[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Thursday, 1 April, 2004, 09:15 GMT 10:15 UK
Global security: Are you reassured ?
We discussed terrorism and global security in Talking Point.


European Union ministers have held talks to agree a practical response to the bombings in Madrid that killed over 200 people.

The UK wants a Europe-wide centre set up for analysing intelligence.

London police chief Sir John Stevens has warned of a "definite link" between the Madrid bombers and the UK and warned that an attack in Britain may be "inevitable".

Are you reassured by increased transport security? Is there an increase in security where you are? Are you worried for your safety after the recent terrorist attacks? Can further attacks be prevented?


The following comments reflect the balance of opinion we have received so far:

This debate is now closed. Read your comments below.

We've unleashed the fury of a disenfranchised people with nothing to lose
Gail Moore, San Francisco, USA
The world is in far more danger today from terrorist attacks than we were before Bush invaded Iraq. We've unleashed the fury of a disenfranchised people with nothing to lose, and I fear that the world will be paying the price for Mr Bush's arrogance for many years to come.
Gail Moore, San Francisco, USA

I've worked in London for the best part of 20 years and, until now, have never been scared. With the IRA it could happen, now we're being told it WILL happen. Hardly comforting!
Bridget, London, UK

Whatever happened to Interpol? Isn't this supposed to be a pan-European police force? Can't it disseminate information across Europe? Should we not be looking at why Interpol aren't doing their job rather than setting up another "Europe-wide centre to analyse intelligence" at presumably, yet another huge expense to the taxpayer?
Nick, UK

It's dangerous to second guess terrorists and expect an attack on London. Other British cities are much softer targets. Attacks on soft targets are what we've seen throughout the world recently.
Alastair Prince, Tokyo, Japan

Let's be realistic, there is NO defence against a terrorist attack. Governments and their agencies have a lot of resources, but they cannot protect their civil populations, Madrid proved that and the 11 September attack on New York also proved it. I don't know what the solution is except to make global friends instead of enemies and to better understand other cultures and their values.
Des, Glamorgan, UK

A passive response will never defeat terrorists
Reg, Sydney Australiae
Of course not. When a terrorist group declares open season an anyone who is not Islamic, they also invite a reaction from their victims. The silence of the moderate Islamic world is easily understood. To speak out against the terrorism would make them potential victims as well. A passive response will never defeat terrorists.
Reg, Sydney Australia

I wonder why so many people were panic stricken when Sir John Stevens uttered those memorable words. Were the police able to stop IRA terrorism on mainland Britain? No. Ask Israel, the world's most security conscious country, if suicide bombings can be eradicated.They may be minimized through some ruthless means but there will be an outcry if Britain wants to follow suit. As a muslim and a criminologist, I believe the anti-American militants have no desire to bomb Britain.They did not do any such thing in the past.This country harbours some of the most dangerous militants and here is their command centre for international operations. The militants know that you can't go about bombing your own house. While we should all be vigilant, for my part I have no fear.
Momodou Ousman Ceesay, London,England

All I can say is that intelligence agencies of modern societies need to be more alert. We have more people now days who have nothing better to do than to commit a crime. So we need to get smarter than these criminals. We need to act fast and do the right thing.
Jack, USA

I know that globally the security situation is not good. Reading this board gives me hope. When we all make our neighbour our concern and look out for each other then we protect each other from these terrorists who think killing will achieve their goals.
Peter Williams, Johannesburg, South Africa

The world is now more dangerous than it has ever been
J.R. Jackson, London, England
No, I am certainly not reassured. The world is now more dangerous than it has ever been. The Blair-Bush alliance has certainly made it's mark on history. We seem to be heading inexorably towards the 'Clash of Civilisations' and all of it's consequences.
J.R. Jackson, London, England

Not at all no. With the tragic events in Madrid and Baghdad, this has only heightened my sense of fear and desperation.
Gary J, Ipswich

Nobody can feel reassured when our anti-terrorism legislation is in such disarray. The Judiciary and the government must stop their feuding and cooperate in reviewing the mish-mash of legislation that appears to block every effort made by the Home Office to protect the British public.
Ken, UK

"War against terrorism" could be good excuse for spreading fear to get rid of the people, countries or ideas that one doesn't like. The terrorist is the one who kills with bomb or the one who kills with so called "War against terrorism." Those who are now most loud with words against terrorists have the most blame on their hands for situation like this.
Robert, Croatia

When you are born into this world two things are guaranteed- taxes and death. Funny that both of them are a result of incompetent politicians.
John, India

Heightened security measures alone will not put an end to terrorism
Joanna Warner, San Francisco, USA (ex UK)
Heightened security measures alone will not put an end to terrorism and I would say many people, me included, feel more afraid of terrorist attacks now than ever before, despite increased security. It is the causes of terrorism that need to be addressed and what I see happening is the exact opposite. In my opinion, the behaviour of the Bush administration and its international allies has greatly increased the risk of further terrorist attacks.

