s in the tens of thousands.”

        Perhaps we need to tackle the real problems based on the statistical scale of the problems, be these road deaths or gun crime whatever the cause. The best this to for terrorism is usually clear up the mess and try to move on. Just as we do after a train, plane or car accident.

  2. Posted August 23, 2015 at 8:11 am | Permalink

    In the movie The Great Escape the German Security operative tricked the British actor Gordon Jackson playing McDonald into revealing his identity by finally and suddenly switching languages, saying “Good Luck” in Jackson’s native tongue. Probably not work in the present scenario.
    We will just have to pray US Marines just love our cute and quaint rail service.

    • Posted August 25, 2015 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

      Better than the largely non-existent at totally crap US rail absence-of-service

  3. Posted August 23, 2015 at 8:23 am | Permalink

    But what about safety and security at airshows? Or in shopping malls (as shown by the Kenya example) or on unseaworthy ferries (Korea)? Most human activity involves some risk and sadly we live in an age when what risk arises is heightened by terror activities.

    There is no limit to the number and extent of measures that can be adopted and if trains become a favoured target of terrorists then no doubt extra measures will be called for. An aspect the terrorist cannot allow for is vigilence by the public and so that (as stopped the train attack) is perhaps to be encouraged more than extra restrictions and checks.

  4. Posted August 23, 2015 at 8:24 am | Permalink

    No I don’t think there is much you can do about the security on trains it would be unworkable.

    I am afraid this is the cost of throwing away the collective security that a common culture and values gave us for the joys of a fractured multicultural non-country.

    • Posted August 23, 2015 at 10:31 am | Permalink

      @Iain Moore

      “I am afraid this is the cost of throwing away the collective security that a common culture and values gave us for the joys of a fractured multicultural non-country.”

      How very true, you’ve put into words what most are afraid to even think!

      • Posted August 23, 2015 at 8:45 pm | Permalink

        And the cost, both financial and in personal freedom, is never ever deducted when they say what a boon multiculturalism has been to the economy.

        What about the cost in lives, hard cash and international reputation in military actions conducted to ‘keep terror off our streets’ ?

        Billions has been spent making it a success.

    • Posted August 23, 2015 at 7:48 pm | Permalink

      Iain

      Well said.

      Agree absolutely.

    • Posted August 28, 2015 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

      How very true your last statement is. The country has been destroyed. nothing can currently be done to remedy the malaise. Any suggestion at act to improve the country asa whole is immediately attacked by some lobby group or charity with an axe to grind and since these groups accuse all others of racism or some other ism nothing can be done. The opposition by these groups is a kind of floating opposition. There are so many of them that there will always be one active in opposing any proposed solution to a problem. However, that said the more publicly obvious groups seem to belong mainly on the left of the political spectrum. There also exist other forces at work which I believe are more organised and more sinister.
      Some like Common Purpose have infiltrated all forms of public service and act a the representatives of vested interest groups who manipulate them. Others are loose ideologically orientated groupings who seek to influence changes in an organised but piecemeal fashion. Adherents to the Frankfurt School with its 24 objectives to bring about societal changes by constantly altering public perceptions. A clear example of this approach is through the media, particularly the BBC operating a ‘softly softly catchee monkey’ approach. A clear example of a good result for the Frankfurt Scool emerged recently with the statements that nearly 50% of young people had blurred ideas about their sexuality. The blurring of the differentiation of the sexes is one of the stated aims of the Frankfurt School in its quest to destroy Western Civilisation
      One could go tediously on with more examples but I suggest the slumbering masses have a look at the Frankfurt Manifesto (on the web) and see just how much has been brought to fruition. There does seem to be a multifaceted, but rather loose, conspiracy afoot, although possibly conspiracy is too strong a word. It is more like some sort of diffuse sub-Zeitgeist, with supporting pinpricks of change from a ide variety of disparate groups.

  5. Posted August 23, 2015 at 8:25 am | Permalink

    I have used the Thalys service. On the whole it’s best not to allow ourselves to be terrorised. We have given up too much of the freedom we profess to be protecting.
    Our resources to deal with the threats are stretched so we should use them in a rational way and try not to give in to the temptation to introduce more security theatre to be seen to be doing something.

