The 2022-27 Strategic Plan
Introduction from Ron Barclay-Smith, BTPA Chair
I am pleased to present to you the Strategic Plan for policing Britain’s railways 2022-27, the first from Chief Constable Lucy D’Orsi. The development of this strategy was significantly shaped by partner engagement and I want to thank you if you were one of those who contributed by reviewing early drafts of the document, or if you submitted written feedback as part of the consultation. I want to assure you that all the feedback we received was invaluable and it will be used to inform our work going forward. A number of recurring themes emerged in the feedback we received, and these are the threads which run throughout the plan that follows. Our stakeholders told us that they supported our overarching ambition for BTP to work in partnership with the rail industry, and others, to maximise visibility of staff. By doing so, it ensures good order is maintained on the network so that passengers and staff can go about their business in safety and without disruption.
There was also strong support for BTP’s ambition to explore ways to collaborate and innovate to deliver services even more efficiently and to meet the challenges of the new operating environment. We are grateful for the expressions of interest from many of our partners in helping us deliver those plans.
At time of publication, Great Britain’s rail network is still very much in recovery. Much of the country is still working from home or has adapted to a new flexible working approach, which suggests the number of rail commuters using the network may not return to pre-pandemic levels during this Strategy. However, the number of passengers travelling by rail for leisure purposes is increasing and expected to rise even further. The critical role for rail freight operators was demonstrated during the pandemic, and the Williams-Shapps review has since set out very clearly an expectation that this role will grow in the future. The focus for the industry now is to build customer confidence in the network and assure service users that the network is safe, secure and reliable; BTP’s focus will be to support the industry in this challenge. This is an important context for us as we set the direction for the Force for the years ahead.
As well as developing this strategy for an uncertain, post-Covid future, we have tried to account for the changes likely to come following the Government’s programme of rail reform and the creation of Great British Railways (GBR). We intend to be at the forefront of planning for what policing and security will look like in the new rail landscape, and the BTP and the Authority will provide an expert voice on how the network and its passengers and staff will be protected from harm under GBR.
In this strategy we have set out our high-level ambitions around specialist policing, passenger confidence and providing value for money, while also recognising the importance of the day-to-day threats on the railway: anti-social behaviour, disruption, and violence against women and girls, among others.
Our strategy is also shaped by the findings of the Manchester Arena Inquiry, which has already highlighted a critical need for improved coordination and optimisation of policing and security at specific locations. We will continue to engage with the findings of the Inquiry as it reports, and our partners in developing new ways of working.
Throughout this strategy, we have tried to align our priorities as much as possible, both with those of the industry we serve and our wider policing partners. We all have a common goal of keeping passengers safe and the railway running, and we intend to fulfil this commitment through the plans laid out in this document.