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Rail safety

British Transport Police Officer patrolling Cardiff Central Station.
Rail passengers need to feel safe when they travel.

Rail safety in a non-devolved issue and,operationally, train operating companies and Network Rail has safety responsibilities. The Welsh Government has invested additional funding for schemes to enhance safety and security for rail users and staff across Wales.

British Transport Police

British Transport Police (BTP) is the specialist, national police service for Britain's railways. The BTP deal with major and minor crime, disorder and incidents, and covers the rail system in England, Wales and Scotland, including London Underground, Docklands Light Railway and the Midland Metro and Croydon Tramlink systems.

Its 2,800 uniformed and CID officers, 200 Police Community Support Officers, 260 Special Constables and 1,200 support staff are recruited and trained to the same standards as those of local forces and have the same powers.

BTP work closely in partnership with others to help build a safe railway environment that is free from disruption and the fear of crime.

Police Community Support Officers (PCSO's)

PCSO's are the first point of call for the general public. They hold certain police powers and deal with a variety of incidents including:

  • Crowd control
  • Security threats
  • Missing person enquiries
  • General anti-social behaviour

The Welsh Government, Arriva Trains Wales and British Transport Police jointly fund twenty-one Police Community Support Officers at an employment cost of circa £27.3k per PCSO. This is circa £200k each partner, totalling circa £600k annually. 

PCSO's are supported by an Inspector with responsibility for complementary policing, sergeants and police constables.

The PCSOs comprise of:

  • Six  at Pontypridd
  • Four at Cardiff
  • Four at Swansea
  • Two at Newport
  • Five for North Wales/Mid Wales - Shrewsbury, Rhyl and Bangor

Welsh Government Investment in Improving Security for Rail Passengers

  • £2 million investment to install on-train CCTV on all trains in the ATW fleet;
  • £2.5m for station improvements in south and mid Wales including CCTV and electronic help and information points;
  • £1.5m Assembly grant to provide security and safety enhancements across stations in north Wales including CCTV and electronic help and information points;
  • Joint funding with BTP for a uniform inspector to manage the enhanced British Transport Police operational presence in North Wales to increase in their operational presence for North Wales.

Arriva Trains Wales Investment in Rail Safety and Security

  • ATW allows uniformed police officers from any of the four Wales forces to travel free on Arriva Trains Wales trains to ensure the safety and security of passengers and crew.
  • ATW is sponsoring an operational patrol vehicle for British Transport Police in North Wales.
  • ATW has invested in additional security services to reduce incidents of anti-social behaviour on train services.
  • ATW has appointed a dedicated security manager to lead a network-wide assaults reduction team, analyse incident patterns, provide a dedicated link to BTP and advocate bringing offences to prosecution.

For more information about the British Transport Police view their website: (External link).