Headlines: October 15th, 2001

The Transport Police are the first group of law enforcers to be effected by Home Secretary David Blunkett’s police reform strategy published last month. A key element of the strategy is to extend the ‘police family’ and join up different groups to help in tackling anti-social behaviour. Neighbourhood wardens and security staff employed by public and private sector organizations will also be brought into the extended family.The British Transport Police are the national police force for the railways throughout the UK. They police the national railway network, London Underground and a number of local transport systems. With over 2,000 officers and an annual budget of 123 million pounds, which is entirely funded by the railways industry. They work closely with local police forces and have particular expertise in the management of large travelling groups such as football supporters, and control of anti-social behaviour in enclosed areas such as railway stations and on trains.

A Consultation Document “Modernising the British Transport Police”, which has been sent to a wide range of stakeholders, sets out proposed legislative changes. Parliament will be asked to approve extending the jurisdiction of Transport Police Officers beyond railway property and to widen their powers to bring them more in line with police forces.

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