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Wednesday, February 8, 2023

BTP seeks panel members to discuss policing on the railways

Have you ever wanted to voice your opinions on the policing of your local railway and station, or provide feedback on a police operation that you witnessed?

British Transport Police (BTP) is offering you the opportunity to volunteer to join an innovative Citizens Panel consisting of people from a wide diversity of communities across the Wales and Western Area.

BTP is looking for enthusiastic members of the public and rail staff from across the region to join the new panel, with one of the key aims being to strengthen relationships between BTP and local community groups.

The Force is looking for people who have a general interest in railways and the railway community, particularly those who have strong links into local communities, to work in an advisory role to provide feedback and advice on how BTP’s actions are interpreted by members of the public.

Inspector Stuart Middlemas is responsible for setting up the Independent Advisory Group (IAG) for BTP’s Wales and Western Area, which covers all of Wales, the South West of England and the West Midlands.

Insp Middlemas said: “We want members of the public to become more involved in advising us in our policing of the railways.

“BTP already has a National Independent Advisory Group (NIAG) whose members are from a wide cross section of backgrounds, communities and diverse groups who constructively evaluate BTP’s policies and procedures based on their own independent views, experiences and special knowledge of their own communities.

“We now want to develop an area-based group who can represent the Wales and Western Area railway community we serve, and allow members of the public and rail staff to have a say on how we police the railways at a local level.”

Insp Middlemas added: “We want members of the panel to have links to the diverse communities we police so we can help form a bridge between these groups and BTP.

“The aim is for members of the public and rail staff to become involved and be a voice for the community. We want them to provide feedback to us and to challenge us when they don’t think we are getting things right.

“We want them to be critical and challenge existing processes to continue to build trust and confidence in us, which will have real tangible effects on our policing and our policies.”

Meetings will be held quarterly across the area, and will allow a representation of local people to have a voice in the policing of the railway.

Panel members will not be paid to perform the role, but will be entitled to the reimbursement of associated costs such as travel expenses.

Anyone interested in becoming a volunteer with the Citizens Panel can visit the website.

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