    That being said the Chinese have security including metal detectors for baggage screening and pat downs for all passengers on their high speed trains. Passengers have to show ID cards or passports when buying tickets.
    They manage to do this with minimal delays, though it means extra staff and expense clearly.

    • Posted August 23, 2015 at 11:42 am | Permalink

      I should add that the attack at Kunming Station in 2014 that left 28 dead occurred outside the station in the concourse and in the ticket hall before security checks.
      So the attack was displaced but not prevented.

  6. Posted August 23, 2015 at 8:37 am | Permalink

    I sense that our security service MI5 do a very good job in pre-empting the slime who would blow us all up given half a chance. I question whether our government are up to the task.

    Words left out ed

    Everybody these days carries I/D cards, whether they be driving licences, bank card, store cards, or health cards for overseas travel. I see no objection for everyone to have a national identity card on which is stored sufficient information to reassure a pass through identity check at public transport entry and exit points. It might have the added advantage of weeding out all the illegal immigrants in much the same way as untaxed and uninsured vehicles can be identified. Legitimate foreign visitors will always have their passports for the same purpose.

    Government could also put an end to our open borders policy by leaving the EU. It is only a matter of time before the overwhelmed authorities in Greece or Italy give the swarms of immigrants entering their countries passports allowing free travel in the EU. We can then not stop them coming to the UK, and who knows who we will be getting.

    I had a very reassuring experience last week. Came off the Autovia and on approaching the underpass was greeted with a ten man Policia National ambush, all tooled up with machine guns. They all looked fit enough to do a hundred meters in twelve seconds. Such events are intelligence led and are usually directed at drugs or terrorism, very reassuring.

    • Posted August 23, 2015 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

      ‘I sense that our security service MI5 do a very good job in pre-empting the slime who would blow us all up given half a chance. I question whether our government are up to the task.’…… Is that sentiment or do you have any proof whatsoever of that assessment. If you do, please tell us, we are all ears ?

      zorro

      • Posted August 23, 2015 at 8:51 pm | Permalink

        Zorro – Luckily for all the terrorists are more like the buffoons out of the film Four Lions.

        They are usually prosecuted for offences peripheral to actual terrorism.

      • Posted August 24, 2015 at 6:24 am | Permalink

        The proof is written on the wall. Government has to act in a way that supports security measures. Ours does not. It allows re-entry of jihadists after their gap year in Syria. It fails to control our borders and the influx of in excess of 600,000 immigrants last year by insisting on remaining in the EU and obeying every dictat that comes from Brussels. It even undermines UK security by bowing to all the legal judgements that flow from the EU. What more do you want.

  7. Posted August 23, 2015 at 8:38 am | Permalink

    Let’s see exactly what happened and how it happened. We are told that a man got on a train with a gun, AK47 and a pair of “boxcutters” (9/11). How did the AK47 get on? The man’s gun is supposed to have jammed, the AK wasn’t used and the soldiers just happened to be in the right carriage….. And now we get mandatory security checks on trains? How do we stop guns being used in the streets? Search people before they leave their homes?

    zorro

    • Posted August 23, 2015 at 8:41 am | Permalink
      • Posted August 23, 2015 at 11:40 am | Permalink

        1137hrs entry – unnamed victim – bullet wound to the chest – no surgical procedure planned??

        zorro

    • Posted August 23, 2015 at 8:45 am | Permalink

      The attacker is supposed to have shouted…. “give me back my gun”. Was the man under surveillance at the time being supposedly a known extremist free to travel at Liberty across Europe’s borders?

      zorro

      • Posted August 23, 2015 at 11:19 am | Permalink

        More questions – how many people were allegedly shot after the Marines heard a gun being loaded when passing a toilet on a noisy high speed train?
        Was it two or three people seriously injured by shots (bearing in mind a statement from the Élysées Palace claimed this) being fired or was it one person when the AK was fired or not fired, or was it actually no people were injured or shot and it’s a load of old baloney?

        zorro

  8. Posted August 23, 2015 at 9:02 am | Permalink

    Obviously airport security check systems won’t work, nor does being on any security/threat watch list I note. Looks like a lot of work has to be done in following up those holding/exhibiting extremist views, linked attitude and activities. Etc ed
    Those old single compartment train coaches may suddenly have a new lease of life? A train marshal in each compartment with CCTV?

