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BTP targets 4% cut in railway crime under new chief constable

Rail passengers can expect safer journeys in the future as the British Transport Police (BTP) has been charged with reducing crime on the railways by 4% on last year’s figures.

As part of the 2014/15 National and Divisional Plans, the BTP is expected to ensure that its targets are achieved by the end of the year. These involve reducing passenger theft, preventing violence against rail staff and working faster to improve response times to incidents of crime in order to reduce disruption to passengers.

Other targets of the National and Divisional Plans include reducing police related delay by 6%; achieving a passenger confidence rating of at least 77.5%; spending at least 60% of budget on frontline resources; and clearing non-suspicious fatalities within 90 minutes.

This year’s plans are the result of feedback gathered by British Transport Police Authority (BTPA) and BTP, who spent much of the last 12 months finding out what matters most to those who own, operate, work or travel on the railways.

Millie Banerjee, chair of the BTPA, said: “We have kept our ears to the ground listening closely to feedback, resulting in policing priorities that match needs at a local level.

“We have also ensured the savings made last year have been ploughed back into frontline resources including investment in 180-200 more officers and new technology to ensure an efficient and effective policing.”

As a result of consultation, the Authority and BTP also took the decision to restructure the geographical makeup of the force to better align operations with policing needs on lines of route.Previously the country was divided, with seven force areas policing Britain’s railways. This has now been split into three divisions with an assistant chief constable overseeing the work of each division. The restructure is expected to deliver better value for money and improved performance, which is good news for passengers, aswell as encourage better integration with the rail industry.

Acting chief constable of BTP Paul Crowther, who will become the BTP chief constable later this year, added: “As a police force we are always looking at how we might better meet the needs of the industry and the travelling public.

“Last year, we piloted two approaches to fatalities and disruption to see how we might create a more effective response. By working with stakeholders and targeting intervention at vulnerable people, with support from the appropriate health authorities, Op Avert was very successful at reducing the number of fatalities. This new approach will continue in 2014/15.”

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