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Firearms officers patrol trains for the first time

For the first time in rail history, specialist firearms officers will patrol trains across the UK network to ensure that the travelling public are kept safe after Monday’s terrorist attack.

Following the events of the suicide bombing in Manchester a few days ago, security has been stepped up across the network to reassure and protect train users as the UK remains at a ‘critical’ threat level.

Alongside this, the British Transport Police has already vowed to increase the numbers of officers patrolling at stations.

Manchester Victoria station remains closed as the police continue to investigate the area, although Northern has stated that services should be up and running again as normal in the next few days.

Police on platform c. Yui Mok PA Wire

Chief Constable Paul Crowther from BTP, commented: “Since the devastating events in Manchester on Monday evening, our force has radically increased the presence of our officers nationwide.

“By having firearms officers on board trains we’re ensuring that trains remain as safe as possible for passengers. Our patrols will be highly visible and passengers should feel comforted by their presence. Please do speak to them if you have any concerns at all.”

He added that the measure was part of a wider mobilisation plant to deal with the current threat that is facing the country. 

“It is important to note that we do not have any specific intelligence in relation to train services but are taking this action to ensure we can protect and reassure the public,” said Crowther.

The BTP is also being supported by firearms officers from the Ministry of Defence Police, who will protect stations in London.

Crowther advised that the public should remain calm and vigilant, and alert a police officer if they see anything suspicious.

“In light of the dreadful events over these last few days, and the increase to the national threat level, nothing should be considered too trivial to report and any information – regardless of whether you feel it is significant or not – may be important to all of us,” he concluded. “The cowardly acts of terrorists will never weaken our resolve. We will continue to work with police forces nationally to ensure that the travelling public remain safe and reassured.” 

Passengers who see anything of concern have been urged to call the anti-terrorist hotline on: 0800 789 321, or contact the BTP at: 0800 40 50 40.

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Dave   26/05/2017 at 11:25

Well done BTP and all first responders. Keep up the great work.

Lee   26/05/2017 at 11:35

A very worrying development, and one I feel is entirely unnecessary. It all smacks of a government desperately trying to be seen to be doing something, after axing 20000 police officers since 2010. Theresa May has been either Home Secretary or PM that whole time...

Martin   26/05/2017 at 11:41

Seeing people strutting about with lethal weapons doesn't make me feel safe - quite the opposite.

Nigel   26/05/2017 at 12:59

Quite agree, this is purely a publicity stunt. Routine patrols on random trains = waste of time. If its based on (non fake) intelligence = get off the train as soon as you see an armed policeman/woman! Police should be deployed at stations or be in mobile vehicles. Once a firearms officer is on a train they are essentially isolated and are not available to assist on any other train or station. Wherever you are travelling - Have a great Bank Holiday!

Jb   27/05/2017 at 00:54

I agree with Lee, Martin and Nigel. There is no evidence there is a threat which this will lessen. BTP have a long track record of over-reaction to perceived terrorist threats. If I happened to work as train crew I would refuse to work a train with armed police on board.

Andrew Gwilt   27/05/2017 at 10:18

BTP do care about passengers safety and the train staff and drivers. It's good to see that BTP are stepping up to protect people and passengers from further terrorist attacks and even violence on the trains and at railway stations to make them a safe environment.

Jerry Alderson   27/05/2017 at 13:47

When I'm travelling on the Brussels metro, which I currently do regularly, I often see the armed forces on metro platforms and trains, sometimes as many as four of them in my carriage.

David   27/05/2017 at 16:08

And woe betide anyone attempting to travel on the wrong tickets!

Mark Hare   29/05/2017 at 11:13

@Jb - If you were train crew you would refuse to work a train with armed police on board? What a strange statement. I certainly wouldn't refuse to work my train in such a situation, it would certainly provide a deterrent for any antisocial behaviour! I think you also might have a problem explaining away the delay/cancellation to your train...

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