    The biggest weakness is Europe..as we see too often. And that place will remain a major security problem whether we are in the EU or out.

    UKIP is right on immigration as is Tony Abbot, Etc ed
    Security activities have to be stepped up and needs to be extremely harsh…ultimately.

  9. Posted August 23, 2015 at 9:03 am | Permalink

    This is part of a wider problem, and something which needs addressing at the SDSR – not just on trains and at stations but in many other areas.

    Police presence at stations and on trains needs to be greater – nothing will stop a lunatic blowing himself up, but that’s a Security Service prevention issue. Visibility is really important – one or two coppers on a train would provide reassurance as well as a deterrent. However, whilst the govt keeps cutting Police numbers it won’t happen.

    Private security could be the way forward – there’s never a shortage of manpower for that industry, but knowing the way it’s going, it wouldn’t be British guards, it would be (recent migrants? Ed) Purely because they’re cheaper.

    • Posted August 23, 2015 at 5:51 pm | Permalink

      I don’t want to seem unduly pessimistic or to give encouragement to the enemy, but, quite frankly, anyone so inclined could cause mayhem at any one of a thousand venues, trains, buses, shopping centres, theatres , cinemas- I could go on, and you could all add to the list indefinitely.
      Clearly some outward sign of protection would encourage people to live normally, but it’s idle to pretend that screening could be practical in other than very limited circumstances such as air travel or political meetings.
      What would change, if there were many, daily attacks throughout the land, would be the attitude of the public and politicians alike to the importance of our liberties and freedom to go about daily life normally. Frankly, it would become less sacrosanct.

  10. Posted August 23, 2015 at 9:23 am | Permalink

    JR: “Should anything more be done to promote and encourage safety and security on trains?”

    Yes. Repeal the handgun ban in the UK.

    Why should criminals and murderers be the only one’s able to defend themselves?

    Otherwise no, the government has already made air travel a hell, and not caught one terrorist as a result of its intrusive scanning, stripping and ritual humiliation of ordinary travellers.

    • Posted August 23, 2015 at 10:46 am | Permalink

      @APL

      “the government has already made air travel a hell, and not caught one terrorist as a result of its intrusive scanning, stripping and ritual humiliation of ordinary travellers.”

      Don’t to rise to provocation from the staff at the airport checkpoints. One cross word from you and you cold miss your flight while they give you a going over in one of the side rooms (unless you enjoy “protected characteristic” status of course).

      • Posted August 23, 2015 at 7:29 pm | Permalink

        Bob: “One cross word from you and you cold miss your flight while they give you a going over in one of the side rooms ”

        Been there done that! But it’s the bovine stupidity of the ‘security staff’, absolutely no discretion at all.

        Shortly after 9/11 I flew out of the local airport. Going through the security ordeal in front of me was a lady of advanced years, the witch on security ‘duty’ confiscated a tiny pair of nail scissors. The old lady could only say, ‘I’ve had those thirty years, they were a gift …”

        No discretion no compassion straight into the rubbish bin.

        • Posted August 24, 2015 at 10:39 am | Permalink

          They took away my mum’s shampoo as well, because the bottle was over 100ml.

          She’s 83 and blind.

          An obvious terrorist.

          • Posted August 25, 2015 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

            Like, I’m an obvious terrorist too – life member of CAMRA & a card-carrying atheist ….

  11. Posted August 23, 2015 at 9:27 am | Permalink

    Airline type security would not be very feasible given the numbers people and train stations involved. A determined terrorist would simply change the angle, method and target of attack. The Woolwich attack on a service man is an example. I also understand that two men, dressed in black, made what are believed to be linked axe attacks on two shops in Slough in the past few days; fortunately no one was killed and only minor injuries sustained. The object is to cause terror; trains are but one place to attempt this, there is no shortage of other public places.

  12. Posted August 23, 2015 at 9:41 am | Permalink

    Today’s news of the of the way an extremist was dealt with suggests the best security is in the hands of the travelling public .

