Police strategy

The 2013-19 strategic plan 

Download British Transport Police’s strategy for 2013-19 in PDF format[0.8 MB].

Introduction from the Chairman and Chief Constable

The British Transport Police Strategic Plan for 2013-19 covers a period that will require unprecedented change in railway policing. It sets out how BTP will respond to wider industry pressures – financial and operational – by delivering improved service quality at the same time as significantly reducing unit costs.

The Department for Transport’s Rail Command Paper, published in March 2012, and its subsequent High Level Output Statement (HLOS) have launched a period of fundamental reform to the way the rail industry works. Government has directed the industry to improve service reliability at the same time as catering for continued high levels of patronage growth, delivering major infrastructure modernisation schemes, and making radical improvements in efficiency. In line with the McNulty Review, the Command Paper sets a target for the industry to reduce unit costs by 30% by April 2019; the Government’s HLOS for Control period 5 describes average passenger traffic growth of 16% by April 2019; and freight to grow by 23% over the same period. The Mayor of London’s Transport Strategy to 2020 also forecasts significant growth in rail passenger journeys on the heavy rail, tube and tram networks within and around the capital.

As the dedicated and specialist railway police force, our industry partners have told us they believe BTP has an important part to play in delivering this future vision for rail. Our activities in combating crime help reduce disruption to services and make the railway more attractive and safer for passengers and staff. As such, BTP can make a significant contribution to the industry’s ambition for rail to become the transport mode of choice. However, the extent of our role depends on BTP continuing to demonstrate that it is the most effective and efficient body to exercise policing functions across the national network in both our statutory and non-statutory tasks. The Government’s blueprint for the railway means BTP will have to reconsider the way it operates.

The need to minimise disruption will become even more important on an expanding, busier railway. Even greater emphasis will have to be placed on preventing unnecessary cost and disruption from temporary closures of stations or railway lines without compromising our duties to combat terrorist threats and investigate crime and fatalities on the railway.

BTP has already developed a specialist approach to achieve this aim. It flows through all operational activity and enhances the service we provide. For example, our position within the policing family, our national accreditation and ability to use warranted powers enables us to coordinate and oversee investigations in a way that has as little impact as practical on railway services.

A further successful programme to prevent and reduce delays is our partnership with operators and Network Rail to combat crimes, such as cable theft, which can cause particularly severe disruption to train services.

This Strategic Plan sets out how we will build on these and other current activities to continue improving the value for money BTP offers to the industry and the taxpayer.
There is a consensus between industry and BTP that we must develop a deeper and enduring partnership to support delivery of wider industry objectives. Doing so will provide clear and lasting benefits to the railway’s passengers and funders. For example, working with operators’ and Network Rail’s planning and operations teams will enable resources to be deployed in a co-ordinated way, creating a more efficient and effective service.

Our appetite to strengthen our working relationships with industry partners, enhance our understanding of their requirements and introduce new working practices mean BTP will be positioned to play an important part in delivering the Government’s vision for a growing and financially sustainable railway.