The Conservative Party has issued a report produced by its Border Security Advisory Committee, setting out high-level proposals for a new Border Protection Service. The Advisory Committee is one of a number of groups and taskforces set up by the Conservatives to examine specific areas of policy.
Commenting on the new report, the Chairman of the British Transport Police Authority, Sir Alistair Graham, said:
“The Border Security Advisory Committee’s package of proposals includes some interesting ideas which the Authority will want to look at in more detail. In particular, the suggestion that the British Transport Police’s involvement in port policing on the Channel Tunnel Rail Link could be amalgamated into a new Border Protection Service will need close examination.
“My understanding is that this proposal would only affect policing around the Tunnel portal and has an impact on only a few BTP officers. However, this raises the wider question of the possible need for such policing to be undertaken by a national, specialist force – a role that is currently fulfilled in respect of the railways by British Transport Police, which is used to policing in a commercial context and which has a national presence.”
The Advisory Committee recognises that extensive work will now need to be undertaken to develop its proposals further and that consultation with all of the organisations currently involved in border security will be an important part of this process. The BTPA would expect to be fully involved in discussions about the implications of the report’s recommendations.