    • Posted August 23, 2015 at 11:26 am | Permalink

      @Bert Young

      “the best security is in the hands of the travelling public”

      Quite so, to paraphrase Wayne LaPierre; the best defence against a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.

      • Posted August 24, 2015 at 7:17 pm | Permalink

        Bob: ” … a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.”

        And guess what? Our government, the one that is so eager to sell out our freedoms in the name of ‘our way of life’ has made sure there are no good guys with any defensive weapons at all.

  13. Posted August 23, 2015 at 9:49 am | Permalink

    I have often been on that particular train to Paris. I’m often on Dutch trains as well. Apart from intelligence and plain-clothed police I see no scope for more security measures. It is a reality to live with. Many of the security measures in air transport seem overdone and take the fun out of flying.

    • Posted August 23, 2015 at 3:28 pm | Permalink

      We are told that being part of the EU is good for collective security. Bollocks. Brussels refuses to tackle the refugee crisis and allow terrorists to roam freely amongst us.
      800,000 (refugees ed, not terrorists) in Germany, just wait for the next significant atrocity etc. It won’t end well. The populace of the EU are getting fed up of (this ed)

      • Posted August 23, 2015 at 8:51 pm | Permalink

        @ian wragg: Believe me or not, they are all human beings. It feel sometimes as though we have more sympathy for the refugees during WWII than those who nowadays flee conflict in Syria or Afghanistan.
        War between EU member states is something of the past, but we cannot close our eyes for the wars around us. The EU will indeed have to identify the problem, agree an agenda to combat this problem and implement it. There is nothing simple about the intertwined challenges of migration and refugees. No wall or iron curtain will stop determined terrorists, they might already live among us, not needing more than internet to be converted to terror.

        • Posted August 24, 2015 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

          Peter – The back drop to this is a couple of decades of mass immigration into our country. Most of it is economic, not political.

          We have been magnificent in our acceptance of it but our patience has been stretched wafer thin already.

  14. Posted August 23, 2015 at 10:01 am | Permalink

    Well, the obvious course of action is to further tighten up gun laws so that innocent people are not allowed to own any firearms at all, not for sporting purposes or vermin control and least of all for their personal protection. That should sort out any (terrorists ed) armed with AK-47s who have been allowed into our country by our wise government.

    • Posted August 23, 2015 at 7:35 pm | Permalink

      Denis Cooper: ” … who have been allowed into our country by our wise government.”

      Judging by the shenanigans at Calais / Sangatte our government has probably imported half a dozen terrorist cells already.

    • Posted August 25, 2015 at 4:09 am | Permalink

      ” the obvious course of action ” ??

      That’s the accepted “wisdom” in the USA, true. But, do we want young teenagers shot as suspected burglars when the reality is they are just sneaking out of their girlfriend’s bedroom window in the early hours of the morning?

      Or citizens being shot when their folded umbrella is mistaken for a firearm?

      These aren’t fictitious incidents unfortunately. Furthermore, we all know what can happen when mentally ill youngsters get their hands on powerful firearms.

      There’s no simple answer to boosting security other than to ask everyone to be vigilant. We do need to get these risks in perspective however. There are many many more people killed on the roads, and even by aerosol pollution, than in terrorist incidents.

      • Posted August 25, 2015 at 6:24 am | Permalink

        petermartin2001: “Or citizens being shot when their folded umbrella is mistaken for a firearm? ”

        You mean like Harry Stanley? A painter and decorator shot dead by British police in 1999 for the crime of carrying a table leg in the street?

        No, we don’t want that happening in the UK.

  15. Posted August 23, 2015 at 10:27 am | Permalink

    (words left out ed) only lately have the Establishment deigned to talk about the issues surrounding decades of lax border controls have brought about.

    And until we get rid of politically correct attitudes, and the people in the police, the judiciary and politics who promote them, and robust action taken to stop and search more widely and deport aliens (presumably illegals or people posing a threat?ed)immediately they are found there will be more attacks and attempted attacks.

