SJSC Latvijas dzelzceļš will take additional security measures | Latvijas dzelzceļš

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SJSC Latvijas dzelzceļš will take additional security measures

Tuesday, 10 June, 2008

SJSC Latvijas dzelzceļš in cooperation with Railway Police Department of State Police will reinforce security at the railway by appointing extra patrols, placing extra video security cameras, improving lighting, as well as will take other steps as a result of statistics. It shows that in the first five months of 2008 9 persons have lost their lives at the railway. Besides, malicious damages of railway infrastructure this year have increased by 72% compared to 2007; therefore company has suffered loss of several thousand lats.

In the first five months of 2007 there were registered two attacks, when locomotive windows were broken, but in the respective period of 2008 there have occurred 19 attacks. In the first five months of this year there have been also registered five occasions, when railway traffic light lens were broken. In the respective period of 2007 there were registered four such occasions. Likewise in the first five months of 2008 there were 43 occasions, when obstacles were placed on the lines. In 2007 there were 98 such occasions.

The occasions of graffiti on carriages have increased considerably. In the first five months of 2007 there were no such occasions, but this year there have already been registered 12 occasions.

For instance, in the first five months of 2008 JSC Pasažieru vilciens has suffered loss of approximately 35 thousand lats. The biggest damage was connected with repainting of four carriages on which there were graffiti. It cost 15 thousand lats. In 2007 total damages were estimated in amount of 7.3 thousand lats.

The biggest response was to bomb threats in Riga Passenger station. In 2007 there were registered six bomb threats, but in the first five months of 2008  - four attacks (resolved – two).

LDz expresses sorrow at people for being inattentive and reckless; as a result people lose their lives at the railway. In 2007 there suffered 47 persons, 34 of them lost their lives, three teenagers and one child. But in the first five months of 2008 there occurred 22 accidents, in which have suffered people and 9 of them died.

Uģis Magonis, Chairman of the Board of SJSC Latvijas dzelzceļš, says: “We have studied the real situation and we understand that considerable improvements are necessary in security. LDz is ready to participate actively in order to ensure safety of people. However, support and understanding from Riga City Council is necessary to solve the problems, because most often the accidents occur in Riga. Besides, planning and organization of traffic is municipality’s task.”

The main reasons for accidents are walking on the railway track and crossing the track where it is forbidden, state of being drunk, inattentiveness, as well as attempts to make suicides. For instance, in 2007 there were seven attempts to make suicides and six of them were with lethal ending.

Jānis MukānsHead of Railway Police Department (State Police), says: “We are ready to participate fully in improvement of security at the railway. Railway Police Department from June has reconsidered work organization of patrol service by planning to accompany passenger trains, as well as to take other security measures in railway objects. Currently in trains and railway objects there patrol 105 policemen.”

In 2007 the accidents, in which there were involved people, most often occurred in the route Riga-Aizkraukle (18 accidents) and in the route Riga-Jūrmala (9 accidents). But potentially dangerous places in Riga railway junction are the area of Šķirotava station, Jāņavārti, Zemitāni station, Riga Passenger station in the area of Daugavpils and Valmieras streets, as well as Torņakalns. Employees of LDz have been informed on the dangerous places where they should be very careful.

In order to improve the situation, in the second half of 2008 LDz has planned to invest approximately 200 000 lats in purchase of video security cameras, building of barriers, establishment of lighting, etc. Besides, currently there are elaborated new operation instructions, which define that trains have to use lights also during daytime, as well as there has been approved new platform standard, which determines that there will be drawn special lines on the platforms in order to warn the passenger to observe a distance from the railway track.

In 2009 LDz plans to invest 254 000 lats in security improvements, but in 2010 - approximately 540 000 lats. Money will be invested in equipment of important objects with video security cameras, restricted access, guard and fire alarm systems, and territory delimitation from unauthorized persons to get to freight wagons, rolling stock, service rooms and other infrastructure.

In order to improve security situation LDz cooperates with Railway Police Department of State Police, as well as with Anti-terrorism Centre of Security Police. SJSC Latvijas dzelzceļš in cooperation with Anti-terrorism Centre of Security Police elaborates railway security conception and defence plans of important objects for national security. Anti-terrorism Centre of Security Police gives consultations and provides practical aid.

Additional information:
Mrs. Vija Barlo
Head of Interactive Media, LDz Public Relations Division
Phone: +371 6723 2855
Mobile: +371 2924 0771

Mr. Oskars Fīrmanis
LDz PR consultant
Mobile: +371 2966 0005