New targets for rail police backed by passengers

New targets, driven by national passenger feedback, have today been officially handed over to the officers that police Britain’s railways.

The British Transport Police Authority (BTPA), which oversees the work of British Transport Police (BTP), has worked closely with the Force to produce this year’s policing plans which, it says, take on board the feedback of passengers and rail staff more than ever before.

This year’s policing targets are the result of ramped up public consultation with passengers who made themselves heard via BTP’s first ever public consultation as well as through the National Rail Passenger survey.

The result is national and locally based plans for more visible policing, especially late at night, and a crackdown on anti-social behaviour and crimes that cause disruption and delays on tubes and trains.

To maximise resources there will be an emphasis on more intelligence-led policing this year via Operation Trafalgar, a method which uses years of data to analyse crimes by time and location, allowing the Force to focus on preventing rather than reacting to crime.

Rail bosses and their staff have also worked closely with the authority and BTP to influence policing plans this year, with particular emphasis on tackling staff assaults and work that can be done to reduce disruption caused by offences such as trespass. Targets have been set that will see BTP working directly with partners to reduce disruption as well as increase confidence amongst rail employees.

The 2015/16 national targets for BTP include:

  • Reduce crime by at least 3%
  • Reduce violence against the person offences by at least 10%
  • At least a 78.8% confidence rating for passengers measured by the National Rail Passenger Survey

Local targets for London and East /South of England include:

  • Reduce violence and aggression towards London Underground and DLR staff – last year there were 417 offences
  • To carry out a total of 588 on-train patrols during Friday evenings
  • Reduce bicycle offences, which includes theft, by at least 10 %

Local targets for Pennine, Wales, Western, Midlands include:

  • Reduce theft of passenger property by at least 5%
  • Work with the rail industry to create bespoke problem solving plans to address anti-social behaviour and trespass

Local targets for Scotland include:

  • Reduce the number of violent offences at Edinburgh Waverley by 20%, Glasgow Central by 10% and Glasgow Queen Street by 10%
  • Work with Community Rail Partnerships at a minimum of six locations to improve confidence

The release of the new policing plans coincides with a campaign launch by BTP on Monday, 1 June, to show passengers how their feedback has been used.

BTP is committed to increasing passenger confidence this year and, the policing plans, which list the Force’s targets, have been designed to encourage conversation. They contain contact details of commanders across the country as well as a feedback tool for anyone wanting to share their thoughts on the targets with the Force or the police authority.

Millie Banerjee Chair of the BTPA said:

“This year’s targets capture the big issues affecting those who travel or work on the railways because we’ve worked with passengers and rail employees to develop them. They support the Force to make the greatest impact by encouraging partnership working, whilst focusing policing where it is needed most.

“They are the result of much conversation and we don’t want that conversation to stop now. We want to track how these focused priorities are working for passengers and the rail industry to help us plan for next year. This year’s policing plans have been designed to keep that conversation going.”

The Chief Constable of BTP, Paul Crowther added:

“The targets for 2015/16 build on our successes last year to reduce disruption and increase passenger confidence and will, rightly, be extremely challenging.

“Passenger feedback means this year we are confident our targets are focused on the issues that matter most. Securing the confidence of passengers is vital to our success as a force, increasing visibility and ensuring we have the right people, with the right skills, in the right place, at the right time, will help us achieve this.”

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