National Academies Press: OpenBook

Policing and Security Practices for Small- and Medium-Sized Public Transit Systems (2015)

Chapter: Chapter 1 - Security Risk Management and Assessment Processes

« Previous: Summary
Page 3
Suggested Citation:"Chapter 1 - Security Risk Management and Assessment Processes." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2015. Policing and Security Practices for Small- and Medium-Sized Public Transit Systems. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/22115.
×
Page 3
Page 4
Suggested Citation:"Chapter 1 - Security Risk Management and Assessment Processes." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2015. Policing and Security Practices for Small- and Medium-Sized Public Transit Systems. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/22115.
×
Page 4
Page 5
Suggested Citation:"Chapter 1 - Security Risk Management and Assessment Processes." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2015. Policing and Security Practices for Small- and Medium-Sized Public Transit Systems. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/22115.
×
Page 5
Page 6
Suggested Citation:"Chapter 1 - Security Risk Management and Assessment Processes." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2015. Policing and Security Practices for Small- and Medium-Sized Public Transit Systems. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/22115.
×
Page 6
Page 7
Suggested Citation:"Chapter 1 - Security Risk Management and Assessment Processes." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2015. Policing and Security Practices for Small- and Medium-Sized Public Transit Systems. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/22115.
×
Page 7
Page 8
Suggested Citation:"Chapter 1 - Security Risk Management and Assessment Processes." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2015. Policing and Security Practices for Small- and Medium-Sized Public Transit Systems. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/22115.
×
Page 8
Page 9
Suggested Citation:"Chapter 1 - Security Risk Management and Assessment Processes." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2015. Policing and Security Practices for Small- and Medium-Sized Public Transit Systems. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/22115.
×
Page 9
Page 10
Suggested Citation:"Chapter 1 - Security Risk Management and Assessment Processes." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2015. Policing and Security Practices for Small- and Medium-Sized Public Transit Systems. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/22115.
×
Page 10
Page 11
Suggested Citation:"Chapter 1 - Security Risk Management and Assessment Processes." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2015. Policing and Security Practices for Small- and Medium-Sized Public Transit Systems. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/22115.
×
Page 11

Below is the uncorrected machine-read text of this chapter, intended to provide our own search engines and external engines with highly rich, chapter-representative searchable text of each book. Because it is UNCORRECTED material, please consider the following text as a useful but insufficient proxy for the authoritative book pages.

3 C H A P T E R 1 Risk Risk in the broadest sense is defined as “the possibility of loss or injury.” When an asset or something of value is identified as “at risk” there is a presumption that the asset has been placed in a state or condition that creates or suggests the chance of loss or peril. In the public transit envi- ronment the most significant assets are the passengers who use the system, the employees who deliver the transportation services, and indirect participants who interface with transit systems such as station vendors, other building tenants or occupants, delivery persons, or those with homes or businesses in proximity to transit facilities or infrastructure. All of these individuals through either a decision to use public transportation or indirectly through the formation of a common boundary with transit assets have been placed at some level of risk. In addition, based on common law precedent as well as statutory enactments in some cases, those individuals who choose to be passengers on public transit systems are owed a “duty of care” by the transportation operator or carrier. Under such circumstances when loss or injury occurs there is often a determination of greater liability to the injured party. In addition to human assets, public transit agencies have an extensive range of property- or infrastructure-related assets as well as intrinsic or intangible assets such as goodwill. Transit vehicles—buses, trolleys, trains—are the most recognizable of transit’s infrastructure; however, there are also stations owned or operated by transit agencies, stops or shelters, office buildings, maintenance facilities, parking lots, information systems, communications huts, and other types of property used to support services. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in the latest version of the National Infra- structure Protection Plan (DHS 2013) describes the 3 protection program areas for critical infrastructure—Physical, Cyber and Human. See Figure 1.1. Transit Security Design Considerations (Rabkin 2004) published by the FTA further delineates public transit agency infrastructure and system assets. Note that “people” are at the center of the graphical representation. See Figure 1.2. Risk Management Risk Management consists of those activities that a business or agency can take to resolve iden- tified risks. The list of activities includes risk avoidance, accomplished by eliminating the source of the risk, risk reduction characterized by the implementation of actions that lower the risk to the agency, risk spreading through the distribution of risk across various program areas or activities, risk transfer by the use of insurance to cover costs that would be incurred as the result of a loss, and risk acceptance, which is necessarily based on the knowledgeable determination that a risk is best managed by taking no action at all. See Figure 1.3. Security Risk Management and Assessment Processes