    We are woefully short of men and women of courage in positions of power. Those who have it are suppressed and smeared by significant vested interests. There are too many leaders and opinion-formers who prefer to compromise; they no doubt see themselves as sane voices of ‘reason’ but their weaknesses and naivety is taken advantage of every time, and the ordinary people and our long-held beliefs are being allowed to be eroded and crushed as a result.

    • Posted August 23, 2015 at 5:54 pm | Permalink

      More sentences censored. A pity you think your readers are not adult enough to handle them. Have I hit a nerve with my final paragraph?

      • Posted August 23, 2015 at 9:05 pm | Permalink

        So much editing.

        I can’t believe that contributors here would use anything other than normal language.

        We don’t have free speech anymore.

  16. Posted August 23, 2015 at 10:29 am | Permalink

    You are all asking the wrong questions. A man was on a train and wanted to kill as many people as possible. The problem is not AK47s the problem is the fact a human being wanted to do this. Etc ed

  17. Posted August 23, 2015 at 10:48 am | Permalink

    Having read a selection of the press from France, Spain, and the Netherlands it appears that this terrorist has an interesting history, involving being apprehended for drug running in Spain and in Ceuta and noted for his attachment to radical Islamic groups in Spain and in Belgium. He was considered internationally dangerous, with information being passed from the Spanish authorities to the French when he moved. Allegedly, he visited Syria last year, travelling via Berlin and Turkey. Having lived in Spain since 2007 (mainly in Algeciras which hosts a radical community), he moved to France and then Belgium, using his Schengen free pass from his Spanish settlement rights (despite the drug incidents). The French DGSI intelligence services classified him as “S” – a potential threat to the state. In Belgium he is being associated with a gang that was broken up by the Belgian police in the days after the Charlie Hebdo massacre in Paris, which was said to be planning a mass murder attack with Kalshinikovs and other weapons – originally reported e.g. here:

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/belgium-terror-raids-suspected-jihadists-shot-dead-wanted-to-launch-attack-on-police-as-second-paris-averted-9981899.html

    There is nothing special about trains except that targets are confined: such terrorists could strike anywhere there are large numbers of people gathered. We’ve seen shopping centres (Kenya) – but why not Bluewater or Westfield, upmarket hotels (Mumbai) – but why not Claridges or the Savoy, beaches (Tunisia) – but why not Brighton or Blackpool.

    The only real question is why the authorities take no action to remove these people, despite them being on the intelligence radar for years beforehand. Terrorist after terrorist is “known to the authorities”, and allowed to live in our midst. The best security is simply to kick them out. For that we need laws and judges prepared to do the necessary. We’d have less trouble if they were diplomats: they could simply be expelled for “activities incompatible with their status” and on a plane within 48 hours.

    • Posted August 24, 2015 at 7:11 am | Permalink

      Quite right Mark. Why are they allowed to stay, strip them of citizenship and dispatch them to live amongst those who share this murderous desire of certain humans to slaughter.

  18. Posted August 23, 2015 at 10:58 am | Permalink

    I’m afraid, the terrorist will always get through, and that is because they have the advantage of knowing where they will strike, and when. We can’t have security everywhere.

    Terrorists come about because of the uselessness of politicians, first to create a climate where people are at peace, and second, through their inability to get rid of the kind of trash that is prepared to take innocent lives without misgivings or regret.

    We can also include criminals generally, but again, the politicians have consistently proved themselves inadequate to the task of properly protecting the public, so we can expect more of it until such time the problem comes up and bites them firmly on their own backsides before we get any meaningful action. All the soft-talking BS doesn’t work. We need grit and determination.

    Tad Davison

    Cambridge

  19. Posted August 23, 2015 at 11:03 am | Permalink

    My only recent train travel experience to/from Paris or Brussels has been by Eurostar, requiring a valid ticket and having to go through a security screen. I felt safe.
    Domestic train travel in this country is controlled by local laws and habits and I also feel safe here. I would guess this sort of arrangement works quite well in other countries with strong laws.
    In our near field of view, it leaves cross-border train travel within Europe. I don’t know what the ticketing and security arrangements are, but it appears they leave something to be desired.
    I know nothing about gun control within Europe either.
    Congratulations to all the passengers who acted quickly to prevent a disaster.