There is more Anti-American feeling now than there was prior to September 11th and that can only make the world a more dangerous place. Until a commitment is made to addressing the causes of the hatred and resentment that underline terrorism, all the security measures in the world will not protect us.
Joanna Warner, San Francisco, USA (ex UK)

Just remember that unlike the USA we have suffered from these attacks for 35 years in this country. People just need to be on the lookout for the unusual. We should target those that give these people support in this country.
Phil, UK

I don't understand. On one hand the US and UK governments persist in promoting fear in an already paranoid society everyday on the news with new terror warnings and then on the other hand go at lengths to reassure us that they are doing what they can !
Jason, Calgary, Canada

People in the UK seem to think that because they have experienced IRA car bombs that this new terrorist threat isn't significant. Wake up people, the IRA was interested in strategic killings. Al Qaeda wants mass killings of as many people as possible. Also, if they could get their hands on nukes, they'd use them. Big difference.
Michael, Philly, USA

Apparently, somebody important thinks that CCTV cameras on the Underground are going to deter terrorists and suicide bombers?! Really? They can't even deter vandals for goodness sake!
Jock, London, UK

I live in New York and don't feel secure at all. It's a sad irony that this town is least likely to support Bush and his awful policies and most likely to get attacked again. Despite that most New Yorkers choose not to have their lives made smaller by this and just try not to think about it too much. The question i have for those who are critical of Blair and Bush (which includes myself) is, 'what should be done about this brand of terror? We cannot do nothing. 9-11 was not imaginary and neither was Madrid. Bush is a nightmare, no doubt -- but the problem of violent radical Islamic fascism predates Bush and his neoconservatives and it is directed at the whole of the West
Anna, NYC

Fighting terrorism requires eternal vigilance
George Arndt, Norwalk, USA
People ask when the war against terror will end. The answer is, never. We can no more rid the world of terrorists than we can of poverty or war or drugs. It is simply part of the human condition. Fighting terrorism requires eternal vigilance.
George Arndt, Norwalk, USA

These utterances by senior figures amount to nothing more than hype. The threat of terrorism is no bigger than it was 10 years ago. I live in the comfort of knowing that there are at least a 100 more deadly things than terrorism. Everyone knows this, but we are all blinded by the government's persistent truth-benders.
Nadim J, UK

A few years ago, I was in the Royal Air Force and worked in an office environment. The main threat was from the IRA, so every few months we would have to dress up in traditional military attire and guard the station. We were trained and carried live weapons and stood by the gate checking passes and doing regular patrols. It was a deterrent, nothing else. The station I worked at actually had a public footpath running through it, but we were visible. If a terrorist wanted to plant a bomb, they would, but we could at least make it difficult for them. Putting plain clothes officers on trains and tubes is not a deterrent in my eyes.
Steve Towells, London

It's a chain of violence with no end until one side is completely destroyed
Malachi, Boulder

Terrorism has never really been a factor for me, except the way it changes my nation's foreign policy. Where I live would probably be the last place on earth to have a terrorist attack. What worries me are the world leaders who insist on messing in other country's affairs so that terrorists feel the need to blow people up. It's a chain of violence with no end until one side is completely destroyed - a tragedy of human history.
Malachi, Boulder, USA

Having lived through the terrorist years of the 1970s 1980s and 1990s in the UK, a few Islamic terrorists won't stop me from travelling where I like.
Wayne, Derby, UK

I always use this saying, "Until my time comes, no one can take my life, and when my time comes no one can save me" - a few words of wisdom from the late King Hussain.
Ahmad Hmoud, Jordan, Amman

The threat of being caught up in a terrorist incident is never far from my mind
Glen, London, UK
As a London commuter, the threat of being caught up in a terrorist incident is never far from my mind. I may be perceived as a defeatist by many who read this, and I completely respect and admire those on this page who say that the threat won't stop them going about their everyday lives, but, speaking personally, it is just horrible getting to and from work now. I've started taking buses instead of the tube (though whether taking a bus is comparatively less risky is arguable), and hearing the many sirens that echo daily throughout the capital increase a sense of uncertainty. While we cannot let terrorism stop us living our lives, I'm finding that living up to this statement is far easier said than done. Blair may think he's tried to make the world a safer place, but I certainly don't feel safe. Sure, we may have had to put up with the IRA atrocities in previous decades (and all the devastation these brought), but terrorism is now so different.
Glen, London, UK

There should be hundreds more security personnel employed in all our major cities - not just in London.
Gwen, Wales

It wouldn't surprise me if anyone walked through Tangiers customs, as we did on Sunday and no one stopped us or asked to see if we had our passports stamped. Once through you could walk in and out through an open gate 20ft wide which is to the right of the building where customs is, no one batted an eye lid. Security?
Adrian, MK, UK

If we cease to live our lives the terrorists will gain a far greater victory
Jen, Staffordshire
I currently live in a rural area of Staffordshire, as I have all my life. Later this year I will be moving to live in central London. While I am by no means reassured by these 'increases in security', I am unshaken in my determination to move; if we cease to live our lives and all become recluses, the terrorists will gain a far greater victory than any which they can achieve by carrying out attacks.
Jen, Staffordshire

