The 2018-22 Strategic Plan
Introduction from Ron Barclay-Smith, BTPA Chair
The past year has seen the British Transport Police (BTP) operate in an environment unlike any it has known before, and it has risen admirably to the challenge. BTP, along with its rail industry partners, rightly prioritised being visible on the network and keeping passengers and rail staff safe as the Covid-19 pandemic continued to evolve. These unexpected circumstances led us to extend our existing strategy, which covered the period 2018-2021, by a further year, in accordance with Section 55 of The Railways and Transport Safety Act 2003.
I am therefore pleased to issue this refreshed Strategy for policing Britain’s railways which updates and extends our existing plans to 2022 and informs our Policing Plan for 2021-22 which we will publish shortly. This document restates our vision, mission and objectives, outlines the significant progress achieved in terms of the current strategy and incorporates our updated ambitions and the activities planned for the next 12 months.
Our 2018-2021 Strategy provided the framework for our policing plan and the BTP2021 change programme and was the product of a comprehensive strategic review in 2017 and extensive engagement with our rail industry partners and other stakeholders. At the beginning of each strategic planning cycle, we would ordinarily conduct an extensive review; however, this year for several reasons this has not been possible. One critical input to our plans is the recommendations of the yet unpublished Williams Rail Review which was due in 2020 but now expected later this year. Whilst the long-term impact of the Covid-19 pandemic is yet fully to emerge, it will naturally be a key factor in our planning assumptions for the next three-year plan.
As a result, we elected to conduct a limited review, providing an update of our current strategy and progress to date. In addition, new BTP initiatives, such as County Lines and plans to start greening the vehicle fleet are now reflected in our proposals.
Key revisions in this plan include:
• An update on the progress of the 2018-2021 Strategy which set out key achievements and challenges and the refreshed assumptions which underpin this plan
• A revised set of priorities organised under our four original objectives:
– Protecting People
– Reducing Delays and Disruption
– Providing Value for Money
– Building a Specialist and Skilled Workforce
• A refreshed budget for 2021/22 and a revised risk profile has been included
Despite the uncertainty, we remain committed to delivering quality policing services that address the primary needs of our customers and staff, maximising visibility across the network, protecting critical national infrastructure whilst also ultimately providing value for money as we continue to strive to keep our operating costs as low as possible. Moreover, we are determined that both the Authority and the Force carry out their functions in an efficient a manner as possible to ensure demonstrable value for money.
The Authority is under no illusion that there are some significant challenges ahead and as we start the preparation and consultation for our next strategy, we will undertake an extensive review during 2021 to formulate our plans for 2022-25. We anticipate that this will include focusing on the recommendations of the Williams Rail Review once published, matters concerning legitimacy in policing, our response to the outcomes of the Manchester Arena Inquiry and the next phase of the efficiency programme. Underpinning all our activity will be the longer-lasting considerations of the pandemic and its impact on policing on the railways.
Supported by the Authority, this strategy will be led by our new Chief Constable, Lucy D’Orsi, who joined us in March 2021 following the retirement of Paul Crowther CBE.