  20. Posted August 23, 2015 at 11:04 am | Permalink

    Why is it that all these attackers are known to the security services and never stopped, apart from supposed unaccountable events which are never disclosed?

    With 7/7, the security services said that the alleged attackers were not known, until Mr Sarkozy helpfully said that they were known and that they had even recorded conversations for the security services the year before……

    John Stevens undertook an investigation into Northern Ireland terrorist attacks/incidents 15 years ago and out of over 200 such people who were involved, guess how many were NOT connected to the security services/other agencies…..?

    zorro

  21. Posted August 23, 2015 at 11:18 am | Permalink

    There is not much you can do – airport style security is impractical on trains – outisde London tickets are not even checked regularly. Terrorists can strike anywhere there is a large gathering of people so it would be pointless anyhow. The biggest threat to public security is the naivity about it that seems still to exist in the Judiciary and some public bodies. The police are doing a good job in prevently many attacks but they cannot stop 100%. People from other cultures are pouring into this country, many illegally – a (few? Ed)will disapprove of & want to change our customs and ways and (possibly someone ed)will want to do it by force – as we are now seeing across Europe and the Western world.

  22. Posted August 23, 2015 at 11:26 am | Permalink

    First we need to have a viable, working high speed train service, then we should worry about securing it. Ultimately, what is the risk we are mitigating, its likelyhood, impact, etc and is it justified by more security theatre?

    Aaron

    • Posted August 23, 2015 at 8:54 pm | Permalink

      There’s still more chance of passengers being killed by a car on a crossing that by terrorism.

  23. Posted August 23, 2015 at 11:31 am | Permalink

    How about not letting the terrorists in in the first place, rather than letting them in and then using that as an excuse to restrict public freedom even further?

    • Posted August 23, 2015 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

      Nicely put Barbara ?

      zorro

    • Posted August 23, 2015 at 7:39 pm | Permalink

      Barbara1: “rather than letting them in and then using that as an excuse to restrict public freedom even further?”

      Bingo!

      Am I the only one who has to suppress the vomit reflex when I listen to Blair or nowadays Cameron ( can barely tell them apart from their verbage ) telling us how much more secure we will be when (Mrs ed) May has finished curtailing our freedoms, all in the name of protecting our way of life.

      • Posted August 24, 2015 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

        JR: “(Mrs ed) May”

        Ho ho.

    • Posted August 25, 2015 at 4:33 am | Permalink

      “How about not letting the terrorists in in the first place” ??

      Unfortunately terrorists don’t have that word tattooed on their foreheads. We can’t assume anything about anyone’s nationality, ethnic grouping or appearance.

      There was, by all accounts, an ethnically white English born woman involved in the terrorist massacre in Nairobi a few years ago. The Chechen “black widows” wouldn’t stand out from the crowd on any suburban high street if they chose the right clothing. Then there’s always the possibility of the re-emegence of ultra left, or ultra right, terrorists like the “Red Brigades” and others of a similar mentality to Anders Breivik.

  24. Posted August 23, 2015 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

    Curiouser and curiouser….. 1337hrs update….. So this grade 3 (serious threat) was allowed to roam willy nilly apparently…… 1137hrs update…. Also after nearly three days, we hear of the first person who allegedly stopped the attacker….. An unnamed French American business man who was shot in the chest (no surgical procedure necessary according to Doctor Goldstein) and is described as “an exceptional person with great calm’… John, what I want to know is if he was in a stable condition with no surgery necessary why didn’t he get presented with a medal like the others. That would have been a good photo opportunity. Is there no justice in the world…..?

    zorro

  25. Posted August 23, 2015 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

    My question would be that if he was a known extremist why was he allowed to travel around Europe in the first place. Such people if they are not from their host country should be deported for security reasons regardless of any human rights crap

  26. Posted August 23, 2015 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

    Well you could start by switching the street lightning back on after midnight near train stations that are still open and running. Eric pickles push to switch lights off after midnight when people are still using the stations has been a disaster. At the very least they could keep one light in three on.

    • Posted August 23, 2015 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

      Make a simple rule if it’s called station road leave the blooming lights on.
      🙂 is this so hard for our political masters

  27. Posted August 23, 2015 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

    This is what the authorities want the public to take away from this event…..