I've never felt threatened anyway. The terrorist threat is overstated by Bush and Blair governments as part of their 'scare tactics', just to excuse their draconian legislation, and make it look as if 'something is being done'. We've had attacks from Irish terrorists for years, what's all the fuss about?
CD, England, UK

I am since 1988 an "inbound" tour operator based in London. My clients are mainly Scandinavian and American. I have managed to keep my company through wars, foot & mouth, 11 Sept. BUT seeing the head of police with our Mayor warning us about the dangers to people in London will probably do more damage to the Travel Industry than all above together!
Mrs Lolo Wivesson, London, England

The government have still not advised the public on how to react to attacks of different sorts. Surely if each of us knows what to do as individuals, this will make the task of the emergency services that much easier. I don't think the government line of "we don't want to panic people", justifies not informing us.
Anthony, Huddersfield, England

I feel neither less nor more secure that I did before the WTC was destroyed
Steve Brereton, York, UK
Frankly, I feel neither less nor more secure that I did before the WTC was destroyed. The fact that always comes back to me is that no-one, but no-one, is going to spend their time and waste their lives on simply blowing things and other people up unless they actually have a cause to promote. Perhaps its time to actually compare the global costs of military campaigns and the subsequent mess, against listening to what these 'terrorists' want?
Steve Brereton, York, UK

We sadly know from past experience that in a terrorists eyes a legitimate target can be a military bandstand on a summers day or a crowded inner city pub at night. The government is doing what all governments do. It is being seen to be doing something to avoid future criticism. The real effective action we will never see as it is the undercover surveillance that the security forces undertake. At the end of the day however, the risk of being caught up in a terrorist act is as remote as winning the lottery. Best to show a stiff upper lip and keep a cautious eye for suspicious behaviour.
Joseph Wilkinson, Whitehaven, England

You will never, ever stop terrorism completely, especially the 'new' breed of terrorist that is prepared to sacrifice himself in pursuit of their 'cause'. The best we can do is to remain vigilant, but get on with our lives. We can't allow these people to dictate how we live our lives.
Chris Cooper, Manchester, UK

The only way to make public transportation truly safe from attacks like in Madrid would be instituting airline like safety measures. Unfortunately this would destroy the public transportation system. Extreme security might work for the occasional flight but simply cannot work for everyday train and subway commutes.
Marcus, Austin, USA

Any extra intrusive security like that will simply make train travel even more of a hassle
Peter, Nottingham, UK
Do we really want sniffer dogs on trains and metal detectors at stations? Any extra intrusive security like that will simply make train travel even more of a hassle than it is. As a result people will switch to their cars, and the resulting road deaths will be far higher than any terrorist bomb could cause.
Peter, Nottingham, UK

Train companies can't even get trains to run on time on a normal day so how can they ever competently practise and enforce security measures on the trains? If they could just get the basics of their jobs right, then maybe the public could trust them a little to ensure safety is a high priority....
Em, UK

I was on a train travelling from King's Cross towards Finsbury Park and myself and other passengers were concerned over a parcel that seemed to have no owner. I asked everyone in the carriage if it was theirs but no-one claimed it. Therefore, I pulled the emergency cord as the train stopped at Finsbury Park station. A guard came into the carriage and I informed him of our concerns. First, he nudged it with his foot then gave it a full "Beckham" across the floor! Fortunately, it turned out to be an empty box! Furthermore, what's the point in dialling 999 on a tube... mobiles don't work down there.
John Thompson, Hertfordshire

I think that if there is a terrorist attack on Britain, it won't be in London because that is where all the security and media attention is. It would be in Liverpool, Manchester, Edinburgh, Cardiff - places that aren't being watched as closely.
Jacqui, Aberystwyth, Wales

Having anti-terrorist police is better than sitting doing nothing
PG, Australia/ex-UK
I would say there is a lot of negative attitude here. Having anti-terrorist police (remember, they are well trained) is better than sitting doing nothing, and many here feel that it is up to others to act - rather than having more vigilance themselves. Rather than waiting for the government to make the system safe, why not make a stance ourselves with the attitude that we'll not put up with such threats. At least then more will get done to try and safeguard society.
PG, Australia/ex-UK

As an American commuter on the Connex line to Sevenoaks, I feel that there is a need for more actual contact, either visual or physical , between the security forces that are available and the commuting passenger. Even with the increased number of undercover surveillance personnel, there needs to be tangibility for the traveller. As we found in the USA after 9/11, contact was a great reassurance to the public. Undercover is obviously the meat of the operation from a surveillance point of view, but the real, physical presence of security is what the public needs to feel any comfort in climbing aboard a commuter liner. Thank You,
Anthony S. Werneke, Plaxtol, Kent, UK