4 Policing and Security Practices for Small- and Medium-Sized Public Transit Systems Set Security Goals Elements of Critical Infrastructure Prioritize Continuous Improvement to enhance protection of CI/KR Physical Cyber Human Implement Protective Programs Measure Effectiveness Feedback loop Identify Assets, Systems, Networks, and Functions Assess Risks (Consequences, Vulnerabilities, and Threats) Figure 1.1. Protection program areas for critical infrastructure—Physical, Cyber and Human (DHS 2013). Figure 1.2. Public transit agency infrastructure assets (Rabkin 2004).

Security Risk Management and Assessment Processes 5 Security Risk Security Risk consists of the much narrower category of possible loss events that result from the intentional harmful acts of other persons. It requires an actor, motivation to do harm, and to constitute actual risk, there must be a capability or opportunity to accomplish the adverse act. The crime of robbery is a good example. For a robbery to be considered to have occurred there must be an actor with the intent to take something of value by force from a victim. Assume the robber has a gun and threatens to shoot the victim if he doesn’t turn over his or her money. There is a criminal actor, the verbal threat to shoot indicates there is motivation to do harm, and the gun represents the capability to commit the act. Comparatively, a much broader safety-related risk may consist of a potential accidental release of a chemical substance into the atmosphere or bad weather causing a hazardous condition such as icy roads. In such cases there was no intent by an individual to harm another. Security risk is “threat based” as opposed to “hazard based.” Avoiding, reducing and mitigating security risk at small- and medium-sized public transit agencies is the specific topic of this research. Safety and security are both considered under the universal term “All Hazards.” Public transit agencies should be aware of the following 3 types of security risks. Homeland Defense/Homeland Security—The Risk of Terrorist Attack From a worldwide perspective, transportation assets moving by air, land, or sea have long been a primary target of focused attacks by hijackers, pirates, anarchists, or terrorists. Such attacks have occurred on virtually every inhabited continent: Asia, Europe, Africa, South America, Central America, North America; and in developed and developing nations including Japan, France, Spain, United Kingdom, Ethiopia, Israel, Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, South Africa, Soviet Union, India, Indonesia, Algeria, Venezuela, and the United States. Risk Management/ Risk Migaon Strategies Risk Avoidance Risk Reducon Risk Assessment Threat Assessment Vulnerability Assessment Consequence Assessment Risk Spreading Risk Transfer/ Insurance Risk Acceptance Figure 1.3. Risk management/mitigation strategies.

