British Transport Police is the national police force for the railways providing a policing service to rail operators, their staff and passengers throughout England, Wales and Scotland. The Force is also responsible for policing the London Underground system, the Docklands Light Railway, the Midland Metro Tram System and Croydon Tramlink.

The Force's goal is: To provide a policing service which delivers a safe railway environment that is free from disruption and the fear of crime.

The Railways and Transport Safety Act 2003 provided for the creation of an independent police authority for the BTP, and this will come into effect on 1st July 2004. The Force is currently under the control of the Strategic Rail Authority and overseen by a Police Committee with a statutory responsibility to maintain an "adequate and efficient" police service for the railways.

This Committee proposes to hold a one off evidence session to look at the performance of the BTP, its funding and operational needs, and to ask about the plans for the new Authority on Wednesday 24 March at 4.15 pm.

The witnesses will be:

Sir Alistair Graham, currently Chairman of the Police Complaints Authority, who will take up office as the new Chairman of the British Transport Police Authority on 1st July

Mr Ian Johnston, Chief Constable of the BTP.

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Press Notice 14   2003-04   17 March 2004

Eve Samson, Clerk to the Committee