People need to realise that the UK was a target before last week, before the war in Iraq and before 9/11. Groups such as al-Qaeda do no want to a solution to the worlds problems, they want to replace Western Liberal democracy with religious autocracy. It is that simple. The only way to protect the UK against these people is to hunt them down.
James, London, UK

You have to live your life and if it happens it happens
Michael, West London, UK
As a Northern Ireland citizen who is now working in London, I have spent most of my life living through the threat of terrorism in Belfast. From bomb scares in the city centre, to bombs actually going off, you unfortunately get used to it. I now commute into London everyday on the tube and don't feel worried at all. You have to live your life and if it happens it happens. There is nothing anybody can do about it (including the police) and as other people have said 'you have more chance of being killed in a car accident than a terrorist attack'
Michael, West London, UK

. I agree that more vigilance on the part of all is the best approach. Unfortunately, a large city rail network is impossible to secure. If airports can have baggage x-rayed, why not rail stations? The London underground has ticket gates at most entrance, surely security can be increased at these areas in a city that has an economy and population equivalent in size to many countries?
PG, Australia/ex-UK

I'm scared as my daily tube route cuts across central London into the City. I think this is a high risk route and don't feel safe at all. It seems the government have just about admitted current security measures cannot prevent an attack - which they consider likely. I consider such statements a warning. I also think to be in fear is a tragic way to live and detachedly think the state of international politics is ridiculous as I can't see the light at the end of the "war on terror strategy" tunnel.
Camilla, UK

The idea of searching every tube train thoroughly with sniffer dogs has at least bought a smile to my face. I'd love to see the handlers squeezing their way through a tightly packed rush hour train. A thorough search in those conditions should only take a couple of hours per train, presumably at each stop. An equally practical solution is to close the tube altogether as it would have much the same effect.
Colin Wright, UK

I'm not going to let my country down or myself down by letting terrorists change my life
Lorraine, St Albans, UK
Sixty years ago, when threatened by fanatical extremists, young men and women decided to risk their own lives in defence of British values. Today, similarly wonderful young men and women are making the same decision for the same reasons and they're out there on the front line on our behalf. I'm not going to let them down, my country down or myself down by letting terrorists change my life. If mainland Britain is the new front line then they've got 60 million 'troops' to tackle before they win.
Lorraine, St Albans, UK

The rails in Europe are prime targets, especially the subways. I visit every year and I am amazed at how easy it is to board a subway or train. No detectors, no questions or pat downs. Italy doesn't even look at our passports when travelling from EU countries. This is horrible security.
Nathan Brown, Macon, GA USA

The only way forward is to have security like in airports. Have luggage separate in a separate carriage and have each passenger searched as they enter the train, or some kind of gangway/passageway you walk through which detects anything suspicious. know it is a lot of work, very expensive but it's surely worth it to save lives. And yes, Busses too! Maybe a rack on top of buses with bomb proofing surrounding in case a bomb explodes? Yes it all sounds far fetched - it's maybe the only solution.
Joan, Scotland

I love it how extra resources are just 'found' for London in the blink of an eye. It's obviously the prime target but what is needed are uniformed police officers and more armed patrols nationally to act as a deterrent. Funnily enough there is now a 12 month wait in Greater Manchester to start training to become a police officer. Why? because the Home Office has announced a budget way under what was expected and needed.
Paul, Manchester, UK

I suspect terrorists can come and go as they please
James McDonald, Brighton, UK
When the government is unwilling/unable to secure our borders, I do not see how they can secure our public transport system. We do not know who is in this country illegally - and I suspect terrorists can come and go as they please.
James McDonald, Brighton, UK

The idea of guards on the trains, though with good intentions, is not going to stop fanatical people. Al-Qaeda has shown time and over again that it is not your "stupid terrorist" trying to blow up the Tate Gallery or the Statue of Liberty as Hollywood producers would like us to believe.
Vishnoo Rath, Stockholm, Sweden

They attack on Sep 11th with planes, then all the security focus becomes planes. Now they attack on trains, all the security is on trains. What about everything else? What about planes now? Or buses? Do they really think the terrorists are going to hit the same method of transport? What's the point in that? How does that make an impact? What about our shops? Where's the security in our massive department stores?
Katherine, Basildon, UK

Plain clothes security will not work. Only uniformed officers should be employed. The uniform would act as a deterrent, and anyone who had something to report would know who to contact. As for the success of the deployment. What chance do they have? After all, it took weeks to catch the one person who was "Tagging" the trains at Edgware Station, and that event was on videotape!
Dave Miller, Hendersonville, UK

If you take luggage on inter-city trains you often end up having to stow it yards away from where you are sitting. Likewise on the tube especially the lines that serve mainline stations and Heathrow. Providing more luggage space is essential in order for bags not to appear abandoned. I've always worried about my case being stolen but now it can constitute a security alert as well.
Fred, Wetherby, UK

Our only weapon in this situation is ourselves by being vigilant
George Nipah, London, England

