Denmark increases security presence at rail stations

Commuters in Denmark have seen an increased security presence this week after new guards went on patrol at S-train stations from Monday.

Denmark increases security presence at rail stations
Security guards are to patrol some S-train stations in and around Copenhagen. Photo: Ida Marie Odgaard/Ritzau Scanpix

DSB, the Danish state-owned railway company, has added guards at 29 stations in Copenhagen — primarily on lines Copenhagen H to Køge and Copenhagen H to Høje Taastrup. 

The move is part of a 24 million-kroner-per-year package to improve security by DSB, which also includes the deployment of 700 new cameras at 46 stations. 

The DSB package is part of a plan passed in parliament in November last year which involves 12 different initiatives aimed at increasing security in public spaces.

DSB has also announced plans to increase staffing in its video surveillance department with two full-time employees. 

“We know from customer measurements that safety at stations means very much to our customers,” Lars Gøtke, vice director with DSB property subsidiary DSB Ejendomme, told news wire Ritzau.

An additional 13 stations have the option of receiving security guard patrols when the need arises, for example at night.

“We have been able to see which stations are the most vulnerable. These are where the guards will make their rounds on various routes,” Gøtke said.

DSB does not have data relating to antisocial behaviour at its stations, however, according to news wire Ritzau.

The rail company is to make ongoing evaluations of the effectiveness of the programme.

“The guard scheme is something we intend to continue with going forward. If there proves to be a need to scale up or down on the number of guards and stations, then we will look at how things develop,” Gøtke said.

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SAS strike affected 380,000 passengers in July

More than 3,700 flights where cancelled and 380,000 passengers where affected by the 15-day strike which hit Scandinavia's SAS airline last month, the company has revealed.

SAS strike affected 380,000 passengers in July

“We sincerely apologize to our customers who were affected by the July strike,” Anko van der Werff, the company’s chief executive, said in a press release. “We are happy operations returned to normality again allowing us to start regaining our customers’ trust.”

According to the release, 1.3 million passengers travelled with the airline in July, which was still a 23 percent increase on the same month last year, when Covid-19 restrictions were still reducing tourism levels.

“In comparison with last month, the total number of passengers decreased with 32 percent and capacity was decreased by 23 percent, which was a result from the 15-day pilot strike,” the release read. 

Pilot unions in Sweden, Denmark and Norway, went on strike for 15 days last month over pay, conditions, and the company’s refusal to rehire pilots laid off during the Covid-19 pandemic on the same terms as before. 

The strike, which cost the airline between €9m and €12m a day, was ended on July 19th, after which it took several days to get flights back to normal

Van der Werff said company said it would now continue putting in place its restructuring plan, SAS FORWARD, and push ahead with restructuring in the US, where the company has filed for Chapter 11. 

He said these would both “accelerate the transformation process that will lead to a financially stable airline, that will be able to deliver the service our customers are expecting”.