Christmas Message: BTPA Chair Ron Barclay-Smith

As we come to the end of another challenging year, on behalf of the Authority Members and BTPA Executive, I want to thank each and every one of you for all of your hard work and commitment. The past 12 months have shown once again that BTP is a resilient and professional force, and the positive feedback received from both Government and the industry reinforces this view. The work you undertake, whether it be on the front line or in support, is crucial and essential across Scotland, Wales and England.

During the year we welcomed a new Chief Constable, Lucy D’Orsi, and more recently a new Deputy Chief Constable, Alistair Sutherland. I believe that under their leadership the Force will develop further to achieve new heights and I urge you all to support them as they tackle the challenges and opportunities which the Force faces. In the past year, despite a constantly changing and uncertain environment, you all have risen admirably to the challenge, and have continued to provide the highest-possible standard of protection for passengers, rail staff and critical national infrastructure. In addition, I am proud of your continued successes achieved in multiple operations and initiatives across England, Wales and Scotland; notable amongst these achievements were the significant roles played by BTP at both COP26 in Glasgow and the G7 in Cornwall which drew praise from the “host” forces at these events.

I am also deeply grateful to those officers and staff working over the holiday period to keep rail staff and passengers safe during the festive season. It is very much appreciated.

I am also conscious that we ask much of you and I am also aware that your families and friends provide essential support to you: you do a difficult, complex and unfortunately sometimes dangerous job, and the support many of you are given by your families helps considerably with the challenges you must face. My thanks to all your families and friends for that support.

I wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Ron Barclay-Smith

Chair, BTPA