I'm for in this plan on cracking down on terrorisms but I feel the police force will be overstretched in this operation. Our only weapon in this situation is ourselves by being vigilant. Leaving this operation to the police to stop and search bags for bombs will be like finding a needle in a haystack.
George Nipah, London, England

Sniffer dogs would be more use than plain clothes police and London Underground's plans to make it possible for mobile phones to work on the Tube - in Madrid bombs were triggered by mobile phone signals. Point made.
Benny Ammar, Surbiton, UK

So when the terrorist is pulled over to be searched they detonate their bomb and are still in a confined, crowded area. Perhaps not the best solution for maximum effect but devastating anyway. Without going into details, in one evening I've come up with half a dozen ways to get past this and if I can then a terrorist can too.
John B, UK

I definitely feel that we're next, but the terrorists know we're expecting it and will act unpredictably so as to avoid detection. Therefore, greater security on the trains is reassuring but probably ultimately ineffective.
Claire, England

It is a pure joke to suggest that the latest, much-vaunted "poster campaign" is somehow going to save us from what the authorities describe as an "inevitable" attack. The facts are: 1 - We have no control over our borders and have no idea who is in the country and who isn't; 2 - No amount of over-size posters are going to frighten off would-be terrorists on the transport system (how naive!); 3 - The police admit they can not control even city-centre drunks late at night at weekends. Heaven help us if it comes to terrorists. We should introduce ID cards, start protecting the country's borders as is the government's duty to all the country's citizens, put police on the streets instead of getting them dressed-up as pretend passengers and then I might just feel a little safer.
Steve, London

I would feel happy if every mainline and underground train was searched up and down by sniffer dogs who can detect explosives and possibly other agents
Kim, Porthleven

I would feel happy if every mainline and underground train was searched up and down by sniffer dogs who can detect explosives and possibly other agents. (Maybe small dogs for crowded trains). Dogs are quick and happy in their work, and handlers visible would surely be comforting to travellers and a deterrent at the same time.
Kim, Porthleven, Cornwall

As usual, London gets extra help, while the rest of the country gets diddly squat. Does the government not realise there is a whole country outside of London? I'm less reassured than ever.
Steven, Milton Keynes

You seem to be focusing on the Railways, forgetting the other means of getting a large bomb into the hearts of cities, i.e. National Express, where there are no checks on baggage put onto the vehicles. I know from using the service that the drivers cannot check any of the luggage.
Chris Brown, Ryde, England

As someone with a Middle Eastern / Mediterranean appearance, I get stopped almost every time I travel through an airport due to racial profiling. I just hope the same doesn't happen on the trains.
Bobby, London

I use the trains nearly everyday, and I have no worries - I mean any terrorist trying to attack our national rail network, would be thwarted by the endless delays, countless cancellations, and a indecipherable timetable.
Steven , Gateshead UK

The best thing everyone can do is go about their business and not succumb to the fear and chaos that the terrorists try so hard to create
Elise, Cambridge

There is very little you can do if someone is prepared to lay down their life to commit a terrorist attack. People should of course remain vigilant but the endless security warnings, advice and new laws do nothing but instil panic. We erode our civil rights without significantly increasing our safety and it is pointless. The best thing everyone can do is go about their business and not succumb to the fear and chaos that the terrorists try so hard to create.
Elise, Cambridge

Trying to stop terrorist attacks in Britain reminds me of the little Dutch boy with his finger stuck in the dyke in a vain attempt at stemming an inevitable flood. More policing will not make Britain more secure but a more enlightened policy towards the Middle East might.
Dennis Pickering, Whistler, Canada

It's all very well doing this in London, but what about the rest of the country? It would be way too easy for terrorists to carry out an attack on the railways and I don't think it's just London that's at risk. I also don't really see the point of the police being plain-clothed, as this isn't going to be a visible deterrent.
Emily, Leeds, UK

Interesting comments - it seems like no one has much faith in prevention of attacks on vulnerable civilian targets. Kind of makes the idea of taking the war to the terrorists much more sensible?
Karen, San Diego, California

Plain clothes?! That's just the silliest idea ever! We need a visible presence, or it's no deterrent at all. This is just the cheap option really: 2 or 3 extra staff strolling round, when what's really needed is several hundred more uniformed policemen.
Rob, London, UK

This is not the answer - are we going to have cinema police and shopping mall police as well? The problem is that the security checks need to be at our borders. As an island it should be relatively easy to protect our borders. Unfortunately, successive Governments and the current one in particular are more interested in joining us to Europe and if given the chance would probably fill in the Channel. The sooner the Schengen Agreement is torn up and we protect our country and its legitimate citizens the better.
Julian, Reading, England

Every time I travel on the tube I'm terrified
Miranda, West London, UK
Every time I travel on the tube I'm terrified. There aren't any officials (staff/police) to even ask if one is on the right tube line, let alone to tell them there's an unattended bag, or your friend has just been mugged, or there's a possible terrorist on the platform. I'm terrified of the tube - it's dangerous as it is, with hundreds of squashed people hurtling at high speed in enclosed capsules in a tunnel, let alone with the added fear of terrorism. I'm getting a moped - I don't think public transport is safe enough.
Miranda, West London, UK