6 Policing and Security Practices for Small- and Medium-Sized Public Transit Systems Specific to public transit, terrorist attacks have been launched directly against intercity and over-the-road buses, subways, elevated trains, passenger trains, trolleys, ferries, and other types of conveyances. Stations and depots have been targeted and right-of-way infrastructure including rail and highway bridges and tunnels have all been attacked and are considered by experts to be high-value attractive assets. However, in the United States, public transit’s increased focus on homeland security risk crystallized after the attacks of September 11th, 2001. In the 40 plus years prior to 2001, there were no major terror incidents or attacks on public transit assets in the United States. A few notable 20th century exceptions include the “Mad Bomber” and “Sunday Bomber” incidents in New York City. The “Mad Bomber” George Metesky placed over 30 bombs in locations such as Grand Central Station and the Paramount Theater; and the “Sunday Bomber” set off a series of bombs in New York City subways and ferries during Sundays and Holidays. There was also the intentional derailment of Amtrak’s Sunset Limited in Hyder, AZ, in October 1995. A group calling itself the “Sons of Gestapo” left 3 notes at the scene claiming responsibility in retaliation for “Waco and Ruby Ridge.” Although the case was never solved, this incident is often referred to as an early incidence of domestic terrorism against passenger rail. In 2001, the TSA, was created under the Aviation and Transportation Security Act (ATSA). Under ATSA, TSA was given “the primary federal role for security in all modes of transportation.” Within a year and a half after the September 11th attacks, Congress passed the Homeland Security Act of 2003, a sweeping piece of legislation that established the DHS as a cabinet level department of the federal government. The responsibilities of the new department included “preventing ter- rorist attacks within the United States, reducing the vulnerability of the United States to terrorism at home, and minimizing the damage and assisting in the recovery from any attacks that may occur.” In 2003 when the DHS was created, TSA transferred from U.S.DOT to the new depart- ment along with 21 other federal agencies. The Homeland Security Act created the position of the Secretary of Homeland Security to be appointed by the president with the consent of the Senate. Whereas the Department of Defense works in the military sphere, DHS was dedicated to work in the civilian sphere to protect the United States within, at, and outside its borders. As mentioned above, the establishment of DHS resulted in a massive reorganization of federal agencies. In total over 22 federal departments or agencies including FEMA, Secret Service, and the U.S. Coast Guard, TSA, and the Immigration and Naturalization Service were moved under the new department. With regards specifically to transportation, Title IV of the Act expressly created the Undersecretary for Border and Transportation Security (BTS) whose primary duties include (1) preventing the entry of terrorists and the instruments of terrorism into the United States; (2) securing the borders, territorial waters, ports, terminals, waterways, and air, land, and sea transpor- tation systems of the United States; (3) administering the immigration and naturalization laws of the United States, including the establishment of rules governing the granting of visas and other forms of permission to enter the United States to include individuals who are not citizens or lawful per- manent residents; (4) ensuring the customs laws of the United States; and (5) ensuring the speedy, orderly, and efficient flow of lawful traffic and commerce in carrying out these responsibilities. TSA, in addition to carrying out its many responsibilities, provides timely and continuous intelli- gence information to public transit agencies, specifically as it pertains to threats of terrorism. Among other methods, TSA’s Office of Intelligence and Analysis disseminates quarterly reports containing assessments regarding the risk of an attack. The following are excerpts from the unclassified/for official use only (U//FOUO) quarterly mass transit assessment covering June to September 2013: (U//FOUO) The Transportation Security Administration’s Office of Intelligence and Analysis (TSA-OIA) assesses terrorists will continue to view attacks on U.S. transportation systems as an effective means for inflicting economic and psychological damage on the United States. Violent extremists continue to attack

Security Risk Management and Assessment Processes 7 the aviation, mass transit, highway, pipeline, and freight rail modes abroad. TSA-OIA is not aware of any attack planning against these modes in the Homeland. (U//FOUO) TSA-OIA assesses with high confidence that the terrorist threat to the U.S. mass transit mode is moderate, based on current intelligence reporting and analysis of worldwide attacks and plots. [See Figure 1.4.] (U//FOUO) TSA-OIA assesses the preferred terrorist tactics used against transportation systems in the Homeland are likely to be improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and armed assaults. Additional, but less frequently used, tactics that have been effective in recent attacks against transportation modes include improvised incendiary devices and arson. The graphic below [Figure 1.5] illustrates, for the period of this report, actual terrorist attacks on all transportation modes (in red) and preoperational information about possible future attack methods (in yellow). Felony or Misdemeanor Crime—The Risk of Crime and Criminal Activity The nation’s mass transit systems and the people who use these systems are susceptible to the occurrence of felony (major) and misdemeanor crime, including both crimes against persons and crimes against property. However, the extent of the problem is difficult to measure or evaluate. Figure 1.4. Transit mode terrorist threat levels. Figure 1.5. Actual attacks on all transportation modes.

