The 2008-11 Strategic Plan builds on the achievements of the 2005-08 Strategic Plan, and is the foundation of both British Transport Police (BTP) and the British Transport Police Authority’s (BTPA’s) operational and organisational planning for the next three years. This new plan will allow BTP to capitalise on the improvements achieved to date in operational performance, organisational robustness and its partnerships with stakeholders.
BTP met all operational targets in 2005-06 and 2006-07, and 94% in 2007-08 (90 out of 96). During the life of the last plan, there have been notable successes in a number of key areas, including detection rates for staff assaults, fatality management and tackling anti-social behaviour and robbery. Excellent progress has also been made in relation to organisational targets, particularly in increasing the diversity of BTP’s frontline officers. BTP has 40% more police officers from black and minority ethnic backgrounds, and 34% more female officers than it did at the start of 2005. These results mean that BTP is much more representative of, and therefore better equipped to police, its railway community in the future.
In 2006, the role of BTP as the national specialist police force for the railways, was scrutinised, and firmly endorsed, in a review carried out by the Secretary of State for Transport. This comprehensive review of BTP’s role and functions provided an opportunity for industry and wider stakeholders to submit evidence in relation to the appropriateness of, and support for, a continuing specialist police force for the rail network. The review confirmed BTP’s role and reaffirmed the current ‘user pays’ principle for funding BTP. It also recommended that BTP further develop its partnership working with key stakeholders in the future.
To that end BTP, the BTPA and senior representatives from the Association of Train Operating Companies (ATOC) and other train operators established the Working Together Group to explore opportunities for greater partnership working with the industry. The protocols developed by this group will continue to shape BTP’s working relationships over the course of this new Strategic Plan.
In pursuit of improved partnership working, BTP has piloted a neighbourhood policing style in parts of the rail network and currently has 61 teams in place across the United Kingdom, the majority of which are on the London Underground. These teams are made up of accountable resources with geographic ownership. They target, in an intelligence-led manner, issues that matter most to their community. BTP has also developed a new multi-tiered approach to agreeing the priorities for its Policing Plan, by combining a range of national and locally defined policing objectives and stressing local accountability.
On 7 and 21 July 2005, BTP played a central role in responding to the atrocious terrorist attacks on the London transport network. Not only did these events test BTP’s resilience but demonstrated its ability to work with a range of partners to respond effectively, and to restore the transport system quickly to enable passengers and rail staff to continue their normal business. These and subsequent terrorist events led to a new normality for the railways in which a focus on counter terrorism is now a ‘business as usual’ approach for BTP. However, another event such as the 7 July bombings could seriously undermine BTP’s ability to achieve all of its strategic aims.
The BTPA has developed and implemented a new charging model which more accurately and sensitively distributes the current costs of policing amongst Police Service Agreement (PSA) holders. The BTPA is aware of the impact on its industry partners that the increases in funding over the duration of the 2005-08 Strategic Plan had, and the impact of the redistribution of costs as a consequence of the new model.
PSA holders have requested a period of stability and certainty in relation to revenue charges for the duration of this plan and as such, the BTPA has given a commitment to annual increases in charges to PSA holders with respect to BTP’s revenue budget being no more than RPI. The risks associated with this commitment are outlined in Section 7.
Successful delivery of this commitment is dependent on BTP and the BTPA capitalising on the investments that have been made to date, securing long lasting efficiencies, strengthening partnership working arrangements and building on the progress made in relation to implementing the neighbourhood policing style, in an effort to reduce crime and disorder on the railways. In the summer of 2012, the world’s focus will be on London as it stages the Olympic and Paralympic Games. London can expect a substantial increase in construction in and around the railway network in the years leading up to the Games, and in international and domestic visitors during the Games. Providing a safe and secure environment for those using public transport up to and during the Games presents significant policing challenges which require clear identification and planning. BTP has already begun work on this with the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA), Transec, Metropolitan Police Service (MPS), Transport for London (TfL), London Underground Limited (LUL) and other rail industry partners. With events being staged across the country, the Games have a national policing impact for BTP that extends beyond just London. After discussions between the Secretary of State for Transport, the Chief Constable and Chair of the BTPA, an assurance has been given that the Government, and not the rail industry, will provide funding to cover the additional costs of BTP and to ensure the capacity and capability to meet the challenges of the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
The high level objectives and performance measures, financial strategy, and risks associated with this Strategic Plan, are set out in Sections 5, 6 and 7 of this plan.
This plan is a rolling three-year plan and will therefore be updated on an annual basis to enable it to adapt to the changing environment, and to remain focused on the specialist needs of the railways.