    1. Be afraid. Constantly.
    2. Trains are also dangerous. We must have biometric ID cards to travel on trains.
    3. More legislation and more money is needed to track and stop radicalized individuals in Europe.
    4. We need to ‘tackle immigration’ from North Africa and the Middle East where all the supposed terrorists are coming from.
    5. We need trained military personnel on our trains because they are the only ones who know how to ‘stop a terrorist.‘
    6. We must confront ISIS in the Middle East, “before they hit us at home.”

    zorro

    • Posted August 23, 2015 at 9:17 pm | Permalink

      Zorro

      Seems to me that our governments think that these terrorists are our friends and should be welcomed here. Nobody seems concerned that we have people running around with guns and still think we should welcome all from Syria and other Western hating countries. I can remember 12 years ago driving from Spain into France and not showing a passport once. I also remember being shown onto the tunnel train and not being asked about shotguns we were carrying – legally, but they didn’t know that. We said at the time how easy it would be to get over here and cause trouble. It seems to me that all this will become normality soon.

  28. Posted August 23, 2015 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

    Of course, we could reduce the chance of such incidents by halting third world migration and deporting those who are here illegally.

  29. Posted August 23, 2015 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

    I think there is little more than can be done in practical terms, as wherever there are groups of people there is the potential for a terrorist outrage. But there are two things that the general public can do:

    1. Support our security services, by being as appalled as I am by the current Robin Hood attitude of our left-wing press and the public to such disclosures as Wikileaks and Edward Snowden. Their revelations have been very useful to our enemies which has made life very much harder for our security forces to keep us safe. These revelations may well cost more innocent UK civilian lives and it will be the same people that support these disclosures who will be bleating first and the loudest over the failure of our security services to protect us.

    2. Make sure you don’t leave luggage unattended and remember to take it with you and by reporting any suspicious activity.

    Our security services have done a remarkably effective job to date in thwarting many attacks since 7/7 but I think it is inevitable that there will be more where our security services have to be ‘lucky’ every time and a terrorist only once!

    Personally, I can’t understand the mentality of so many people who like to kill and maim people and inflict so much misery, sorrow and suffering. There are enough natural tragedies in life without deliberately adding to them. If everybody consciously made decisions to make the world a better place, so their epitaph was that the world was better for their life than worse, then everything would be better for all of us.

    • Posted August 23, 2015 at 5:23 pm | Permalink

      There is plenty that can be done if the security services got on with their job instead of trying to preserve the conditions which keep them in a job…..

      1. Dream on – those disclosures have been very good at showing how useless our security services are on occasions too. So criticism can be useful particularly when security services are reticent to say anything about anything so how can any of their assertions be tested. They are though very good at intervening or stopping various investigations into the crimes of others….
      2. Please don’t state the obvious….

      zorro

    • Posted August 24, 2015 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

      “our security services have done a remarkably effective job to date in thwarting many attacks since 7/7” – how do you know? they continually make reference to themselves having done a brilliant job, but there is no evidence whatsoever.

      I am firmly convinced that rather like global warming, the danger is vastly exaggerated for the convenience of the political class.

  30. Posted August 23, 2015 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

    @Zorro. I am not sure what you are on about. If you are trying to pick holes in the news story, you are wide of the mark because there are too many unknowns in it.

    There is nothing much we can do apart from ensure (a) gun controls are stringent (b) airline -style security is put in HS2 if it ever built. Additional alarms on trains, selling bullet proof vests, putting first aid on the National Curriculum are all going to be of little use.

    What needs to be done is that laws allowing repatriation need to be strengthened so that people like the man with the AK47 can be sent back to where they came from very quickly. What we have is a liberal democracy intended to support the rights of minorities and powerful media groups advocating these rights. What we do not have is any set of powerful voices pointing out how human rights law is being exploited to protect those who want to destroy liberal democracy.

    • Posted August 23, 2015 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

      Don’t worry, there are plenty of holes to pick. Unfortunately, John hasn’t quotes the Telegraph article so tonight find it difficult to follow….