8 Policing and Security Practices for Small- and Medium-Sized Public Transit Systems State and local police agencies who are responsible for recording crime rates typically do not categorize crime incidents by industry sector, markets, or commodity. The FBI, the national repository for crime statistics, also cannot distinguish whether a criminal incident occurred inside a transit vehicle, on a city street, or in a shopping mall. Transportation-related crime is reported in a manner that is similar to that of all other crimes. As such, the statistics specific to mass transit become lost amidst the jurisdictional crime rates of a given location, city, county or state. However, observation of the larger set of national crime statistics discloses that overall both violent and property crime in the United States is declining per capita. Violent Crime Violent Crime—In the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program, violent crime is com- posed of 4 offenses: murder and non-negligent manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery, and aggravated assault. Violent crimes are defined in the UCR Program as those offenses that involve force or threat of force. Only the most serious offense in a multiple-offense criminal incident is counted. Overview In 2012, an estimated 1,214,462 violent crimes occurred nationwide, an increase of 0.7 per- cent from the 2011 estimate. When considering 5- and 10-year trends, the 2012 estimated violent crime total was 12.9 percent below the 2008 level and 12.2 percent below the 2003 level. There were an estimated 386.9 violent crimes per 100,000 inhabitants in 2012, a rate that remained virtually unchanged when compared to the 2011 estimated rate. See Figure 1.6. Aggravated assaults accounted for 62.6 percent of violent crimes reported to law enforcement in 2012. Robbery offenses accounted for 29.2 percent of violent crime offenses, rape accounted for 6.9 percent, and murder accounted for 1.2 percent. Information collected regarding types of weapons used in violent crime showed that firearms were used in 69.3 percent of the nation’s murders, 41.0 percent of robberies, and 21.8 percent of aggravated assaults. Figure 1.6. Violent crime (FBI 2013).

Security Risk Management and Assessment Processes 9 Property Crime Property Crime—In the FBI’s UCR Program, property crime includes the offenses of burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft, and arson. The object of the theft-type offenses is the taking of money or property, but there is no force or threat of force against the victims. Overview In 2012, there were an estimated 8,975,438 property crime offenses in the nation. The 2-year trend showed that property crime declined 0.9 percent in 2012 when compared to the 2011 estimate. The 10-year trend showed that property crime offenses declined 14.1 percent in 2012 when compared to the 2003 estimate. In 2012, the rate of property crime was esti- mated at 2,859.2 per 100,000 inhabitants, a 1.6 percent decrease when compared to the 2011 estimated rate. The 2012 property crime rate was 11.1 percent less than the 2008 estimate and 20.4 percent less than the 2003 estimate. Of all property crimes in 2012, larceny-theft accounted for 68.5 percent. Burglary accounted for 23.4 percent and motor vehicle theft for 8.0 percent. Property crimes in 2012 resulted in losses estimated at $15.5 billion. See Figure 1.7. The types and frequency of crime occurring on public transit varies from that occurring in other environments. For example, the pickpocketing of a wallet from a passenger on a crowded bus platform can occur relatively often in transit whereas a home invasion burglary, defined loosely as the breaking and entering of a dwelling in the nighttime, is not at all likely. Public transit is multidimensional and consists of a complex infrastructure. Large volumes of people interact in various settings including on vehicles (buses, trains, and trolleys), in facilities (stations and platforms, stops, parking lots, transfer points) and in both crowded and sparse environments in urban, suburban, and rural settings. Certain types of crime are more or less likely to occur depending on the specific characteristics of a location, or perhaps even the par- ticular geographic vicinity of a given transit route. Critical assets of the system itself are also at a risk of loss. Figure 1.7. Property offenses (FBI 2013).