No I am not reassured - especially with Jack Straw's shameful denial that the Iraq attack hasn't put our lives at risk. If we've got our own government denying this added risk that they've put us under, what hope is there to protect us? I just think we're next and I'm really, really scared.
Josephine Liddel, Shoreditch, UK

Increased security and plain clothes patrols make sense and are welcome. Random stop and search is worrying. Do we really want to live in a country where being randomly stopped and searched is considered an acceptable part of everyday life?
Trevor Mendham, Edinburgh, Scotland

It gives slight reassurance to know that there will always be trained officers on trains who will perhaps be able to spot a bomb and inspect carriages carefully. However, this is the government not doing enough. It is stupid to think that just as in Spain, al-Qaeda will attack our trains. In New York it was two office buildings, Spain trains, if an attack is made against Britain, I think it will be someplace where it is least expected
DS, Glasgow, Scotland

People shouldn't be worried about approaching others regarding unattended bags
Nance, Brentwood UK
I just want to say that people shouldn't be worried about approaching others regarding unattended bags. I was travelling on the underground a few months ago and noticed a holdall near the door that seemed to have been there quite some time. I was becoming increasingly alarmed and eventually mentioned it to the woman sitting next to me. Fortunately it was hers - she had been unable to find room next to her seat! I was greatly relieved and would have no hesitation in doing it again if necessary. I'm sure that people would not object if it's a question of overall safety for travellers.
Nance, Brentwood UK

Anti-terrorist police on the Tube will make little difference to the risk of a terrorist attack. It is time for scientists and engineers to rise to the challenge of terrorism and develop new, more sophisticated ways of detecting concealed explosives. Techniques such as this are already in use in airports in the States and would need to be adapted to cope with high volumes of passengers.
Liz, Brighton, UK

This makes no real difference at all. It won't act as a deterrent and is highly unlikely to catch anyone carrying a bomb. As for the minister's advice about reporting unattended bags "to the guard or the authorities" this just goes to show how out of touch our government is - commuter trains do not have guards! On many of them you cannot even walk through the train as each four-coach unit is self-contained. We're still more likely to get run over crossing the road than bombed by terrorists though.
J Bowen, Chelmsford, UK

I believe it will only be a matter of time before some form of attack will take place in the UK. Trains are obviously an easy target. With the loss of ticket barriers at 90% of UK stations anyone can walk on to a train with anything. I catch the train daily between two local stations and have not had to present my travel card since last summer. Trains in the UK are so small and crowded the train operating companies cannot manage to catch fare dodgers, let alone catch would be suicide bombers or spot unattended baggage.
Paul H, Wakefield, UK

What worries me are cyclists who put their bicycles onto the train then walk away to sit somewhere else - usually out of sight. Obviously this is a security weakness that need to be stopped.
Dave Kitchenham, Hastings UK

I don't need to be reassured - I know that I'm far more likely to die in a car accident
John, England
I'm starting to feel empathy for Tony Blair. He's pilloried if he acts on Terrorist actions or Intelligence, as with the introduction of "Train Marshals", or previously with increased security at Heathrow, but he's also attacked if he doesn't respond! Personally, I don't need to be reassured - I know that I'm far more likely to die in a car accident or as a result of a DIY mishap than at the hands of terrorists.
John, England

I have no faith at all in transport security. Whilst sharing a carriage with some drunks who decided it would be fun to assault a member of our group and smash our camera, 3 calls were made by females in tears to 999, saying they were being attacked and where the train was. It took the police an hour to turn up at the next station, and, despite there being 3 separate surveillance cameras, they couldn't find the footage. When we followed up the case, they advised us that we had been on an old 'slam door' train that doesn't have cameras, even though we'd told them it was an electric train. After all this, the transport police said it wasn't worth trying to find them. If they cannot even protect us against drunks then how can they possibly protect us against a calculated attack??
CF, London

No, I do not feel any safer because there's no reason to be too concerned in any case. If a Muslim fundamentalist wishes to become a martyr for his cause then no amount of security on British Rail, the airports, the docks, the high rise buildings etc.. is going to prevent one of these vicious, unfeeling individuals getting their way. Britain has often been subjected to terrorism and terrorists. Britons should continue their normal lives supporting security staff and measures as often as we are able to but other than that there's nothing more we can do. We must remain resolutely calm and patient in the face of anti-democratic extremist threats.
RM Muggeridge, England

It's not just terrorists that passengers need protected from
Kerry, UK
In the last 3 years of travelling on London underground and Connex trains every day, I've had my bag stolen twice, been verbally abused by drunks/idiots half a dozen times and been physically assaulted twice. The police weren't interested because there was 'no serious harm done'. It's not just terrorists that passengers need protected from.
Kerry, UK

