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How Axon is helping the French National Railway protect passengers


The SNCF group reinforces the security of agents and passengers thanks to Axon’s technologies


The SNCF group, a major player in
the French transport industry, must ensure the safety of its customers, employees and assets. In order to address the rise in crime at its stations, and acts of violence against its staff, two departments of the SNCF - SNCF Voyageurs and SNCF Railway Security - have adopted Axon Body 2 body cameras and Axon Evidence, a cloud- based digital evidence management solution. With Axon body cameras

and Axon Evidence, the SNCF group has realised safer conditions for it’s officers, train operators and the public.

SNCF has experienced a 47% decrease in assaults, financial gains due to reduced work stoppages and improved training.


SNCF Voyageurs has 68,000 employees, and some of them, such as train controllers or station staff in charge of welcoming passengers, are often confronted with physical or verbal abuse.


Assumptions - the average salary of an SNCF employee is 30K per year so the absence of 245 full-time employees per year would equate to a loss of approximately 7.3 million dollars per year

SNCF Railway Security has 2,800 employees and deal with over 130,000 safety incidents per year – an average of 46 per employee.

SNCF employees monitor train lines and prevent damage and theft.

“The agents are committed to enforcing the rules, which sometimes leads to violent reactions. Acts of incivility against our agents are a real issue in terms of staff safety”, explains Valérie Boismartel, the Head of Occupational Health and Safety Projects at SNCF Voyageurs. “So, in addition to the actions we are already taking, we wanted to go further in preventing attacks on our sworn and volunteer employees.”

In order to increase the protection of its agents, SNCF Railway Security began experimenting with body cameras in January 2020 by deploying 157 Axon Body 2 cameras at 49 sites. SNCF Voyageurs, meanwhile, is expected to use about 650 Axon Body 2 throughout the country by the end of 2021.


Since the beginning of this experiment, more than 20,000 interventions have been carried out by the SNCF Railway Security teams equipped with Axon body cameras. Both units will connect their Axon body cameras to Axon Evidence to securely and efficiently manage captured evidence.

The Axon Body 2 body cameras and the Axon Evidence software make it possible to improve the safety of the agents, to attest hostile behaviors they are confronted with and to de-escalate certain situations.

In addition, the redaction feature within Axon Evidence enables the review of video facilitating

feedback and helping to continuously improve officer reactions.

Cameras provide audiovisual evidence that did not exist in the past. Sound plays a very important role, as the recording
of exchanges between officers and defendants provides real added value when it comes to the investigations carried out by judiciary officers (OPJ).

Christophe Fois,
Head of the Safety and Ethics Department at SNCF Railway Security

Hugues Vandenkerckhove, Security Expert for ground staff at SNCF Voyageurs, underlines the advantages of having such technology: “Our company was looking for quality equipment for its employees - we wanted reliability, ergonomic equipment and sufficient autonomy for a day’s work, i.e. 8 to 12 hours”. He continues: ”The camera is a deterrent. The customer comes

to you and, as soon as he sees the camera, he calms down”.

Surveys conducted during this experiment show that activating the camera calms the situation in 50 to 60% of cases.

A statistic confirmed by the British public transport security services, consulted by Valérie Boismartel, results in:


On a positive note, the number of work-related accidents has remained stable since the cameras were put into service, despite an unfavorable change in the security climate. This means better protection for agents and financial gains due to reduced work stoppages.


Axon body cameras make it possible to capture images and verbal exchanges between agents and offenders so when a criminal offence leads to an arrest, the judicial police officer can request the recording of the incident (with a judicial summon) in order to help establish the truth.

According to Christophe Fois, “More than 14,000 videos were filmed in the first seven months of 2021, resulting in only 250 requisitions (430 since the start of the experiment in 2020)”.

Less than 2% of the videos taken had been used during an investigation emphasizing the de-escalating factor.

79 of the videos captured by SNCF Railway Security since the deployment have been redacted using Axon Evidence’s redaction software, in order
to be used for educational purposes to improve the quality of interventions.

Both entities have adopted the Axon Evidence cloud-based digital evidence management solution, in order to store, centrally manage and securely share video evidence with judicial police officers (OPJ). Housed in the European cloud,
this solution also meets the external storage recording requirements. These videos are used as evidence alongside the footage captured by video- surveillance cameras present on SNCF premises for a complete picture of the incidents at hand.

SNCF Voyageurs and the SNCF Railway Security chose Axon after a European tender request. The agents expressed their satisfaction with the Axon solutions as the Axon Body 2 camera proved to be the most reliable due the ease

of use, battery life and storage capacity
and thanks to Axon Evidence’s evidence management and redaction software the agents were able to enhance their level of performance.