New chair announced for police authority

Millie Banerjee CBE has been appointed as the new chair of the British Transport Police Authority (BTPA), the Transport Minister Lord Adonis announced today. She will assume the role on 1 December and succeeds Sir Alistair Graham, who finished his term of office at the end of September. “I’m looking forward to the role and very pleased to be here, working with this small but very effective team,” she said.

“My aim is to support the force and create an environment in which to deliver, in the context of better policing, on transport and the perceived and real concerns of users, in an effective and cost efficient way.”

The BTPA oversees the British Transport Police, maintaining the budget, allocating resources and making senior appointments to the force. One of Ms Banerjee’s responsibilities over the coming year will be to oversee the process of appointing a new Chief Constable at the force to replace Ian Johnston, who retires next summer.

“We have had an excellent working relationship with Sir Alistair, who has done much for (the force) since the BTPA was set up,” said the Chief Constable. “He has helped us greatly through some difficult times, not least the 2005 London bombings, and has also been assiduous in ensuring that BTP is providing maximum value for money and the best possible service to the rail passengers and staff. We look forward to working with Ms Banerjee in the future.”

Ms Banerjee is no stranger to the rail community, having served as a non-executive director at the Strategic Rail Authority between 2000 and 2005. She brings to the BTPA her extensive experience from several non-executive appointments, including the boards of Focus, the Sector Skills Development Agency and Channel 4 Television. She also spent 25 years with BT.

Currently she serves on the boards of Ofcom, Consumer Focus, in her capacity as the former chair of Postwatch, and most recently the Peabody Trust. Her appointment at the BTPA will be for four years.

The Department of Transport’s announcement can be found here.