10 Policing and Security Practices for Small- and Medium-Sized Public Transit Systems The following information provides the commonly reported crimes occurring in public transit systems. The definitions of offenses were obtained from either National Transit Database (NTD) or FBI web sites: Larceny—According to the NTD definition, larceny refers to the unlawful taking, carrying, leading, or riding away of property from the possession or constructive possession of another. Larceny refers specifically to theft without the use of violence, force, or fraud. Examples of larceny include a wide range of potential thefts from pickpocketing to stolen transit property. Larceny can contribute to a sense of insecurity among passengers and transit officials, in addition to causing physical and economic damage. Robbery—While similar to larceny, robbery refers to the taking or attempting to take anything of value from the care, custody, or control of a person or persons by force or threat of force or vio- lence and/or by putting the victim in fear. Potential consequences of robbery are similar to those of larceny, but likely more severe if violence is indeed used to procure the object of the robbery. Aggravated Assault—The definition of an aggravated assault may differ between states, but it generally refers to an unlawful attack by a person upon another in which the attacker attempts to cause serious harm. According to the UCR definition, this type of assault usually is accompanied by the use of a weapon or by means likely to produce death or great bodily harm. Aggravated assaults may involve passengers or transit employees. Besides the potential physical harm to people, a repeated pattern of aggravated assaults may instill a culture of fear in a transit agency in which passengers are afraid to use the system or operators are afraid to come to work. Damage to property and scheduling may also occur as a result of an aggravated assault. Simple Assault—A simple assault is similar to an aggravated assault (see definition above) except that the intent to cause harm is typically less severe and usually does not involve a weapon. Vandalism—As it pertains to mass transit, vandalism refers to the willful or malicious destruc- tion or defacement of transit property or vehicles. Examples of vandalism range from graffiti on transit vehicles or stations, to slashed fabric of bus seats, to the defacement of subway maps or advertisements. Potential consequences of vandalism include injury to passengers or transit employees, economic loss, and a diminished ability for passengers to use and enjoy the system. Motor Vehicle Theft—According to the FBI’s UCR definition, a motor vehicle theft is defined as the theft or attempted theft of a motor vehicle. In the UCR Program, a motor vehicle is a self- propelled vehicle that runs on land surfaces and not on rails. On public transport fear of crime and concerns for personal security are clearly a limiting factor to patronage and levels of usage. Similarly the design of transit facilities, and the internal (inside a vehicle) and external (that a vehicle traverses) environments may all influence the level of crime experienced on the system. Minor Offenses and Disorder Fare Evasion—Fare evasion refers to the unlawful use of transit facilities by riding without pay- ing the applicable amount. Sometimes a passenger may deliberately evade a fare by jumping over a turnstile or sneaking by a bus operator on a crowded vehicle. In other instances, a passenger may passively evade fare payment such as when a passenger neglects to purchase a train ticket and the conductor never checks for compliance. While fare evasion is considered a minor offense, repeated occurrences can result in the loss of significant revenue and contribute to a culture of irresponsible passenger behavior. If the transit agency enforces rules in a lax manner, individuals intending to commit a crime may perceive the agency as a relatively easy target.

