BTP welcomed the inspection report published today, 23 February, by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC).
“I think the positive report that Bernard Hogan-Howe and his team have delivered is a real vote of confidence in our staff and organisation,” said Deputy Chief Constable Paul Crowther.
“We have reduced crime over six consecutive years on the rail system, and increased the visibility of our uniformed police officers and Police Community Support Officers.
“I am particularly pleased that the inspection team viewed our handling of the approximately 300 fatalities a year we experience on the rail system as a real strength. Our overriding priorities at these incidents are the preservation of life and the safety of the public. However, these incidents have the potential to cause very serious disruption for thousands of people and it is an important part of our task to help restore the network to normality as expeditiously as possible, as well as to thoroughly investigate each death.”
The HMIC report makes five recommendations (see below), all of which have been accepted by BTP, and concludes: “The inspection team were left with the impression of a body of officers and staff who are committed to providing a professional and quality service both to rail passengers and to the industry.”
The report goes on to say that BTP is “doing particularly well in the areas of responding to immediate incidents, reducing violent offences, improving victim satisfaction, investigating fatalities and returning the railway to normality.”
“Cable theft is a real challenge for us and we are working with Network Rail to find new ways to tackle this area of crime,” said DCC Crowther. “We are also working with train operating companies to improve passengers’ perceptions of how safe they are when travelling by train. We have set ourselves stretching targets to tackle crime and anti-social behaviour on the railway in order to increase confidence amongst both passengers and staff.”