Crime prevention assessment of SBB railway stations

Its railway stations give the Swiss Federal Railways Company (SBB) an opportunity to maintain its brand image. This is why it is important for SBB to ensure that its railway stations are safe and that station visitors experience the stations as pleasant. SBB Real Estate commissioned EBP to assess three SBB railway stations from the perspective of crime prevention and to develop an assessment guideline for other stations.

The challenge of railway station security

Railway stations are hubs in our transportation system, meeting places and shopping centers that are often open around the clock. They are places where people of various backgrounds come into close proximity to one another. Their melting-pot nature also makes them especially attractive for thieves and vandals. This is why it is essential to meet the challenge of assuring security and a favorable customer experience at railway stations.

Security at railway stations

Security at railway stations consists of two main components, the objective security (e.g. as measured by the number of incidents per unit of time) and the subjective perception of security on the part of the people who use the railway stations. The task of those responsible for urban crime prevention is to implement architectural, design and organizational measures to prevent crime and to enhance people’s subjective feeling of being safe.

Crime prevention analysis

In order to assess crime prevention at three SBB railway stations, EBP analyzed the objective and subjective security situation at the stations and organized a workshop to give stakeholders of the railway stations and their vicinity an opportunity to share their impressions and ideas related to security. The various stakeholders included SBB, city officials, police departments, business communities and public interest organizations. Working together, we identified hotspots and discussed possible measures to enhance security. Special attention was given to future development at and in the vicinity of the railway stations. Another important component of the workshop was the establishment of contact among the various stakeholders.

Exploiting the potential for improvement

Based on the analyses of the three railway stations, EBP identified measures that could also be implemented at other railway stations. From this basis, EBP developed a quick-check tool that SBB officials can use to carry out initial crime prevention assessments of other railway stations and to ensure that SBB railway stations remain safe and pleasant environments in the future.

EBP worked together with the German expert for crime prevention Christian Weicht (

The project was presented at the 22nd German Congress on Crime Prevention in Hannover in June 2017.

Contact persons