Certified Counter Terrorism Practitioners work in a variety of industries, including land transport security. The CTCB was able to conduct a brief interview with a former Certified Practitioner, and ask a few things about their experience in the field in Southeast Asia.
Public transit terminals and vehicles have been attractive to terrorist organisations seeking mass civilian casualties, with attacks including Madrid, London, Moscow, and Tokyo. According to the Global Terrorism Database, over 7000 attacks from 1970-2018 had transportation as a target.
They can also be targets for expression of dissatisfaction with the government, dramatically demonstrated in 2019 in Chile and Hong Kong. Non-political crimes are also an issue for this aspect of the urban environment, which may include hooliganism and unruly behaviour, and incorporating such concerns in the design and management of these public spaces is an ongoing concern. This has to match demographic and technological changes to increase safe use and functioning of a critical public service.
You obtained your CCTP certification a few years back. Could you explain why you choose this credential?
It is from a professional Counter Terrorism Board with a pool of well-experienced trainers in this field. It also provides hands-on and real-life experience from the trainers.
What are the important skills and type of expertise required, for you as a security manager in the transportation industry?
To embrace changes and get to know the latest security concepts and measures, as the transportation industry is constantly evolving.
What is your daily job scope?
To formulate and carry out reviews of Public Transport Infrastructure Security Standards.
I also review Security-by-Design (SBD) reports with the relevant stakeholders and Security & Blast Consultants.
What are the main challenges that you face every day, as a security manager in the transportation industry?
Most importantly: The transportation industry in terms of security is dynamic and porous, where its purpose is to serve the public to ensure they have a safe and secure journey.
Thus, implementation of security measures on public transport nodes have to be well-balanced. Measures cannot be overly harsh, or impede flow, and we have to be quick to react to security incidents on site in order to ensure that there is as little disruption to the daily transport operation (I.e. train, bus) as possible.
What would you say was the most difficult work issue you have had to face in your role for transportation security?
During the design phase of a project.
It can be the case where certain stakeholders will not acknowledge the importance of the security measures being recommended. It will take time and effort to share / convey the importance of the security measures and concepts.
Although a crisis, such as a terror attack, can place security high on the design agenda, it is best that such events are prevented from ever occurring. It is thanks to the careful and dedicated work of global transportation safety and security professionals that such incidents, and any resultant fatalities and injuries, have significantly dropped from the earlier 2000s.