In light of the fact the Madrid bombs appear to have been detonated by mobile phones, wouldn't it be wise for London Underground to now reconsider its plans for installing mobile phone masts on the tube network? Surely removing any means by which a terrorist attack could be avoided is more important than the money that would presumably be made?
Lizzie, London, UK

I cannot see how a guard on a train is going to stop something like this happening. Especially when our trains are so overcrowded you can rarely see across the carriage let alone spot a terrorist!
Rick Cutler, UK

Personally I'm reassured. The extra security may or may not stop terrorists but it will decrease my chance of getting mugged in a tube station. More police on patrol can't be bad.
Peter, U.K

I can't imagine having more police patrolling trains and stations will make much difference. I am sure it isn't that difficult to smuggle a suitcase or backpack full of explosives into a station or onto a train.
TM, USA/UK

The best thing we can do now is to be extra vigilant
James, Dorset, UK
No - because there are thousands of trains that run on a daily basis and that means thousands of guards, which I know we haven't got. Anyway, the terrorists have so many other bombing options to choose from (libraries, shopping centres, sports stadiums etc etc). The best thing we can do now is to be extra vigilant - and not to take chances.
James, Dorset, UK

Londoners are no stranger to this, neither is the rest of the country. We have already survived a nail bomber, the IRA, Lockerbie and the Blitz. We shall go about out daily business as we have always done, and will continue to do so well after Bin Laden and his cronies are no longer a threat.
Bill, London

A tragedy, which has only brought more sadness to an already troubled world. Unnecessary and meaningless.
Brett Trafford, Basingstoke

I was appalled at how little interest Americans have shown in Madrid's tragedy. Local murder trials, gay marriage, business as usual-these take precedence in our newspapers. No moment of silence. We simply don't care what happens to you foreigners. Why should you support our wars for revenge and oil?
Ron Smith, San Francisco USA

The result is simply even more queues at busy platforms in stations. A perfect target
Alison, Leeds, UK
Last weekend I noticed a marked increase in the police presence and rail staff checking tickets in Manchester and Liverpool. The result is simply even more queues at busy platforms in stations. A perfect target if ever I saw one. Not the best strategy in the world is it?
Alison, Leeds, UK

Surely if a supposed bomber was on a London Underground train and suspected he was about to be searched he would detonate his bomb earlier rather than wait until he reached his target? Seeing more police on the street doesn't reassure me. This will not deter future bombings - people still manage to get guns, drugs etc in to the country - it won't stop the bombs. It may pacify the majority of people by showing that the police are doing something when there really is nothing to be done - except concentrate on intelligence to find out where these groups plan to devastate next.
Nicola, London, UK

No, I am not reassured. I am angry that my money is being wasted on it. There is no way that they can secure trains from either suicide actions or bombs in baggage. They are only pretending, very publicly, to reassure the public. It's a sick publicity stunt that will leave them with egg on their faces if the bombers do head here.
Phillip Holley, UK, Cambs

It strikes me that the London Underground is merely a terrorist target waiting to happen. Having travelled on it on several occasions the visible security is practically nil and I would rather take a taxi rather than travel on the tube. I feel so sorry for commuters who have to use the service everyday - it is like taking a gamble with your life every day. My kids would love to come to London on holiday in May but we are going to Scotland as I feel it is less of a risk.
Nicky, Leeds

The sheer volume of passengers that use the rail network throughout the UK would make it unworkable
KJE, Leicester
There is very little that the police could do to stop an attack unless they had very good intelligence beforehand. The sheer volume of passengers that use the rail network throughout the UK would make it unworkable to stop everyone. Who are they going to stop? This is nothing more than a measure to reassure the naive and give the impression that something is been done. There's very little that can be done, so let's face up to it and get on with our lives.
KJE, Leicester

Great for the protection of all in the UK, almost forgot that all the UK population lives in London!
Pamela, Manchester

We have to do whatever possible to minimise the threat of terrorism - enforce id cards, check bags, police the railways. There will be an irrelevant pathetic backlash from civil rights groups, but lives are much more important!
Lee, London, England

I travelled yesterday evening from Liverpool to London. I got out of a car at Lime Street Station with a full rucksack, I got on the train and put the rucksack in the luggage rack in the middle of the train and got off at Euston. But, I could've got off at any stop down the line without anyone knowing that I hadn't taken my rucksack with me. No security in sight. That train was a sitting duck as far as I'm concerned and I didn't feel very safe.
Joseph, UK

They'd be about as much use against terrorists as a 'Guardian Angel'. Remember them?
Gerry Noble, Salisbury, UK

Why do I get the feeling that terrorism is abused as a distraction from things that affect our everyday lives? The threats to safety on the railways are not terrorism, they are drunks on trains, vandalism and children on the line. Can we please see our tax being spent on something useful?
Andrew, Durham, UK

I will feel happier on trains after these new measures, but I will generally feel uneasy about travelling into and around London, by car, Tube, bus or train, for the time being. I don't mind being stopped and searched if it means it's safer for everyone. Let the police do their job - these are dangerous times while our government plays this game, and we have to pay the price.
Sarah , Reading, UK