Security Risk Management and Assessment Processes 11 Trespassing—Trespassing, as it relates to mass transit, is defined as the unauthorized entry of transit-owned land, structure, or other real property not intended for public use. Trespassing can result in serious harm or injury to passengers, especially if the trespassing involves entering a transit vehicle or right-of-way. Other consequences include economic loss, damage to property, or disruption to timetables. Drunk and Disorderly Conduct—While definitions may vary between states, “drunk and dis- orderly conduct” is often used as a catch-all term to describe unruly or inappropriate behavior that includes but is not limited to, public displays of drunkenness, loitering, disturbing the peace, using obscene language or gestures, or engaging in generally violent or tumultuous behavior. This kind of behavior holds the potential to not only make passengers and transit employees uncomfortable, but also to cause harm to people or property. Vagrancy—The term vagrancy is typically used to refer to the condition of being homeless in a place where loitering is explicitly prohibited. The UCR definition of the term refers more specifi- cally to the violation of a court order, regulation, ordinance, or law requiring the withdrawal of persons from the streets or other specified areas. Anti-vagrancy laws can also prohibit people from remaining in an area or place in an idle or aimless manner or prohibiting people from going from place to place without visible means of support. In terms of transit safety and security, persistent vagrancy can be associated with a negative perception of the transit system, which causes passen- gers to feel unsafe or uncomfortable. Drug Violations—Drug violations refer to the breaking of laws that prohibit the production, distribution, and/or use of certain controlled substances. These laws vary between states. Drug violations by transit vehicle operators are especially serious because illegal and/or controlled substances can alter the operator’s state of mind and put the vehicle and passengers at serious risk. Additionally, passengers who violate drug laws can also cause harm to fellow passengers, employees, or property. Perceptions of a Lack of Security In addition to the 3 types of security risks identified above—homeland security/terrorism, felony or misdemeanor crime, and minor offenses and disorder, a very real fourth set of security complexity must be considered by transit agencies. As stated in the text, Making the Nation Safer, the Role of Science and Technology in Countering Terrorism, National Research Council (2002), “The advent of effective security initiatives depends not only on good research pertaining to trans- portation operations but also on an understanding of human factors.” When people respond to crisis situations there are many factors that can influence their behaviors. These include, among others, factors such as (1) adequacy of preparedness, (2) effectiveness of warnings, and (3) con- fidence in agencies designated to deal with crisis. In the case of a transit agency, preparedness involves the actions of both transit authorities and the population they serve. Both groups must settle upon an acceptable level of crisis response capability for managing security events. The transit agencies ability to perform required emergency management functions will be considered by the public as only just as good or worse as the last significant security incident that received press or notoriety. When the 2 groups are at odds with one another, or, more pointedly, when transit officials give the appearance that they are unready or unprepared to effectively manage a security-related crisis, an adverse impact on ridership and goodwill will result. Similarly, a failure to warn riders about known dangers, for example, theft of electronic devices or late night robberies occurring on certain routes, can cause a lasting negative blowback when “unaware” passengers are subsequently injured.

Next: Chapter 2 - Small- and Medium-Sized Transit Agency Security Environment »
Policing and Security Practices for Small- and Medium-Sized Public Transit Systems Get This Book
×
MyNAP members save 10% online.
Login or Register to save!
Download Free PDF

TRB's Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP) Report 180: Policing and Security Practices for Small- and Medium-Sized Public Transit Systems explores the current state of practice and identifies and responds to the specific challenges and issues associated with the security of small- and medium-sized transit agencies. The report follows the five stages of protection activity (prevention, mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery) by providing baseline options and identifying potential security countermeasures that could be deployed by both of these sizes of transit agencies.

The report is accompanied by a PowerPoint presentation.

  1. ×

    Welcome to OpenBook!

    You're looking at OpenBook, NAP.edu's online reading room since 1999. Based on feedback from you, our users, we've made some improvements that make it easier than ever to read thousands of publications on our website.

    Do you want to take a quick tour of the OpenBook's features?

    No Thanks Take a Tour »
  2. ×

    Show this book's table of contents, where you can jump to any chapter by name.

    « Back Next »
  3. ×

    ...or use these buttons to go back to the previous chapter or skip to the next one.

    « Back Next »
  4. ×

    Jump up to the previous page or down to the next one. Also, you can type in a page number and press Enter to go directly to that page in the book.

    « Back Next »
  5. ×

    To search the entire text of this book, type in your search term here and press Enter.

    « Back Next »
  6. ×

    Share a link to this book page on your preferred social network or via email.

    « Back Next »
  7. ×

    View our suggested citation for this chapter.

    « Back Next »
  8. ×

    Ready to take your reading offline? Click here to buy this book in print or download it as a free PDF, if available.

    « Back Next »
Stay Connected!