      Here’s a quote from the Belgian PM…. ‘
      “Increasingly, we’re going to be in a society, where we have to be ready to sacrifice certain freedoms in the interest of fighting terrorism,” the Belgian leader pointed out

      This is what it’s about, an increase in surveillance and freedom restrictions on EVERYONE…..

      Think of it as a ‘Strategy Of Tension’….. Like in the ‘Gladio” inspired events in Italy in the 1970/80s….. The more events there are like this, the more the people will ask the government to keep them safe. There’s nothing new under the sun.

      zorro

      • Posted August 23, 2015 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

        Sorry iPad playing up…. John hasn’t quoted the DT article so you might find it difficult to follow

      • Posted August 23, 2015 at 7:52 pm | Permalink

        zorro: “This is what it’s about, an increase in surveillance and freedom restrictions on EVERYONE…..”

        Except the political class.

        • Posted August 24, 2015 at 8:55 am | Permalink

          @APL.Indeed;thank heavens for Snowden and wikileaks.

    • Posted August 23, 2015 at 7:23 pm | Permalink

      Please check in for your HS2 journey at least 2 hours in advance of scheduled departure. Meantime a driver will have reached Birmingham from London anyway.

    • Posted August 23, 2015 at 9:12 pm | Permalink

      Too bloody right!!

  31. Posted August 23, 2015 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

    Train security? I diverge from most comments here and say no: the gun was already illegal, the act itself also illegal, and minimal harm was actually done – we’ve had far worse incidents on trains resulting from poor maintenance, driver error and similar factors. (It may be the case the on-train staff should have reacted differently, for example raising the alarm and alerting passengers: perhaps some training would be useful there, as airline cabin crew get.)

    What we must do, as others say, is control immigration and intelligence – if the perpetrator was already known to some authorities, why on earth was he free to roam, rather than repatriated or restricted to his country of residence as we do with known football hooligans? That seems the place to focus, rather than the train network which happened to be the venue for this particular incident.

  32. Posted August 23, 2015 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

    It’s right to be concerned about the risk of terrorism targeting public transport. The measures taken should be part of a national counter-terrorism strategy. I doubt the British Transport Police have the capacity to be responsible on their own.

    However, more low level risk like the risk of violence and harassment should be the responsibility of the train operator. There should be a concomitant duty to keep safe vulnerable adults who pay their fares and should not be exposed to anti-social behaviour and abuse. CCTV isn’t a deterrant(sic) for this as much as earning lengthy bans from public transport if found guilty of such offences.

  33. Posted August 24, 2015 at 12:00 am | Permalink

    The British Government is begging for replacement. It is always akin to a Cilla Black’s “Surprise-Surprise ” . Government never knows of its imminent downfall. Odd.

  34. Posted August 24, 2015 at 8:14 am | Permalink

    The problem is not trains per se, it is that we have a serious problem with (terrorist ed) violence. We need to stand up to them rather than appeasing them as we have done since the Rushdie affair in 1989.
    (Terrorists ed) who incite violence should be prosecuted, we should have prosecuted a lot more in ’89 and should start doing so now and of course deport as many as possible.

  35. Posted August 24, 2015 at 8:45 am | Permalink

    Security on trains is a disgrace – searches for ALL passengers as on planes before boarding, and why no seat belts or life jackets under seats? Fix it now!

  36. Posted August 24, 2015 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

    Should not criminals and terrorists be forced to contribute to security costs on trains and planes? If they are men of straw, they should have to work in prison workshops until these debts are paid off.

  37. Posted August 24, 2015 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

    It may be sacrilegious in modern eco-Britain but I would suggest that if private citizens took more responsibility for their own security b y being allowed concealed carry of firearms we would on the whole be safer.

    It has been repeatedly demonstrated that the so-called security forces are barely capable and there is obviously no way that the police or MI5 can possibly eliminate every possible threat, but terrorising an unarmed populace is easy – it has already happened – a few attacks, all except one of limited scope, and a lot of government and press-stirred-up alarmism and the populace will apparently accept any indignity, humiliation and restraint on their freedom that passes the admittedly limited intellect of the man in whitehall, or brussels or wherever.

    Time for a paradigm change.

  • About John Redwood


    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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