Armed security agents started work at the weekend on French trains and in railway stations. They will operate in civilian clothes and must have at least five years' experience in security with SNCF or RATP, the Parisian transport authority.
The role of the agents will be to guard against terror attacks and other threats to security. They will also have powers to search passengers in certain situations. The move was enabled by a law passed in March, 2016 called the Savary Act.
This act precedes the French government’s announcement on May 9 of a comprehensive plan of 80 measures to “combat radicalisation and terrorism”, specifically with the “creation of one rehabilitation and citizenship centre per region by the end of 2017”.