The only way to prevent a repeat of last week's tragedy would be to search all intending train passengers and insist on ID checks at all interchange points - totally impossible so we have to accept some risk,
Rob, Kings Lynn, UK

We have to accept that in this country, as in most European countries, we cannot watch every passenger
Kevin, Wilshire, England
Britain's railways has thousands of stations, mostly unmanned, and runs tens of thousands of trains every day. How is it possible to cover every train and station? Having airline style security checks at stations such as Waterloo at 5pm will bring the railways to a stop. We have to accept that in this country, as in most European countries, we cannot watch every passenger. (From a railway engineer).
Kevin, Wilshire, England

No. Wars, extra security, restrictions on civil liberties don't combat terrorism, particularly when you don't even know what the motivation of the so-called terrorists are. I use the Underground every day; they can't even stop fare dodging and train platforms are overcrowded, people hang out at underground stations all the time, they're part of London's communities, a meeting place. The only way measures like these would work would be to alter the very nature of the London Underground.
Sophie, London

I refuse to live scared. I am more at risk from car drivers than terrorists. I used to travel over Hammersmith Bridge every day, and was late to work the day the IRA tried to blow it up. If I get blown up I get blown up. I will not live in fear.
A Legge, Leeds, UK

Passenger trains have been an attractive target ever since the South Malaccan terrorists seized a train in Holland in 1977 and Bologna railway station was attacked in 1980. Railways are a soft target that is almost impossible to protect. The anti-terrorist response of the British Transport Police is a forlorn hope that represents little more than a fig leaf of reassurance to travellers. I commute daily to London by train and I am just resigned to the fact that an attack could happen at any time. It is just part of living in a world populated with fanatical terrorists who care about nothing other than their distorted beliefs.
Chari Klein, Chandlers Ford, UK

Railway stations will always be soft targets. Access is very difficult to control. Random searches may get lucky but do not offer an effective deterrent to a committed terrorist. It would be very easy to stage a diversion when planting a bomb.
Derek, England

I welcome security on trains - great idea, perhaps they can also cut down on the vandalism, fare dodging, littering - yet more officers needed but strangely little extra budget. Also I fear that increased security will lead to increased delays to an already suffering service. How annoyed will passengers on the tube be if they are stopped and searched, causing them to miss connections? As one who crosses from St. Pancras to Waterloo if I miss the train it's an hour's wait. Not very amusing even if it is slightly safer.
Alex Flowers, Derby, UK

Patrolling for the first time? Read your own "on this day" and you will see that armed officers were deployed in the wake of the '76 IRA tube bombing, and, I would suspect, numerous times before and after.
Scott, UK

How long will it be before every bus also has to carry a marshal? We're now on the back foot facing an invisible enemy whose presence here is a direct result of our unbalanced policy towards the Middle East. Fix that policy and we won't have to fix security to every imaginable mode of transport.
JohnM, LyneMeads, UK

I'm not reassured at all. Let's face facts, it would be extremely easy for someone to board a train and leave a bag full of explosives on the rack, then leave the train without anyone noticing. Having said that, it seems the only way to counter that is to search everyone's bags - imagine that at rush hour !
Savio, London

If the new security on the tube is all plain clothes, who exactly are the public meant to report suspicious packages to?! There are hardly ever any tube staff on the platforms, and if you're travelling on the tube and no one claims a bag - what are you meant to do as there is no one on board to say anything to!
Ella, London

I cannot see how pulling the odd person over for a stop and search will help
John B, UK
I'm not reassured at all by this move. Given the sheer number of people using the Tube I cannot see how pulling the odd person over for a stop and search will help. Also it seems like these are the sort of checks people think are a good thing until it happens to them. How many commuters, already dealing with the usual timing uncertainties of the Tube and already late for work, are going to take kindly to being stopped and searched?
John B, UK

I don't really think this would make me feel much safer. If someone wants to blow something up having plain clothed police men will not stop them!
Lucy, North London

Interesting response considering we have had problems with terrorists for over thirty years. The IRA has bombed the underground before, and is obviously a very easy target. As are the railways, but are a handful of officers going to make it safe for the 1billion annual rail users?
James Lawrie, Stamford, Lincs

Another excuse for more delays. I'll not use the rail system, not because of the terrorist threat, but because you can't rely on it..
Dave Jowett, UK

If fanatics can detonate bombs in the centre of Israel, one of the most heavily policed areas in the world, then I can't see the London tube should present too much of a problem.
Robert, Glasgow, UK

While I am pleased at the increase in security, I wonder at the advice being given to phone 999 if spotting an unidentified package. I've always understood that after picking it up and moving it, making a mobile phone call next to a possible bomb is the worst thing to do.
Nigel, Sutton, Surrey

I doubt this will have any effect at all. But let's be honest - if the police didn't do it we'd be complaining like mad.
Ray Gray, London, England





PRODUCTS AND SERVICES

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia
UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health
Have Your Say | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific