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					The magazine of British Transport Police




                                                                     CROSSING
                                                                   CRACKDOWN
                                                                              Improving
                                                                           safety at level
                                                                               crossings
                                                                                           pages 6–7



                                            the
                                           Line
                                           Fatality management
Issue 5 March 2010




                                           Workshops help speed system recovery page 3


                                           Robin Gisby
                                           Route crime continues to be an
                                           important factor in railway operations page 5
                                                                                                       ISSUE 5, MARCH 2010 THE LINE   1
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 A CORONER’S vIEw

 EDITORIAL                                                IN THIS ISSuE                                                                                                                                                          Hertfordshire Coroner
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Edward Thomas has had a long
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 association with BTP. He came
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 along to the first workshop to
                                                           pAGE 4                                                                                                                                                                give the coronial perspective
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 on rail fatalities.
                                                          The everyday effects of terrorism                                                                                                                                          “Having been involved
                          Driving down disruption                                                                                                                                                                                with the Watford, Hatfield
                          In this issue of The                                                                                                                                                                                   and Potters Bar crashes, I feel
                          Line we focus on issues
                          around disruption of the
                                                           pAGE 10                                                                                                                                                               you are part of our family in
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Hertfordshire,” he said.
                          rail network. Some of           Preventing suicides                                                                                                                                                        “There are 102 coroners in
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 England and Wales. That means
                          those involve crime, such
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 that sometimes there are 102
                          as vandalism and cable
                          theft; others, for instance      pAGE 12                                                                                                                                                               ways of dealing with things.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Coroners’ districts can be very
                          suicides, do not.
                                                          Anti-social behaviour—what                                                                                                                                             differently managed. It can be
                              I have just taken on
a new role heading up Territorial Operations
                                                          passengers think                                                                                                                                                       difficult for a national force or
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 the railway dealing with so many
for BTP and my focus is to improve our                                                                                                                                                                                           jurisdictions. In Hertfordshire,
performance around those incidents that                                                                                                                                                                                          we get on well with BTP’s
impact on the ability of rail operators to deliver                                                                                                                                                                               coroners’ liaison officers—they
a safe, reliable service.                                NEwS IN BRIEF                                                                                                                                                           know what we want and they


                                                                                                                             FATALITy WORKSHOpS HELp
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 come and visit us.
    By working with rail operators we have
                                                        Off the rails                     Jail for train robber                                                                                                                      “There is quick liaison
driven down crime on the rail system—by 19 per
                                                        A persistently abusive and        A 21-year-old man who                                                                                                                  and we deal quickly with
cent over the past five years—to a point where          drunk man, who spat at staff      attacked a passenger before                                                                                                            identification strategy.”
we can justifiably claim that it is a low crime
environment. However, there is still crime,
there is far too much anti-social behaviour and
there is too much disruption to services.
                                                        and travelled without a ticket,
                                                        has been banned from every
                                                        railway station and train in
                                                        England and Wales for five
                                                                                          robbing him on a train in Surrey
                                                                                          has been jailed for 32 months.
                                                                                              Thomas Songhurst, along
                                                                                          with two other youths, targeted
                                                                                                                             mINImISE DISRupTION                                                                                     Every death is a tragedy
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 and sensitivity is the key says
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Mr Thomas. “Respect for the
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 dignity of the deceased is very
    BTP’s current policing strategy has two
different but equally important themes. The
                                                        years.
                                                            46-year-old Richard Barry
                                                        was handed an Anti-Social
                                                                                          the 18-year-old victim on
                                                                                          a train between Mitcham
                                                                                          Junction and Hackbridge on 4
                                                                                                                             FIRST wORkSHOP dISCUSSES                                                                            important, I can’t emphasise
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 that enough. Release of the
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 body can be a thorny issue—for
first, neighbourhood policing and citizen
focus, aims to find local solutions to priorities       Behaviour Order (ASBO)
                                                        by Grantham Magistrates
                                                                                          May 2009, robbing the teenager
                                                                                          of his iPod, mobile phone and
                                                                                                                             THE ROLE TECHNOLOGy PLAyS IN                                                                        instance deciding to whom
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 to release the body. It can be
identified by local people. On the other hand
we are striving to deliver a consistent national
service across the network.
                                                        after police and rail staff
                                                        in the East Midlands spent
                                                                                          bank cards.
                                                                                              Songhurst was sentenced at
                                                                                                                             FATALITy MANAGEMENT                                                                                 difficult with modern family
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 relationships.
                                                        months compiling a dossier of     Southwark Crown Court on 17                                                                                                                “Police family liaison officers
    It is my job to make sure that these two            evidence of his intimidating      February after pleading guilty                                                                                                         are appointed in complex
are compatible. We need to strike the balance           behaviour.                        to one count of robbery.           A series of workshops are being held                 Detective Chief Superintendent Mick            cases—they play a very useful
between being as efficient as we can be, having                                                                              around the country to improve fatality           Field stressed the importance of identity.         role.”
the right people available at the right time and                                                                             management.                                      “It’s crucial,” he told delegates. “ID generally       Coroners can sit with or


                                                        the
giving local teams the flexibility to meet the                                                                                   The first, in January, included              leads you quickly to the rest of the story         without jurors, but Mr Thomas




                                                        Line
needs and expectations of their local railway                                                                                representatives from Network Rail and the        behind a death.”                                   prefers to sit without. “It spares
                                                                                                                             Rail Safety and Standards Board (RSSB).              Rail fatalities are treated as either          the pain of families. With jurors
communities.
                                                                                                                             Delegates heard from Crime Scene Examiner        suspicious, non-suspicious or unexplained,         you have to explain everything
    Being a national organisation is a                                                                                                                                        so establishing the story quickly is vital to
                                                                                                                             Sergeant Pippa Smith, who explained the                                                             in detail. The local papers are
tremendous advantage and we are committed to                                                                                 role of the scenes of crime department and       keeping disruption to a minimum. BTP has           usually very good. I tell them
extracting maximum value from it.                                                                                            looked at the ways in which developments         a target of 90 minutes for clearing non-           that I want us to treat each event
    It is surprising what can be achieved by                                                                                 in technology could be used in fatality          suspicious fatalities; the current average is      as if it was our mum or dad.”
clear focus and joined-up thinking and it is my         For circulation/subscription enquiries contact:                      management.                                      81 minutes.                                            In today’s multi-cultural
ambition to help make BTP a very surprising                                                                                      BTP currently uses mobile fingerprinting                                                        society, there is a diverse range
organisation indeed!                                    Media and Marketing                                                  technology, known as Lantern, to scan and        •	 BTP has been ranked third in the                of cultural needs following a
                                                        British Transport Police                                             check fingerprints against the national             national police league table for the use        death. “I try to deal with those
                                                        Force Headquarters, 25 Camden Road London, NW1 9LN                   database.                                           of mobile fingerprinting technology.            as soon as possible,” said Mr
                                                                                                                                 Being able to scan fingerprints at a scene      Twenty-nine police forces are using the         Thomas. “It’s about good liaison,
                                                        Editor Simon Lubin                                                   and send them back to the Fingerprint               Lantern devices, which electronically           explaining to the family why you
                                                        Email theline@btp.pnn.police.uk                                      Bureau for identification via laptop can speed      scan fingerprints and check them                make the decisions that you do.
Alan Pacey
                                                        Telephone 020 7830 8854                                              up the identification process considerably,         against the national database.                  But we have to do what we need
Assistant Chief Constable Territorial Operations                                                                             helping to establish more quickly if there are                                                      to do—it’s important that they
                                                        www.btp.police.uk                                                    any suspicious circumstances.                                                                       don’t feel we are against them.”

2 THE LINE THE MAGAZINE OF BRITISH TRANSPORT POLICE                                                                                                                                                                                   ISSUE 5, MARCH 2010 THE LINE   3
mANAGING THE                                                                                                                                         GUEST COLUMNIST
                                                                                                            unattended or suspicious—
                                                                                                            the majority are dealt with
                                                                                                            successfully and professionally




TERRORIST
                                                                                                            by rail staff, who are the first line
                                                                                                            of assessment.
                                                                                                                 “They are experienced in the
                                                                                                            rail environment and briefed
                                                                                                            in assessment using the ‘HOT’
                                                                                                                                                     Robin Gisby
                                                                                                            principle,” says Superintendent
                                                                                                            Trendall. “They are well placed to
                                                                                                                                                     Fighting route crime will lead to
                                                                                                                                                     better communities says Network




THREAT
                                                                                                            make a common sense judgement
                                                                                                            on whether an item left on a
                                                                                                            station looks as though it has           Rail’s Robin Gisby
                                                                                                            been hidden, is obviously suspect,
                                                                                                            or is typical for that environment.
                                                                                                            If they are not satisfied, they
                                                                                                            escalate the incident to us.”
                                                                                                                 That involves BTP officers
                                                                                                            dealing with between three               Tackling route crime                  single biggest risk of a catastrophic   at crossings with high levels of       “Reducing
                                                                                                            and four thousand items a year.          Travelling by rail has never          incident on the railway.                misuse. This work on the ground
WHILE TERRORIST ATTACKS                                                                                     It is rare for incidents to have
                                                                                                            to be escalated beyond that,
                                                                                                                                                     been safer or more punctual, but
                                                                                                                                                     some delays to trains are caused
                                                                                                                                                                                               Each year, around 55 days
                                                                                                                                                                                           of delays are caused by level-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   is supported by a national
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   advertising and media campaign.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          crime is key
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          to improving
ARE RARE, THE EFFECTS OF                                                                                    and explosives officers called
                                                                                                            in, which can take several
                                                                                                                                                     by what we call route crime.
                                                                                                                                                     These acts—trespass, vandalism,
                                                                                                                                                                                           crossing misuse, costing some
                                                                                                                                                                                           £1.8m. The real cost to the
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Our team also works on No
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Messin’—a campaign fronted by
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          punctuality”

TERRORISm ARE FELT EvERy DAy                                                                                hours. Because of BTP’s unique
                                                                                                            assessment process, calls to
                                                                                                             explosives officers over a typical
                                                                                                                                                     theft, accidental damage, along
                                                                                                                                                     with tragic suicides—cause
                                                                                                                                                     considerable delay and cost
                                                                                                                                                                                           industry far exceeds this, as it
                                                                                                                                                                                           does not include actual damage
                                                                                                                                                                                           to trains or tracks or staffing
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   World Champion boxer Amir
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Khan. Here we try and reduce the
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   levels of trespass and vandalism
Air passengers are used to long        devices and then issuing a                                               12-month period are measured         to our industry, as well as           time and cost.                          caused by young people and get
check in times and restrictions        series of bomb threats.                                                   in single figures.                  sometimes resulting in injury             But apart from these business       them into safer and more fun
on carry-on luggage, but the rail          “Dealing with bomb                                                          “In London we have            and worse to those involved. This     factors, the reality is that            activities such as sport or drama.
system remains an open mass            threats is about risk                                                       Specialist Response Units         is something we as a responsible      thousands of people risk their          This campaign is reaping rewards
transit system, albeit some of         management,” says Adrian                                                     constantly on patrol,” says      company are addressing on a                                                   with crime down significantly
the best controlled public space       Dwyer, BTP’s Counter                                                         Superintendent Trendall.         number of fronts with the help                                                in hotspot areas where we have
anywhere in the country.               Terrorism Risk Advisor.                                                     “They are trained to use          of BTP and other industry                                                     targeted resources, but there is
    Hoax and threatening               “In the early 1990s we put in                                              some very sophisticated            partners.                             “Each year,                             much more to do.
calls along with unattended            place a structured, centralised                                                      equipment that can           Network Rail has a number of
or suspicious items have the           system that allows us to                                                             quickly establish if a   programmes focused on tackling        around 55 days of                       The Samaritans
potential to cause serious             have a high degree                                                                    threat is real.         route crime. Ultimately, we hope      delays are caused                       Our latest initiative is our
                   disruption if       of confidence in our                                                                      “Problems do        to save lives, but route crime also   by level-crossing

                                                                        E HOT PRINCIPLE
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   partnership with the Samaritans
“specialist        not effectively     threat categorisation                                                                 sometimes occur         costs us money, which should be                                               to reduce the number of suicides
                                                                                                                                                                                           misuse, costing
response
units are
                   managed.
                        “It can be
                                       process.
                                           “That has had
                                       a high degree of
                                                                     TH                         OT which
                                                                                                                              when local police
                                                                                                                              are contacted
                                                                                                                              directly by rail
                                                                                                                                                     invested into the railway. If we
                                                                                                                                                     are to deliver on our substantial     some £1.8m”
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   on the railways; each year there
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   are around 200. Each death,
constantly         very tempting
                                                                     BTP has   developed H              unattend     ed                              investment programme and                                                      while tragic, is also extremely
                   to take the         success. Over the                              e finder of an                           staff. Local police    improve levels of punctuality,                                                disruptive to the network and
on patrol and      easy option,        last 19 years, more           encourages th three characteristics                       have their own        reducing route crime is key.                                                  costly. The project will be             Robin Gisby has
                                                                     item to co  nsider                ious:
can quickly        stop services       than 10,000 locations
                                                                      before viewin
                                                                                       g it as suspic                          procedures and                                              lives by misusing level crossings.      delivered through training for          been Director of
establish if       and cordon          have been threatened.                                                                   do not always         Cable theft                           Around three motorists a week           rail staff in dealing with potential    Operations and
                   off large areas     Only 75 threats, under                                                                   understand the       Our safety systems mean               narrowly avoid a potentially            suicides and the aftermath of           Customer Service
a threat is                                                                  is the item hi
                                                                                              dden?
real”
                   following a
                   bomb threat or
                                       one per cent, resulted
                                       in evacuation and                 H                                                      effect of closing
                                                                                                                                parts of the rail
                                                                                                                                                     that the travelling public are
                                                                                                                                                     protected when signalling cables
                                                                                                                                                                                           fatal collision with a train after
                                                                                                                                                                                           ignoring warning signs and
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   a suicide, working with mental
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   health, social and other services,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           for Network Rail
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           since May 2004.
report of an unattended bag,” says     of those 75, 34 were                                           spicious?                  system, so it can   are damaged or stolen, but such       lights or weaving round barriers.       national communications                 In October 2008 he
                                                                                                y su
                                                                              is it obviousl
Superintendent Phil Trendall
from BTP’s Counter Terrorism
                                       subsequently found to
                                       involve viable devices.           O                                                       lead to increased
                                                                                                                                 delays.”
                                                                                                                                                     thefts from the railway remain
                                                                                                                                                     a serious cause of delay, costing
                                                                                                                                                                                           You may have seen some of the
                                                                                                                                                                                           CCTV we have released showing
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   campaigns, and ensuring
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   responsible reporting of suicides
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           was appointed as
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           a board member
Support Unit.                          To date, even taking into                                  r the environment?                  With the UK    around £8m per annum in               this crazy behaviour.                   in the media.                           following many
                                                                               is it typical fo
    “But that approach can do
the terrorists’ work for them,
                                       account the emerging
                                       threats associated
                                                                          T                                                       national threat
                                                                                                                                  level raised
                                                                                                                                                     compensation costs alone. Our
                                                                                                                                                     partnership with Crimestoppers
                                                                                                                                                                                               Our Don’t Run the Risk
                                                                                                                                                                                           campaign aims to raise
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       As our lives and the railways
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   become ever busier, and we deal
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           successful years
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           in roles such as
bringing the system to a halt          with terrorists other                                                                       to ‘Severe’       and new technology such as new        awareness of these dangers, and         with tough economic times,              Director of the
without exposing them to any           than Irish republicans,                                                           in January, meaning         types of cable are helping us         encourages people to use level          route crime will continue to be         Southern Region,
risk.”                                 we have not missed a                                                 that an attack is ‘highly likely’,       tackle this disruptive crime.         crossings safely and correctly.         a factor. I know that through the       Director of the
    It was that that led to            viable threat; and since 2001,                                       vigilance by police, rail staff                                                    We have a dedicated                 dedicated work of people across         Eastern Region and,
the coining of the term ‘10p           we have only closed twice due to                                     and the public has been re-              Level crossings                       community safety team who               the railways that our fight on          with Railtrack, as
terrorism’ in the 1990s to             anonymous threats.”                                                  emphasised, along with the need          There are more than 7,000 level       work closely with the BTP               crime will continue and lead to         Director of Network
describe the tactic used by Irish          Each year, approximately                                         to minimise disruption from              crossings across Britain. This        to reduce route crime. They             better communities, and a better        Development and
republican terrorists of planting      250,000 items are reported as                                        hoaxes and false alarms.                 road/rail interface presents the      regularly hold awareness days           performing railway.                     Director of Freight.

4 THE LINE THE MAGAZINE OF BRITISH TRANSPORT POLICE                                                                                                                                                                                                                ISSUE 5, MARCH 2010 THE LINE   5
                                                              Over the last four years Network Rail                  operation and the 35 exercises that       A total of 130 motorists were caught                                   O U HINk?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                wHAT dlinygOlevTel-crossing
                                                              reports that there have been 12,435                                                                                                                                    ck
                                                                                                                     have taken place so far.                  zig-zagging through half-barrier                            Is BTP ta e right way? What




CROSSING
                                                              incidents of level-crossing misuse—5,000                   Inspector Naughton said:              crossings during this period alone. So                                 th
                                                                                                                                                                                                                           misuse in                  e the
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            elp reduc in
                                                              of which were reported to police—and 211               “The enforcement operations               far this year 18 operations have been                              e would h
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              els
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         f offe nces? Get r
                                                              involving fatalities.                                  are intelligence-led. We gather           completed.                                                     number o                See ou
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            us know.
                                                                  Fatal incidents have repercussions for the         information from a number of                  The results of an operation are                           tou ch and let s on page 11.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          etail
                                                              family and friends of the deceased as well as          partners, particularly Network Rail, on   publicised in the local media to make                           contact d
                                                              for the wider community. Rail passengers’              where the problem crossings are.          sure the message gets out to the widest
                                                                          lives are put at risk when a                   “We will also listen to members       audience possible.




  RACKDOWN
                                                                          train collides with a vehicle and          of the community who have spotted             But Chief Inspector Clark said the
                                                                          services are severely disrupted as         misuse at certain times, and revisit      threat of being caught isn’t the sole
                                                                                                                                                                                                           Stats and facts in 2008 *



C
                                                                          emergency services clear the scene         areas that have proven to be hot spots    purpose of the operation.
                                                                           and investigations take place.            in the past.”                                 “It’s important that we educate
                                                                                The cost of repairs to level             BTP ran 26 operations in              people too to change their behaviours,”
                                                                           crossings and railway equipment           November and December 2009, as            he said. “During an exercise, we will
                                                                           can be huge and a full inquiry into       the run-up to Christmas is seen as a      speak to people in the area and give
                                                                            the causes of the incident can take
                                                                            months.
                                                                                                                     peak time for level-crossing offenders.   them leaflets that spell out the dangers.
                                                                                                                                                                   “This operation has been running
                                                                                                                                                                                                           3,479 RECORdEd                        60%
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                increase
                                                                                                                                                                                                           MISUSE INCIdENTS                increase 2003–2008
                                                          d limb
                                But the risks to life an tion
                                                                                 But it’s not just fatal accidents                                             for about 10 months now and we’ve
                        shing                                                                                         A PARTNERSHIP APPROACH
To some motorists, fla l
                                                                            that impact on Network Rail and                                                    reached a lot of people during this
                                                         up
                       ve       are huge and the disr to                     passengers.                              Working with a wide variety of           time.”
warning lights at a le          caused   by a collision ,                        About 25 per cent of all             organisations and rail companies             Superintendent Andy Ball hailed
crossing  and dropping          train services and the                       incidents are traffic-related, but       is key to the success of Operation       the success of Operation Galley, which
barriers aren’t enoughit        community, is massiation
                                                          ve. The            just under 50 per cent are ‘line of      Galley.                                  he believes is making a real difference
                                                                                                                                                                                                           FIFTEEN PEOPLE dIEd AT LEvEL CROSSINGS
to convince them to wa y
                                                                                                                                                               to the issue nationwide.
                                Line looks at an oper ople
                                                                             route’ offences, which includes              Network Rail, the Office of Rail
                       he
for a passing train –t eir
                                                                             stone throwing, trespass and             Regulation, the Ministry of Justice,         “Obviously we can’t be everywhere
                                aimed at stopping pe d                        causing obstructions on the line.       the Department for Transport, the        at every level crossing all the time,” he
foolishly still fancy th         riskin g their lives an                          Level-crossing misuse is a          Association of Chief Police Officers,    said. “But sadly, people still think they
                       across
 chances of making it            impr oving safety across                     major problem for the whole of          the Home Office, train operating         can ignore all the warning signs at a
                                                           ngs.
 in time.                        Britain’s 7,600 crossi
                                                                               the rail industry and Operation        companies and the the Rail Safety        crossing and be safe. They just don’t
                                                                               Galley, first run in June 2009, is     and Standards Board (RSSB) are           think they will ever be caught.                                 55 dAyS OF dELAyS
                                                                               BTP’s latest response to it.           just some of the groups involved in          “But this operation is proving to
                                                                  The operation has two main purposes—
                                                              firstly to carry out enforcement exercises
                                                              at hotspots catching people in the act, and
                                                                                                                      planning operations.
                                                                                                                          Meetings take place on a regular
                                                                                                                      basis, at national and local levels,
                                                                                                                                                               be very effective in terms of making
                                                                                                                                                               people realise the dangers.
                                                                                                                                                                   “This work forms an important
                                                                                                                                                                                                           £1,800,000
                                                              secondly to educate the public in the dangers           to constantly review the number of       part of our partnership with Network        COST TO NETwORk RAIL (dOES NOT INCLUdE ACTUAL
                                                              of level-crossing misuse.                               offences and what areas need to be       Rail and is playing a crucial role in       dAMAGE TO TRAINS OR TRACkS OR STAFFING TIME ANd COST)
                                                                  Chief Inspector Gary Clark and Inspector            focused on.                              keeping Britain’s railways safe.”
                                                              Tom Naughton have been leading the                                                                                                           * full 2009 figures not yet available




                                                                                                                                                                              what the
                                                                                                                                                                              future holds…
                                                                                                                                                                                  Operation Galley is just                  BTP is also working with
                                                                                                                                                                                  the start of BTP’s efforts to          Network Rail to identify areas
                                                                                                                                                                                  clamp down on level-crossing           that would benefit from fixed
                                                                                                                                                                                  offenders.                             CCTV technology to catch
                                                                                                                                                                                      This year, the Force will          offenders.
                                                                                                                                                                                  be looking at introducing                 Superintendent Andy Ball
                                                                                                                                                                                  technology such as mobile              said: “We will still be doing
                                                                                                                                                                                  CCTV camera vans that can              Operation Galley exercises,
                                                                                                                                                                                  monitor behaviour at hot               but this will be just one tactic
                                                                                                                                                                                  spots. A partnership pilot with        and CCTV will ensure the
                                                                                                                                                                                  London South Area will assess          message is getting across,
                                                                                                                                                                                  the benefits with the intention        and help change people’s
                                                                                                                                                                                  of providing CCTV vans across          behaviour, when we can’t be
                                                                                                                                                                                  the Force.                             there in person.”

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                ISSUE 5, MARCH 2010 THE LINE       7
                                                                                 “The students
                                                                                 drew on their              CORONERS’ dATABASE TO
                                                                                 previous                   HELP SPEEd RECOvERy
                                                                                 experiences
                                                                                 and the                    A database on what coroners
                                                                                                            require at the scene of a
                                                                                 results                    fatality is being created to
                                                                                 were really                help speed up the process of
                                                                                 powerful”                  dealing with non-suspicious
                                                                                                            deaths.
                                                                                                                 “The procedures following
                                                                                                            a death vary between
                                                                                                            coroners,” explains Inspector
                                                                                                            Tom Naughton from the
                                                                                                            Neighbourhood Policing and
                                                                                                            Partnerships Unit. “Some
                                                                                                            coroners want to be notified
                                                                                                            of a death immediately, some




LIvERpOOL KIDS TAKE                                                                                                                             TEAm pROFILE
                                                                                                            are happy to have a fax the
                                                                                                            next day if it is not suspicious.
                                                                                                            Some have a contract with
                                                                                                            particular undertakers,



                                                                                                                                                COppERS TARGET COppER THIEvES
                                                                                                            who must be used to move a




TO THE AIRWAvES
                                                                                                            body, some require a police
                                                                                                            surgeon to certify death, even
                                                                                                            if a body is in several parts.
                                                                                                            Some insist on the body being
                                                                                                            photographed in situ before it      A scrapyard search, a lineside
                                                      the creative licence to produce their own
                                                                                                            is moved.
                                                                                                                 “Knowing what has to
                                                                                                                                                dog chase and an undercover
children in liverpool have been                       radio adverts based around the theme of               be done in any particular           surveillance operation is all in a
taking the ‘mic’ to raise awareness                   trespassing on the railway.
                                                           “Liam’s death last year had a huge
                                                                                                            area as soon as a fatality
                                                                                                            is reported can save vital
                                                                                                                                                day’s work for members of the North
of route crime in the city                            impact on other pupils from his school and            time. The new database              Eastern Area cable team
                                                      we wanted to tap into this and use their              ensures we do exactly what is
                                                      experiences to get the message across to              required without doing things
More than 120 13—14-year-olds have                    children from Merseyside.”                            unnecessarily.”                     Detective Chief Inspector Danny Snee              cameras to catch thieves in the act or deter them
scripted and produced their own radio                      The pupils were given the brief to produce            Fatality Management            heads up Operation Drum (BTP’s national           from committing offences in the first place.
adverts to warn youngsters across                     an advert to warn others of the dangers posed         Support Officer Lucy Rayner         strategic response to cable theft) in the            Steve also uses trembler alarms. These
Merseyside of the dangers of messing                  by the railway and were given stats and real          added: “This database is            north east, with his team of 17 officers.         are attached to cables and activate if they are
around on the railway.                                life examples by PC Young to help give them           another tool that will help both        The region has been a hot spot for cable      removed from the track—the alarm is backed          Did you know?
    PC Andy Young and Media Manager                   some context.                                         control rooms and frontline         theft and the Area was the first to set up a      up by a response plan ensuring officers can
Glyn Hellam, both from NW Area, joined                     Then, with assistance from experts from          responders become more              specialist team to look at cable theft in 2006.   react quickly.                                      •	In 2009 there were 1,674
forces with Radio City—Liverpool’s most               Radio City, the children scripted, produced           efficient in dealing with these         “This year in North Eastern Area we have         Crime Reduction Officer Paul Hardy                 cable-related crimes
popular radio station—to give students the            and edited their own adverts.                         traumatic incidents.”               had 565 offences to date, 310 down on last        works closely with Network Rail and their             reported nationally, 35 per
opportunity to inform their peers of the                   PC Young said: “The results were                                                     year,” says DCI Snee.                             contractors. He said: “My aim is to cut the           cent in the north east region
dangers the railways can pose.                        astounding. Each group only had about 25              Did you know?                           The team’s operations evolved from            number of crimes taking place and to tighten
    The initiative was particularly poignant          minutes to write and record the adverts, but          •	The office of coroner is          monthly to weekly to daily initiatives, as        up security. I give crime reduction advice and      •	Theft of copper cabling from
as it was delivered to classmates of Liam Gill,       the quality of the final products really took us        ancient, dating back to the       Detective Sergeant Matt Davies explains.          put in place general housekeeping measures            the rail network emerged
a pupil from St Benedicts RC High School              by surprise.                                            11th century                          “We plot crimes that have taken place on      such as cable tagging and JIT ( just in time)         as a significant problem
who was killed on the railway in August last               “During two days at the school we worked         •	Coroners’ courts identify         a map to identify hot spot areas, and from        ordering of cable for target hardening.”              in 2006 as world metal
year.                                                 with every pupil from Year 9 and, without               the deceased and rule             these crime patterns our research team will          Alongside Network Rail, the team works             prices rocketed. Economic
    Glyn said: “The idea behind the scheme            exception, they all took the work seriously             on the cause of death             then gather intelligence about the area, such     closely with a number of agencies—local               expansion in China and the
was to highlight the potential dangers of             and produced excellent—and often incredibly             for violent, sudden or            as any known offenders, previous crimes and       police forces, DVLA, VOSA (Vehicle and                Far East has fuelled copper
route crime.                                          moving—adverts.                                         unnatural deaths. They            suspects.                                         Operator Services Agency), British Metal              prices
    “Traditionally the Easter and summer                   “Many of the adverts drew on their                 don’t apportion blame                 “Officers are tasked to undertake foot,       Recycling Association and the Environment
school holidays see a rise in route crime             experiences of dealing with Liam’s death and,         •	Police carry out an               dog and motorbikes patrols, scrap yard visits     Agency to make use of additional powers to          •	Currently the price of copper
committed by youngsters and we wanted to              as a result, were really powerful.”                     investigation on behalf of        and metal dealer checks, and overt or covert      stop and deter cable thieves.                         weighs in at over $7,000
address the issue in Liverpool in a way that               These adverts will now be reviewed at Radio        the coroner                       surveillance.”                                       “There is a strong correlation between             per tonne. At its lowest
would make the children sit up and take note.         City with the children involved in the best ones      •	There are 102 coroner’s               Technology is becoming more and more          the price of copper and the number of crimes          in December 2008 it was
    “We approached Radio City who                     invited back to the radio station to help produce       districts in England and          important in the fight against cable thieves.     committed,” says DCI Snee. “With prices on            $3,000; at its peak in June
suggested using their media bus to take the           a final cut. The final version will be broadcast in     Wales                             Technical Services Officer Steve Strong is        the increase again it is not something that           2008 it reached over $9,000
children out of the classroom and give them           the run up to the Easter school holidays.                                                 part of the team and deploys covert and overt     will go away in the short term.”

8 THE LINE THE MAGAZINE OF BRITISH TRANSPORT POLICE                                                                                                                                                                                                         ISSUE 5, MARCH 2010 THE LINE   9
CASE STuDy
                                                                                                                  Can a
                                                                                                                        wHAT dO
                                                                                                                preve nything el
                                                                                                                     nt s
                                                                                                                                    yOU THIN
                                                                                                                                   se b
                                                                                                                 We w uicide on e done to
                                                                                                                      ant to        th
                                                                                                                                             k?
                                                                                                                              hear y e railways
                                                                                                                                                                   60
                                                                                                                                                                 seconds
                                                                                                                                    our vi      ?
                                                                                                                                           ews.
                                                                                                                     See o
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                                                                                                                    detai r contact


pREvENTING SuICIDES                                                                                                                                  JUST THE JOB—LIFE AS A
                                                                                                                          ls on
                                                                                                                                page
                                                                                                                                     11

                                                                                                                                                     CORONER’S LIAISON OFFICER
Working in partnership to reduce suicide on the railways                                                                                                  Gary Mathias is a Coroner’s Liaison
                                                                                                                                                            Officer on London North Area.
                                                                                                                                                             He is happily married with two
                                                                                                                                                             grown-up children. Gary was a
What is the problem?                    Railway suicides                                                                                                     police officer at Paddington for
On average some 200 people take                                                                                                                               more than 20 years before joining
their own lives on the railways                                                 247                                                                               the Coroner’s Liaison Office
each year. Each of those deaths                                                                                                                                     almost two years ago as a           from left: PCSO Beth Dav
is an individual tragedy that                                                                                                                                         member of police staff.                                   ies, Efan Whiffen, Kelsey
                                                                                                                                             215                                                                                                            Jefferson and PCSO Kum
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   ar   Hirani
can have a devastating effect on                           205                                       208                     207


                                                                                                                                                                                                         INvESTING IN KIDS
family and friends, but each one        198                                                                                                                                What do you like most
is also a significant incident that                                                                                                                                        about your job?
police, rail staff and emergency                                                                                                                                           It’s very different
services have to deal with.                                                                                                                                                compared to patrolling
    While overall national suicide                                                                                                                                        the beat. Not everyone        Geraint Morgan, Community Affairs             2008 and celebrated its millionth
rates have been on a steady                                                                                                                                             can stomach the things          Manager for Arriva Trains Wales               passenger in October 2009.”
downward trend for the past 10                                                                                                                                         we deal with and I welcome       is a firm believer in education for               More than 20 children and
years, the numbers on the railways                                                                                                                                  the challenge of identifying        promoting personal safety and                 teachers took a trip from Rogerstone
have remained fairly constant.                                                                                                                                 a victim. Sometimes we have to           beating route crime.                          to Ebbw Vale, accompanied by BTP
They make up something around           2004              2005                  2006                 2007                    2008           2009       think a little bit out of the box to formally        “Bringing children out of the             officers Beth Davies and Kumar
three per cent of all suicides.         Figures subject to change as a result of inquests and other factors (source: RSSB)                           ID someone.                                        school environment and onto the               Hirani in February.
    A suicide on the tracks is                                                                                                                                                                          train is particularly effective when              “Seven of the children have never
not only tragic to the family          “A cross-                    Safety Steering Group, set up a            What happens next?                    What is the most difficult aspect?                 raising awareness of personal                 previously been on a train,” said
involved, it causes delays as it                                    working group chaired by BTP.              There will be an integrated           Obviously it can sometimes be hard working         safety,” he said, following the train         teacher Sara Evans.
takes time to establish that a
                                       industry                         The group brings together              programme of activity, initially      on tragic and sad cases. And sometimes             operator’s latest initiative with                 “They have particularly enjoyed
death is non-suspicious or an          group is                     Network Rail, Samaritans,                  targeting priority areas, but         officers’ witness statements can be difficult      pupils from Ringland Primary                  talking to the police officers and
accident, and involves police          working                      Train Operating Companies                  fully rolled out by 2012. This        to read! We would really appreciate it if          School in Newport. “The Ebbw                  learning about the dangers of playing
and rail staff time. Managing          together to                  and BTP. Its principle aim is to           will include Samaritans’ posters      people made sure what they submit is clear,        Valley line opened in February                near the railway.”
the scene and restoring the                                         deliver the Network Rail Suicide           with helpline contact details,        concise and legible.
service to normality can also          deliver the                  Prevention Strategy (see below),           training for rail staff, developing
take some time—trains can be           National                     as well as addressing other areas          a suicide response service with       Do you have to see a lot of unsightly
disabled, replacement drivers          Rail Suicide                 of suicide prevention such as              Samaritans, awareness raising         things?                                           Has anyone ever been misidentified?
have to be brought to the scene                                     BTP’s work on PIER (Prevention             communications campaigns              It really depends on the circumstances. I         Not on my watch! This is an important role
and locations may be remote
                                       Prevention                   Intelligence Enforcement                   targeting high-risk groups and        am often called out to view bodies at the         and with the aid of modern identification
                                       Strategy”
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   contact us
and difficult to access. That all                                   Reassurance) plans.                        working with the media to help        mortuary as well as assisting the crime scene     techniques, the chances of misidentifying
leads to a cost to Network Rail of                                                                             reduce copycat suicides.              examiner (CSE). More often than not though,       someone are very small.
around £15m in compensation                                         What are the results so far?                   Alongside the Network             we are in the office acting as liaison between
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 854
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      020 7830 8
payments to train operators,                                        In January 2010, Network                   Rail/Samaritans programme,            the victim’s family and the coroners’ offices     What’s the most surprising thing you
as well as inconvenience and                                        Rail announced a £5 million                RSSB research aims to improve         across London North.                              have come across?                                                              .uk
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           .pnn.police
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                theline@btp
disruption to passengers and                                        programme aimed at reducing                knowledge and evaluate                                                                  Looking back a few years ago, fatalities on the
freight users.                                                      rail suicide by 20 per cent over the       initiatives.                          Does it upset you?                                railways tended to involve a certain type of                              ting
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Marke
    Samaritans’ Chief Executive                                     next five years. This partnership              This includes undertaking a       I wouldn’t say the job upsets me. Our work        person. We now see a range of victims and in                    Media and        Police
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      British Transport    s
Catherine Johnstone warned in                                       between Network Rail and                   statistical analysis of 10 years      is very sensitive and of high importance,         particular a growing number of young people,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Force H eadquarter
2009 that there is likely to be an                                  Samaritans, supported by train             of data, mapping the results          but at the end of the day you become              which can be distressing.                                          25 Camde  n Road
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1 9LN
increase in suicides as a result of                                 operators, RSSB and BTP is now             on a geographical information         acclimatised to it. It’s the same as being                                                                           London NW
the recession.                                                      under way. Aligned with this,              system application, reviewing         a response officer trying to resolve a            When you are not at work, what do you
                                                                    the Community Safety Steering              the literature and estimating         domestic argument—it’s your job and you           like to do?
What did we do?                                                     Group endorsed a rail industry             the full cost of a suicide for the    get on with it. A nice relaxing beer when I       I like to spend time with the family, catch
In June 2009 the Rail Safety and                                    research project managed by                industry.                             get home always helps. Seriously though,          up with the sports and being Welsh, I enjoy
Standards Board (RSSB), through                                     RSSB, which will help evaluate                 The evaluation programme          I’ve had more than 30 years on the job so I       watching the rugby—well apart from when I
its cross-industry Community                                        the programme’s success.                   is due to last three years.           tend to take it all in my stride.                 recently watched Wales lose to England.

10 THE LINE THE MAGAZINE OF BRITISH TRANSPORT POLICE                                                                                                                                                                                                                  ISSUE 5, MARCH 2010 THE LINE   11
WE WANT TO SEE mORE pOLICE
                                                                                                    Forty-one per cent of men
                                                                                                want to see more police on trains
                                                                                                compared to 30 per cent of


ON TRAINS SAy pASSENGERS
                                                                                                women. Conversely, 41 per cent
                                                                                                of women want to see more rail
                                                                                                staff compared to 38 per cent of
                                                                                                men.
                                                                                                    The most annoying form of
New research          Passenger Focus’s anti-social             Most worrying for               anti-social behaviour by far is
by consumer           behaviour report published in         passengers in terms of personal     playing loud music—an issue
                      February, shows for the first         safety is abusive and threatening   with 66.3 per cent of passengers.
watchdog              time exactly what worries             behaviour, followed by people       This is followed by fare evasion
Passenger             passengers and what they              who are drunk or on drugs, and      (55.5 per cent) and graffiti/
Focus shows           want done about it.                   theft of personal belongings.       vandalism (50.2 per cent).
                          The three measures that               Interestingly, theft is an          “Passengers generally feel
that rail             would make passengers feel safer      issue for 44 per cent of women,     safe on the railway but having
passengers,           are keeping rowdy and drunk           but only 29 per cent of men.        staff available definitely makes
especially men,       people off trains—top choice with     Presenting the findings, Julie      a difference,’ says Anthony
would feel safer      54 per cent of passengers—more        Warburton, Passenger Manager        Smith, Passenger Focus Chief
                      rail staff visible on trains—second   at Passenger Focus, commented:      Executive.
with greater          with 40 per cent—and more             “I think that is because we             “BTP’s new Policing Plan
police visibility     police visible on trains—third        women carry our lives in our        is excellent. It puts lots of
on trains             with 36 per cent.                     handbags, so losing that is very    emphasis on the visibility of
                          “We are committed to              serious.”                           police.”
                      challenging these issues right
                      across the rail network to ensure
                      that people not only are safe,
                      but feel safe,” said Deputy Chief
                      Constable Paul Crowther.
                          “This research by Passenger
                      Focus is timely and highlights
                      the issues that matter to the
                      public and rail staff. We will use
                      this research to directly inform
                      our policing operations over the
                      coming year. Increased visibility
                      of officers is the most effective
                      way to ensure passengers and          Julie Warburton,
                      staff feel safe.”                     Passenger Focus



MERSEyRAIL IS 100 PER CENT
Merseyrail            This follows the accreditation        Association of Chief Police         of years of hard work,” said
                      of Bebington car park under           Officers in England and             Crime Reduction Advisor
has become            the Park Mark Safer Parking           Wales, and Scotland, managed        Geoff Brunskill. “Some of the
the first train       scheme. All Merseyrail’s              by the British Parking              stations and car parks are in
operating             stations have achieved Secure         Association. Secure Stations        areas that can be reasonably
company in            Station status.                       is a Department for Transport       described as challenging and
the country               “Can I take this opportunity      initiative providing a national     more than a little thought and
to have all its       to thank all parties for their        standard for passenger safety       effort went into achieving the
                      support in reaching this              and security on the rail            standards.
car parks and         important milestone,” said            network. It covers all rail and         “The dedication of those
stations safety       Meresyrail’s Lee Phillips.            underground networks policed        involved in the preparation of
accredited                The Safer Parking scheme          by BTP.                             the accreditations has been
                      is a joint initiative by the              “This is the culmination        exemplary.”


ISSUE 5, MARCH 2010



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