What happened at Hurstbridge?

It’s been reported that two vandals broke into the Hurstbridge Railway Station in Melbourne, Australia early on Wednesday morning. They started a train and ran it into carriages and fencing, derailing it and causing damage estimated at about three million dollars.

Sergeant Mark Chetcuti of the Victoria Police said, "They've used a rock to force the lever and put the train in motion, causing that to drive for 40-50 metres and basically just destroying everything in its path."

Services on the Hurstbridge line have been suspended until the damage is assessed and repairs are complete.

How did this happen?

The first question that stakeholders should be asking is, ‘How did this happen?’

The vandals’ motives are not currently known. Did they want to steal money or equipment, or simply wreak havoc? Was it their intent to start the train?

Leah Waymark from Metro Trains said a key is needed to start the train. These are kept with Metro Trains staff, and Metro Trains have suggested that the key used by the vandals may have been obtained on the black market. The train operates on a universal key system and the same key can start any train of the same model. This makes the source of the key difficult to ascertain.

Although there was a security guard and a cleaner working at the station at the time of the incident, they were unable to stop the vandals. They promptly rushed to safety and contacted authorities.

Security reviews

Events like this are an opportunity for organisations to ask when the last review of their security measures was undertaken. Plans, procedures and physical security measures should be reviewed on an annual basis in order to identify deficiencies (although this can vary depending on the threat).

This should include an update of the security risk assessment to determine any changes or new trends relating to the threat environment.

In the long run, regular security reviews should be viewed as a cost saving measure as opposed to an additional expense, since the financial cost of an incident that gets out of hand can be significant, as we saw this week.

For more information on how your organisation can review their security measures, contact Joseph Iannazzo joseph.iannazzo@dynamiqglobal.com.

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